Tag Archives: Private Aviation News

Garmin Unveils Revolutionary Autoland Automatic Landing System, Available Soon

Garmin Autoland Automatic Landing

Garmin Autoland demonstration in a Piper M600 turboprop.

The future is here, and it is… amazing.

Under tight wraps for eight years, Garmin just announced its new Autoland function, which can take over and land an aircraft completely autonomously.

The system is designed to rescue an airplane with an incapacitated pilot or save a pilot when weather conditions present no other safe option. Autoland should soon receive its first FAA approval, with certification expected shortly in the Piper M600 turboprop, followed by the Cirrus Vision Jet.

Autoland is currently available to manufacturers equipping their airplanes with the Garmin G3000 avionics and autothrottle.

The Garmin Autoland system is part of Garmin’s Autonomi family of automation products, which includes Electronic Stability and Protection and Emergency Descent Mode. The Autoland system is designed to safely fly an airplane from cruising altitude to a suitable runway, then land the airplane, apply brakes, and stop the engine. Autoland can even switch on anti-/deicing systems if necessary.

Garmin’s stock price jumped 10% on October 30, the day of the announcement.

A demo flight, and Garmin Autoland landing, with the press.

Edward C. Baig of the USA Today took a demo flight in a new $2.75M Cirrus Vision Jet outfitted with the Garmin Autoland automatic landing function which Cirrus has aptly branded Safe Return.  He is not a pilot of any type, yet he landed the jet.  Well, actually the plane landed itself.  He merely pressed a single red button on the roof of the main cabin, and watched and listened to the digital copilot as it navigated, communicated, landed the jet, braked to stop, and shut down the engine.

From his article in USA Today:

Safe Return has to able to solve two main problems, the most obvious of which is to return everyone to the ground safely.  It must also do so without disrupting the flight patterns or risking the safety of all the other planes in nearby airspace.

“When you automatically turn that plane into an autonomous vehicle, the plane starts acting as if the pilot were still doing things,” says Ben Kowalski, senior vice president for sales and marketing at Cirrus Aircraft.

Garmin Autoland in Cirrus Vision Jet

Garmin Autoland in the Cirrus Vision Jet is branded as Safe Return and expected to be available for 2020 deliveries.

The plane has databases of the terrain and possible obstacles (like mountains and cell towers).  It gets real-time weather and wind information. And it knows the weight, how much fuel remains, and all the nearby airports where an emergency landing is possible, including the lengths of all runways.

After determining the proper path based on all these considerations, the system uses text-to-speech software to broadcast its whereabouts to air traffic control.

Kowalski says it goes something like this: “Aircraft 149 Victor Bravo, we have an emergency onboard. The pilot is incapacitated. I’m 15 miles north of White Plains, and I’m going to land at JFK on runway 27.”

Garmin Autoland in the Piper M600 turboprop

Garmin Autoland in the Piper M600 turboprop is branded Halo and expected to be available for 2020 deliveries.

There’s no particular challenge to push the button – it’s easily reached by an adult in the cabin. (The plane seats five adults and two children.) But you can only assume that panic will set in during a real crisis in which the pilot has a heart attack, seizure or something else goes wrong.

The system tries its best to calm everyone down by mimicking what, well, a pilot might say: “Safe Return activated, landing in 13 minutes.” A moment later, “Safe Return activated, landing in 12 minutes.” And so on.

His article was published in the USA Today on October 30.

With a touch of a button, a passenger can land the airplane.  That is groundbreaking, and very different than what the world has known before.

Soon, an automatic landing function will be available for new versions of two GA turbine aircraft, enabling an autonomous critical sector of a flight, and is just the beginning.

What will tomorrow bring?  We have a glimpse, and it is… amazing.


Contributor:  Rick Colson, a business aviation entrepreneur, industry consultant, pilot, and family man. @rickcolson | LinkedIn | Instagram

A video by AVweb/Aviation Consumer:  Demo flight and landing the Piper M600 turboprop autonomously with Garmin Autoland.

Sources:  USA Today, Aviation International News, The Aviation Consumer

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

Leading air charter brokers and travel professionals use FlightList PRO’s full-market resources, economical rates and marketing opportunities to grow their service level, their business and their bottom line. 

Wheels Up Acquires Charter Operator Travel Management Company/TMC Jets

Floating Fleet charter operator TMC Jets with 26 light jets is acquired by Wheels Up.

Floating Fleet charter operator TMC Jets with 26 Hawker 400XP and Nextant 400XT light jets is acquired by Wheels Up.

Membership-based private flight company Wheels Up announced it was acquiring floating fleet charter operator Travel Management Company (TMC).  Terms of the deal were not released.

TMC operates 26 Hawker 400XP and Nextant 400XT light jets across the eastern half of the U.S. on a floating fleet model of one-way priced charters, focusing on the wholesale charter channel consisting mostly of charter brokers.

Wheels Up is a membership model with 93 aircraft; 72 King Air 350i executive turboprops, 15 Citation Excel/XLS midsize jets and 6 Citation X super-midsize jets, and will also arrange other ad hoc charters functioning as a charter broker.  Wheels Up program aircraft are managed and operated by Gama Aviation.  Both TMC and Gama Aviation carry ratings of ARGUS Platinum, Wyvern Wingman and IS-BAO Registered.

All 39 floating fleet operators with 435 one-way price aircraft are in FlightList PRO, the largest charter sourcing platform database.  Full access is $90 month-to-month.  Learn More.

TMC ranked as the 10th most active Part 135 operator in the US according to ARGUS International, flying 19,033 hours in 2018.  ARGUS data shows Gama Aviation was the #1 most active Part 135 operator in 2018 flying 91,195 hours.

The 26 light jets of TMC compliment Wheels Up’s existing fleet which was absent of aircraft in the light jet category.  Wheels Up founder and CEO Kenny Dichter stressed that the acquisition will not alter Gama Aviation’s role in operating Wheels Up’s fleet. “We love our relationship with Gama,” he told AIN.

According to Dichter, TMC will operate as a separate subsidiary of Wheels Up and continue to provide the same service to its existing wholesale channel partners.  TMC will also continue to be lead by its existing leadership team, including CEO Phil Dodyk.

Private equity company TPG Growth bought TMC from its founder Pete Liegl in 2017. TPG also owned a significant stake in XOJET at the time. It sold XOJET to Vista Global in September 2018. TMC owned 68 aircraft when it was sold in 2017 – 36 Hawker 400XPs, 29 Hawker 800XPs, two Challenger 604s and one King Air 200. The company was launched in 2006.

“Wheels Up is officially in deal mode,” said Kenny Dichter, Founder and CEO of Wheels Up to Corporate Jet Investor. “Light jets clearly go together with King Airs for entry level users and we now have 119 aircraft. We also get more than 90 great pilots and 125 employees who will stay with the business and keep all of its relationships with channel partners going.”

“This acquisition is a foundational piece in our continued brand evolution and mission to provide our members with a total private aviation solution,” said Dichter. “TMC and its light jet fleet are a perfect complement to our anchor partner, Gama Aviation, which will continue to operate the aircraft in our Wheels Up fleet.”

TMC will operate as an independent subsidiary of Wheels Up. It will stay in Elkhart, Indiana with Dodyk staying as CEO. Gama Aviation will continue to operate the Wheels Up fleet.

“The team at TMC is world-class, and we’re proud of the reputation we’ve earned for being one of the safest and most reliable operators in private aviation,” said Phil Dodyk, CEO of TMC. “By joining Kenny and the Wheels Up team, we’re excited to become part of such a renowned brand and a larger company that is deep with talented leadership, which shares our collective vision of building an industry leader.”


Sources:  Wheels Up release, AINonline article, Alasdair Whyte of Corporate Jet Investor

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

Leading air charter brokers and travel professionals use FlightList PRO’s full-market resources, economical rates and marketing opportunities to grow their service level, their business and their bottom line. 

Pilatus PC-24 Jet Enters The U.S. Air Charter Market

Pilatus PC-24 jet for charter in the U.S.

The first Pilatus PC-24 jet available for charter in the U.S., and the second one delivered to a U.S. customer.

Announced yesterday, Western Aircraft has added the first Swiss-built Pilatus PC-24 available for charter in the U.S., serial number 102, to the Part 135 certificate of its WestAir charter division, the company said. “This aircraft has superior speed, range, and runway performance,” according to Phil Winters, Western Aircraft’s vice president of aircraft sales and charter management. “It is also the first business jet in the world that has a standard pallet-sized cargo door, making the loading of even the bulkiest of items, such as a kayak, easy. It’s a true benefit for our charter customers.”

The Pilatus PC-24 jet and all 9 WestAir charter aircraft are in FlightList PRO‘s multi-search platform along with all 16,631 charter aircraft worldwide.  

It is the second PC-24 delivered in the U.S., the first, serial number 101 went to fractional ownership company, PlaneSense.

Western Aircraft, the Boise, Idaho-based FBO and MRO provider said the PC-24 is in it’s WestAir’s aircraft management program.  Western Aircraft noted WestAir’s experience operating Pilatus’ legacy and NG PC-12 turboprops, as well as its role as a Pilatus dealer and authorized service center.

WestAir has aircraft based in California, Idaho, and Washington, and provides service to more than 5,000 airports in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Pilatus PC-24 jet cabin, the first available for charter in the U.S.

Pilatus PC-24 jet cabin, the first available for charter in the U.S.

Western Aircraft, based in Boise, Idaho, is described by Pilatus as “its most successful dealership”, having sold more than 230 PC-12 single-engined turboprops since it joined the Swiss airframer’s network in 1996.

Looking for better charter sourcing options with less expense?  The most-experienced charter brokers use FlightLIst PRO.  See About FlightList PRO.

The business aviation services company says it has seen strong demand for the PC-24, “with more than a dozen offers to buy the first aircraft”.

Despite this demand Western has added aircraft #102 to its inventory, where it will be used for ad hoc charter and, for the coming year, as a company demonstrator. “This gives us the ability to show the PC-24 to existing order holders, and also to prospective customers who want to get in on the next block of aircraft when Pilatus re-opens the orderbook,” says Phil Winters.


Sources:  Charter operator press release and articles by FlightGlobal and Aviation International News.

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

Leading air charter brokers and travel professionals use FlightList PRO’s full-market resources, economical rates and marketing opportunities to grow their service level, their business and their bottom line. 

Third Aircraft Added to All-Falcon 7X Charter Fleet by Planet Nine Private Air

All-Falcon 7X charter fleet operated by Planet Nine Private Air LLC

All-Falcon 7X charter floating fleet operated by Planet Nine Private Air LLC

Planet Nine Private Air, LLC, launched its first Dassault Falcon 7X to the international charter market in June, 2018, and added a second 7X in September.  Now Planet Nine announces the third aircraft to its all-Falcon 7X floating fleet.

The Planet Nine fleet is  available in the Floating Fleet section of FlightList PRO‘s multi-search platform along with all 533 floating fleet aircraft and 37 operators.  

Headquartered out of Los Angeles, California and London, U.K. with a staff of 28 full time employees, co-founders Matt Walter and James Seagrim are positioning Planet Nine to offer a compelling and competitive offering in the premium end of the ultra long-range charter market.

Planet Nine currently carries Wyvern Wingman and ARGUS Gold-provisional ratings.

“Charter broker relationships will be very important to Planet Nine, and we are looking forward to working with all the traditional and disruptive companies.  Our operation will center on a floating fleet model, and the efficiency it brings to our operations we can then pass on to our customers and friends in the form of better pricing.”

From London, Kirti Odedra heads the Sales Department and Bill Wulf, a former Senior VP and Chief Financial Officer of NetJets with a 20-year tenure serving the group in the US and internationally, serves as Chief Financial Officer. Combined, the management team has over 75 years’ experience in business aviation.

Dassault Falcon 7X ultra long range fleet available for international charter operated by Planet Nine Private Air.

Dassault Falcon 7X ultra long range floating fleet available for international charter operated by Planet Nine Private Air.

P9 brings a new offering into the long haul business jet market with the 5,950 nm range Falcon 7X, stylishly configured for 11-16 passengers, with six beds for overnight flying. With operating costs at least 30% lower than equivalent Gulfstream G550 and Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft, the 7X has a distinct advantage over its competition. Its aircraft will all feature sparklingly refurbished cabin interiors, including full Wi-Fi and IFE from Gogo/Swift Broadband. On all domestic charters in the US, Wi-Fi will be complimentary.

“Charter broker relationships will be very important to Planet Nine, and we are looking forward to working with all the traditional and disruptive companies,” said Director of Sales, Kirti Odedra.

Planet 9 private air charter“Our operation will centre on a floating fleet model, and the efficiency it brings to our operations we can then pass on to our customers and friends in the form of better pricing,” said James Seagrim, Director of Operations. “From our previous careers at Advanced Air Management, we built an unbeatable boutique operation, renowned for its service, safety and efficiency.

Obtaining Wyvern Wingman status in October 2018 was a very pleasing endorsement, said P9PA’s CFO, Bill Wulf, who previously spent 23 years at NetJets in various leadership roles. “As a group of dedicated aviation professionals, we are pleased to be accredited so early in our history, fulfilling Wyvern’s rigorous safety and maintenance requirements,” he said.

The Wyvern endorsement recognizes P9PA’s “delivery of consistent and exceptional service and acknowledges the business has the infrastructure to support over 20 aircraft with a best-in-class finance function to deliver a seamless flight experience to their clientele”.

Cabin interior of Falcon 7X long range jet for charter operated by Plane Nine.

Cabin interior of Falcon 7X long range jet for charter operated by Plane Nine.

“Planet Nine has demonstrated a commitment to safety through its established safety management system,” said Sonnie Bates, CEO of Wyvern. “In its quest to successfully achieve Wingman Certified status they have embraced The Wingman Standard, and proven they go above and beyond minimum regulatory requirements, allowing them to become an industry leader in safety culture.”


Sources:  Charter operator press release and article by Izzy Kington in Business Jet Interiors International, 11/27/18.

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

Leading air charter brokers and travel professionals use FlightList PRO’s full-market resources, economical rates and marketing opportunities to grow their service level, their business and their bottom line. 

Vista Global Acquires Operator XOJET

Announced today, Thomas Flohr’s Vista Global has acquired XOJET, the third largest US business jet charter operator by flight hours.

Vista Global says that the acquisition of XOJET will allow it to expand further in the US. It launched VistaJet in America in September 2013.

VISTA GLOBAL

Nine days ago, on September 11, 2018, Thomas Flohr announced the launch of Vista Global Holding (“Vista Global”), headquartered at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) which “will spearhead the consolidation of the fragmented and expanding business aviation market.”

Thomas Flohr, Founder and Chairman of Vista Global Holding

Thomas Flohr, Founder and Chairman of Vista Global Holding

The group owns VistaJet, Vista Lease, TechX and at the closing of this newly announced transaction, XOJET’s fleet and commercial operations.

According to the Vista Global Holding press release, “Vista Global’s fleets will provide every customer with asset-lite solutions to fly point to point anytime, anywhere at a moment’s notice – either with guaranteed aircraft availability or On Demand. In addition, Vista Global will offer the very first worldwide leasing and financing service for customer looking to purchase a dedicated aircraft. Complementing its consumer and trade offer, Vista Global will also support aviation companies looking to improve services to their clients through the most advanced technology, providing an end to end platform in a very fragmented global operator marketplace.”

XOJET

Regarding the XOJET acquisition, “The journey started when I first saw an opportunity in the fragmented and inconsistent offering across the industry. Vista Global’s mission is to provide customer-centric solutions for every segment of business aviation and today’s announcement is a major step in that direction,” said Thomas Flohr, Vista Global founder and chairman. “This acquisition is the perfect addition to our global business. XOJET’s strength in North America and its reputation for offering great value perfectly complement VistaJet and the other businesses in the group.”

Bradley Stewart, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of XOJET, said: “I am incredibly proud to be making today’s announcement, which will see our company become part of a fantastic family of brands. Becoming part of Vista Global will enable XOJET to achieve our dream of becoming a truly global business, providing us with the very best technology and infrastructure. I believe that Vista Global and XOJET are fundamentally aligned in our commitment to serving clients. I am looking forward to working with the Vista Global team and its companies in the future.”

XOJET and VistaJet’s full fleets are available in the Floating Fleet section  of FlightList PRO‘s multi-search platform along with all 533 floating fleet aircraft and 37 operators.  

XOJET will continue to operate independently, under a new joint venture company, with control and leadership remaining in US hands to meet airline ownership regulations. The carrier has a fleet of 44 business jets, which includes 27 Cessna Citation Xs.

The acquisition is a major step forward for Vista Global, allowing the group to build on its existing global offering and to reinforce its existing position in North America, the largest business aviation market in the world. Following today’s announcement and upon closing of the acquisition, Vista Global will have 1,500 employees in 20 offices worldwide according to its press release.

Corporate Jet Investor reports that 10 companies were originally interested in acquiring the company, with a final round of bidding including three companies. Shareholders first held talks during the 2017 NBAA convention.

XOJET’s largest shareholders were TPG, one of the world’s most-successful aviation investors, and Mubadalla, the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi. Although TPG was the largest shareholder, Mubadalla financed the fleet and held significant amounts of XOJET debt.

The acquisition price or other conditions has not been announced.

ARGUS says that XOJET flew 46,739 flight hours in the first six months of 2018. GAMA Aviation (which operates for itself and for membership provider Wheels Up) flew 72,885 hours followed by Executive Jet Management with 58,305 hours.

Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. There is no financing condition to the transaction. The transaction is currently expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018. XOJET’s regulated air carrier will be operated in a joint venture under U.S. control and leadership, in accordance with U.S. Department of Transportation criteria.


Sources:  Company Press Release and Corporate Jet Investor’s 9/20/18 article by Alud Davies.

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

FlightList PRO, at $90 for 3 users no contract, is a favorite of the most experienced charter brokers and travel professionals; 80% of FlightList PRO users have been arranging charters more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years.  Free trials available.

DOT Issuing Final Rule on Air Charter Brokers, Air Charter Industry

 The U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is issuing a Final Rule on the role of Air Charter Brokers and consumer disclosures applying to Air Charter Brokers, air taxis and commuter air carriers, and unfair or deceptive practices or unfair methods of competition.

Timeline; in 2007 the DOT published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), took public comments, and in 2013 issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and took public comments.

Published by document in the Federal Register Sept. 17, the DOT is issuing a Final Rule “to facilitate innovation and growth in the air charter industry while strengthening the legal protections provided to consumers of charter air transportation.”

The rule has a publish date of 09/17/2018 and becomes effective 02/14/2019.

DOT Final Rule Main Points

According to the document, the final rule:

  1. Codifies and allows ‘‘air charter brokers’’ as principals or bona fide agents to provide single entity charter air transportation of passengers.
  2. Requires air charter brokers to make certain disclosures including those responsive to a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendation and to make other disclosures upon request.
  3. Enumerates certain practices by air charter brokers as prohibited unfair or deceptive practices or unfair methods of competition.
  4. Requires air taxis and commuter air carriers that sell charter air transportation to make certain disclosures including those responsive to an NTSB recommendation and other disclosures upon request.
  5. enumerates certain practices by an air taxi or commuter air carrier as prohibited unfair or deceptive practices or unfair methods of competition.

According to the document, The DOT is not adopting a proposal to codify exemption authority allowing indirect air carriers to engage in the sale of air transportation related to air ambulance services. Nor is it adopting a proposal to codify certain air transportation services performed under contract with the Federal Government.

The DOT’s final rule document  includes each DOT-proposed rule, summary of comments on the rule, and the final DOT Response.  It is published here in the Federal Register with a date of 09/17/2018.  The pdf “official electronic format” is published here.


Source:  Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 180 / Monday, September 17, 2018 / Rules and Regulations

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

FlightList PRO, at $90 for 3 users no contract, is a favorite of the most experienced charter brokers and travel professionals; 80% of FlightList PRO users have been arranging charters more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years.  Free trials available.

Five Air Charter Brokers and Operators Named to 2018 Inc. 5000

Each year Inc. Magazine names the fastest-growing privately held small companies in the U.S., called the “Inc. 5000”.  The companies are ranked by overall revenue growth over the prior three-year period.  All 5,000 honoree companies are individually profiled on Inc.com.

Inc. also ranks the companies into sub-categories by industry, state, metro, city and others.

Five private air charter operator and broker companies were named to the 2018 Inc. 5000.  The below information is from the Inc. 5000, and shown in order of ranking, 3-year growth rate:

Luxury Aircraft Solutions
(charter broker) Provides private jet charter services, specializing in challenging itineraries at the industry’s lowest pricing.

  • 2018 Rank #2143
  • Leadership: Daniel Hirschhorn
  • 2017 Revenue $6.1M
  • 3-Year Growth 207%
  • Founded 2011 Employees 6

Premier Private Jets 
(charter operator) Specializes in chartered private aircraft, aircraft management, and pilot training.

  • 2018 Rank #2262
  • Leadership: Josh Birmingham
  • 2017 Revenue $6.3M
  • 3-Year Growth 195%
  • Founded 2003 Employees 20
  • A two-time Inc. 5000 honoree, 2017 – 2018

Paramount Business Jets
(charter broker) Offers private flights to and from any city in the world with as little as four hours of notice.

  • 2018 Rank #2550
  • Leadership: Richard Zaher
  • 2017 Revenue $15.4M
  • 3-Year Growth 168%
  • Founded 2005 Employees 20
  • A three-time Inc. 5000 honoree, 2013, 2014, 2018

Private Jets
(charter operator) Provides customer service worldwide in the aircraft charter industry. Serves as an aircraft charter operator for individuals as well as businesses nationwide.

  • 2018 Rank #2776
  • Leadership: Happy Wells
  • 2017 Revenue $17.4M
  • 3-Year Growth 149%
  • Founded 1987 Employees 50

Magellan Jets
(charter broker) Provides national and international charter jet flights. Offers private jet membership programs and other services for those who require a private jet when they are traveling. One of its perks is the low 10-hour notice that is required before a flight is booked.

  • 2018 Rank #3737
  • Leadership: Joshua Hebert
  • 2017 Revenue $38M
  • 3-Year Growth 98%
  • Founded 2008 Employees 35
  • A six-time Inc. 5000 honoree, 2013 – 2018

Sources:  Inc. 5000, Inc.com

FlightList PRO, at $90 for 3 users no contract, is a favorite of the most experienced charter brokers and travel professionals; 80% of FlightList PRO users have been arranging charters more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years.  Free trials available.

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

Jet Charter Broker PrivateFly Acquired by Directional Aviation

Directional Aviation, parent to subsidiary OneSky LLC – which holds fractional provider Flexjet and charter brokers Skyjet and Sentient Jet – announced yesterday the acquisition of U.K.-based online charter broker PrivateFly.

Launched in 2008, PrivateFly will combine with charter broker Skyjet, “to create one of the world’s largest online booking platforms for private jet charter, one with a robust digital platform and a physical geography and assets tailored for countries on four continents,” according to Directional’s press release.  No purchase price was disclosed.

The combined PrivateFly/Skyjet entity will have a presence in both the U.S. and Europe and will leverage OneSky’s existing assets and infrastructure.

OneSky’s Flexjet provides fractional jet ownership, leases and jet cards.  Sentient Jet sells jet cards exclusively.  Skyjet sells on-demand charter and a membership program.

Charter Alerts – current news about charter operators, brokers and aircraft – are posted by FlightList PRO, serving charter brokers and operators with the largest platform of aircraft in the U.S., Europe and worldwide.

For its part, PrivateFly acquired U.S.-based broker Bird Dog Jet last November bringing with it a preferred supplier relationship to the $23.7 billion Virtuoso network of luxury travel agencies.

PrivateFly co-founders Adam Twidell and Carol Cork will lead Skyjet/PrivateFly as CEO and chief marketing officer, respectively, a OneSky spokesman told Aviation International News.  They will both report to Andrew Collins, who is now the global brand manager for Skyjet, PrivateFly, and Sentient Jet, and also retains his title as president and CEO of Sentient Jet.

Directional Aviation also holds aircraft remanufacturer Nextant Aerospace as well as various parts, services, leasing, and aircraft finance businesses and was estimated to have $2.5 billion in revenues and 3,000 employees in 2017.

Directional has been growing through acquisitions domestically and abroad. It acquired Sentient Jet in 2012 and then Flexjet and Skyjet in 2013.  In 2016, it acquired U.K. charter operator FlairJet.  Directional principal Ken Ricci last year told Forbes.com, “What I see happening is opportunities overseas more – we are starting to see a shift to more opportunities outside the U.S. than within it.”


Sources:  Company press release, AIN, Forbes.com

FlightList PRO, at $90 for 3 users no contract, is a favorite of the most experienced charter brokers and travel professionals; 80% of FlightList PRO users have been arranging charters more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years.  Free trials available.

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

U.S. Charter Activity ‘Marches’ 7.7 Percent while Fractional Remains Anemic

Photo: charter jets on ramp with large cabin charter flight departing

Large cabin jet charters climbed 15% in March, year-over-year.  Photo courtesy New Flight Charters.

Part 135 flying led business aviation last month with a 15 percent climb in large cabin jet charters.

From Aviation International News 4/9/18:

Business aircraft flying in the U.S. and Canada continued its ascent last month, but the 2.6 percent year-over-year increase was once again almost solely due to rising Part 135 activity, according to TraqPak data released by Argus International. Weaker flying at the fractional providers and especially at Part 91 operators caused activity to miss the company’s estimate for a 4.2 percent increase in March; this month, it is expecting a 2.8 percent rise.

By operator category, Part 135 flying led the pack last month, climbing 7.7 percent year-over-year, while fractional activity ventured back into positive territory, with a 0.6 percent gain over March 2017. Part 91 activity also remained anemic, once again recording a slight loss, falling 0.4 percent from a year ago.

All aircraft categories saw increases last month, with large-cabin jets coming out ahead with a 4.7-percent year-over-year increase, despite a 20.4 percent erosion in fractional large-cabin jet flying. This was followed by midsize jets, up 4.4 percent; turboprops, 1.8 percent; and light jets, 0.2 percent.

The only double-digit gain in individual categories last month belonged to Part 135 large-cabin jets, which rose 15.1 percent from a year ago. All individual categories under Part 91 suffered losses, with the exception of large-cabin jets, which rose 4.5 percent.


Source:  AINalerts, Aviation International News announcement

FlightList PRO, at $90 for 3 users no contract, is a favorite of the most experienced charter brokers and travel professionals; 80% of FlightList PRO users have arranged charters more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years.  Free trials available.

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

2017 Results and 2018 Projections from 15 Air Charter Companies

Jet Charter Fleet

Photo courtesy New Flight Charters

Air charter activity is up worldwide according to data and anecdotal reports.  US and global economies are favorable and consumer sentiment is improving.  Recent US tax law changes are providing incentive and resources for business growth in the US and helping fuel the upward trend of business aviation for 2018.

We will let the industry speak for itself; from 15 air charter companies, organizations and individuals- compiled here are their own results, projections and commentary on business now and looking forward.

Jason Middleton, CEO, Silver Air

From January 18 Forbes.com:  “For us at Silver Air, the outlook for 2018 is great in pretty much all areas.  We are seeing aircraft sales go up, aircraft charter volume is going up, and charter clients are stepping up in the size of aircraft as well. We are seeing a particularly strong upswing in the Super Mid category. Aircraft like the Citation X and Challenger 300 are in high demand for charter.

PrivateFly

From company website and several online articles:  (PrivateFly acquired US broker Bird Dog Jet in 2017)  “PrivateFly has grown over 50% again in 2017, and we are looking to continue that growth path in 2018, in large part by U.S. expansion. We’ve grown both top line revenue and bottom line EBITDA as a profitable online platform in the digital space proving true viability. After opening our first US office in 2016, we’ve expanded our team with the recent takeover of Bird Dog Jet and received several new awards and accolades. These steps are just the beginning of our American growth, and we have big plans for 2018.”

Jamie Walker, President & CEO, Jet Linx Aviation

From January 18 Forbes.com:  “Our Jet Card business is growing at a strong and steady pace as more individuals realize the need for private aviation both in their business and leisure travel. Our average growth rate over the past five years has been 30% or more for both revenue and flight hours. I expect that business growth and utilization will continue to grow at 30% or more in 2018.

Overall, we’re seeing tremendous opportunities for growth in 2018 and beyond and are looking to expand to new markets on the east and west coasts, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Salt Lake City and San Jose.”

New Flight Charters

Leading charter brokerage New Flight Charters announced in a national release about current jet charter trends and results: 12.5% increase in charter business overall lead by growth in midsize, super-midsize and heavy jets (+16%), and also turboprops (+18%) in that growing charter market segment.  International charters increased by 40% in 2017, led by flights to the Caribbean and Mexico.  Drivers to the growth included improved pricing options with floating fleets, personnel/service level, and increased repeat clients.  January 2018, it reports, continued the same trends.  The company offers the industry’s only “best price guarantee” for jet charter pricing and quotes.

Sergey Petrossov, CEO, JetSmarter

From January 18 Forbes.com:  “Business is great. We grew over 100% in 2017 for revenue and over 150% in passengers flown. We expect to double again in size in 2018. For the market, we believe the sharing economy will consume private aviation all the way from aircraft ownership to single seat bookings, and consumers will use multiple biz jet solutions for their travel needs.”

Monarch Air Group

Monarch Air Group, an aircraft management company, charter operator and charter broker based in Texas and Florida, published predictions for 2018.

  1. New clients will experience flying private
  2. Charters will lead the business aviation growth
  3. Bitcoin as a payment method will be a must
  4. Diversification as the key to withstanding shaky economies
  5. Consolidation of the very light jet segment

ARGUS

ARGUS through AIN Online 2/5/18:
For the first quarter, Argus predicts a 5 percent jump in year-over-year business aircraft traffic. January will lead the gains with a 5.4 percent increase, with February and March up 4.8 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively. Overall, business aircraft flights in the first quarter are expected to number 759,169.

Business aviation flights in the U.S. and Canada topped 3 million last year, reaching that mark for the first time since 2008, according to a 2017 Business Aircraft Activity Review released by Argus International. The 30-page review, which details Argus TraqPak flight activity data in 2017, reports that business aviation flights increased 3.9 percent overall and flight hours jumped 5.5 percent over 2016.

Year-over-year gains were posted in every month of 2017, Argus said, adding that the improvements were fairly consistent throughout the year. Activity in the first half of 2017 was up 3.9 percent over the same period in 2016, while activity in the second half of 2017 was up 3.8 percent.

Part 135 operations enjoyed the greatest gains, rising 9.2 percent last year. This improvement was driven by Part 135 large-cabin jet operations, which led all increases in 2017 with a 14.9 percent jump. Fractional flights ended the year up 4.7 percent, while Part 91 flights inched up 0.1 percent in 2017. Increased Part 91 large-cabin and midsize jet flights—up 2.9 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively—offset a slide in Part 91 light jet flights, down 0.7 percent, and turboprop flights, down 1.3 percent.

Joe Moeggenberg, CEO, ARGUS

From January 18 Forbes.com:  “For the first time since 2008, flight activity reached over three million flights in 2017, an upward trend we expect to see into 2018 as our TRAQPak analysis forecasted flight activity for Q1 in 2018 to increase 5% year over year. In 2017, Part 135 activity saw the largest year over year operation category increase of over 9% and large cabin aircraft saw the largest year over year increase across the industry, up almost 15%.

Steve Orfali, CEO, Jetset Group Inc. and Wholesale Jet Club

From January 18 Forbes.com:  “We believe 2018 will be another very strong year for our companies. Jetset Group saw a 30% increase in business in 2017, and we project about the same in 2018. The economy continues to flourish, and we are seeing more and more people shift to private jet travel as a result of it. I believe we will see some rising fuel prices in 2018, which could bring up the pricing on charters, but that’s why many people opt for our jet cards. They have guaranteed rates with no fuel surcharges.”

Stratos Jet Charter

Charter broker Stratos Jet Charter is calling for growth in charter, 5 trends for 2018:

  1. New aircraft models hitting the market in 2018
  2. Busy weekends for air traffic
  3. More air travelers become jet card program members
  4. Continued growth in charter market

Gary Hammes, President, Delta Private Jets

From January 18 Forbes.com:  “Business is strong, and with current economic conditions and stock market patterns we are anticipating another record year in 2018. We continue to see strong demand for our product, especially in the corporate space.  We expect to grow our charter business 15-20% and we expect a 20% increase in Jet Card sales. As 2018 progresses, we will continue to expand our fleet by about 15 aircraft to meet growth targets and demand. We are developing an enhanced jet card product, and we recently launched our Sky Access membership program which offers access to empty legs and fixed hourly rate private jet travel.”

ACI jets

ACI Jet is an FBO, aircraft manager and charter operator based in Southern California with a charter fleet of 11 midsize through ultra long range jets.

From article in Paso Magazine:  “Known for its work as a Fixed Base Operator (FBO), ACI Jet has locations at airports in Orange County, Oceano, San Luis Obispo, and Paso Robles, but the company began when Bill Borgsmiller fueled his Piper Seneca III as the company’s first charter aircraft in 1998.

ACI Jet now employs 190 people, operates a fleet of private jet aircraft, and celebrates a banner year in 2017 with a 20-year anniversary and more growth in 2018.

“In this last year, one of the most exciting things is a new location in Orange County,” Borgsmiller said. “We are adding new aircraft to the fleet. There is big growth.”

In concert with the expansion at the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport, ACI Jet is building a 35,000-square-foot office complex, and an adjacent 25,000-square-foot hangar as its corporate headquarters on the grounds.”

Andrew Collins, CEO, Sentient Jet and Skyjet

From January 18 Forbes.com:  “We had an incredibly strong year at both Sentient Jet and Skyjet. Each brand saw growth in many of our key-performance measurements. We moved into new headquarters, launched new products, and pushed our brand and partnership visibility up a few notches.

I feel relatively bullish on 2018 within the major client markets that we serve, especially those in the financial sector. We’re projecting significant growth at both brands and seek to continue to push into new product categories and client segments.

Lastly, it feels like a number of upstarts that pursued significant growth models will continue to have industry visibility. However, unlike perhaps the past few years, they will have to mature their models to meet investor requests and demands and provide real insight into how they will scale and how they plan on truly impacting the private aviation buying segment.”

Greg Raiff, CEO, Private Jet Services (PJS) Group

From January 18 Forbes.com:  “Our corporate and leisure business was up year over year more than 100% when we compare 2016 to 2017. We expect that dynamic growth to continue in 2018, as the geometric increase in the number of private flyers globally, and the price efficiency of our solution gains broad recognition.”

Kenny Dichter, Founder and CEO, Wheels Up

From January 18 Forbes.com:  “Wheels Up is celebrating its 5th anniversary in 2018. We expect another banner year and to exit with 6,000 active members and a $400 million run rate with over 100 aircraft. We took delivery of our first three Citation Xs so we are now a three airplane type fleet. Wheels Up is revenue growing at over 35% per year, and we expect that kind of growth rate moving forward.”

 


Sources:  company announcements, press releases, articles, online media

FlightList PRO is used by the most successful and experienced brokers and travel professionals in the industry; 80% of users have arranged charters more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years.

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

Boeing Business Jet Coming to Unrestricted Charter Availability

Boeing Business Jet for charter with unrestricted availability, operated by Silver Air.

Boeing Business Jet for charter with unrestricted availability, operated by Silver Air.

US charter operator Silver Air announces the coming addition of a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) to its charter fleet, creating the nation’s only unrestricted charter availability on a world-class BBJ. Starting spring 2018, the new BBJ based in Southern California will begin serving global executive and entertainment markets.

Silver Air’s Boeing Business Jet has a 16-passenger VVIP cabin configuration. For overnight flights, a 10-passenger sleeping arrangement is available, complete with a master bedroom suite and private bathroom with shower.

The Boeing Business Jet is capable of flying more than 6,000 uninterrupted miles and is equipped with the amenities expected on an aircraft of this caliber including: global Wi-Fi, a VIP private office, lounge area, a full service galley with private chef services, and a high-end assortment of DEAN & DELUCA snacks and a selection of world class wines.

Boeing Business Jet cabin, operated by Silver Air with unrestricted availability.

Boeing Business Jet cabin, operated by Silver Air with unrestricted availability.

All 20 Silver Air charter aircraft are included ONLY in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform along with all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 operators worldwide automatically.

“This is an extremely unique opportunity for our charter clients to enjoy the ultimate private jet experience,” said Jason Middleton, Silver Air’s CEO. “Silver Air’s BBJ features the absolute highest level of service, luxury and comfort available in private aviation. There simply isn’t another charter operator in the country that has a BBJ of this caliber available on an unrestricted basis. It’s a game changer for Silver Air and our clients.”

Silver Air manages privately owned aircraft from Southern California to the Bay Area and Dallas. In addition to the newly signed Boeing Business Jet, Silver Air’s fleet includes light to large-cabin jets: Gulfstream GIV-SP, GIV, Dassault Falcon 2000, G200, Challenger 300, Phenom 100, Citation CJ3, Citation CJ2, and Citation X models.

The company’s charter fleet now numbers 20 aircraft, from turboprops to the new Boeing Business Jet.  The operator has acquired the ARGUS Platinum and IS-BAO ratings, and is a member of the Air Charter Safety Foundation.


Source:  company press release

FlightList PRO is used by the most successful and experienced brokers and travel professionals in the industry; 80% of users have arranged charters more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years.

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

New Private Jet Charter Empty Legs Listing Nationwide Announced by New Flight Charters

Largest Public Listing includes over 150 Jet Charter Empty Legs Nationwide Sourced and Published by Top-Rated Jet Charter Brokerage.

New Flight Charters, a charter aircraft owner and leader in the private jet charter space since 2004, in a news release has announced the largest public listing of empty legs in the jet charter industry.  The company now is listing over 150 upcoming and available empty legs from U.S. private charter aircraft.

EMPTY LEGS

Hawker 800XP jet charter with New Flight Charters at Jackson Hole, WY airport.

Hawker 800XP jet charter with New Flight Charters at Jackson Hole, WY airport.

Also known as dead-heads or ferry flights, empty legs are flights without passengers on board when an aircraft needs to be moved.  Often a private charter jet will have empty leg flights associated with an existing flight schedule- when it needs to move to another location to start a charter, or return back to base after completing a charter, or the same situations for its owner flights.

These empty legs, when an aircraft needs to fly a certain direction, can be a unique opportunity for a low-cost jet charter.  Aircraft can be re-routed to accommodate a charter flight need.  For example, an empty leg from Houston to Denver can be rerouted for a Dallas to Aspen charter at a much lower than normal cost.

RATES

Rates can vary since each empty leg charter is unique, but pricing is typically 30-50% lower than standard charter quotes.

Examples from the current Empty Legs Listing of 150 flights include:·

  • Jackson Hole, WY – Denver, CO, Hawker 400XT light jet, December 19, $6,800
  • Boca Raton, FL – Teterboro, NJ, Embraer Legacy 600 large jet, December 21, $15,450
  • Sun Valley, ID – Los Angeles, CA, Phenom 300 light jet, December 22, $6,900
  • New York, NY – Palm Beach, FL, Citation CJ3 light jet, December 27, $10,600
  • Los Angeles, CA – Aspen, CO, Gulfstream IV large jet, December 31, $13,950

“When an empty leg matches up with a flight need, there is no better value in private flying,” commented Rick Colson, New Fight Charters’ president.  “Working with the largest charter availability in the industry we use a variety of tools to source ideal aircraft options for any given charter request.”

FLOATING FLEETS

All Floating Fleets are listed only in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform along with all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide. 

Floating Fleets are a second attractive and lower cost solution.  A fast-growing option in private jet charter is utilizing a non-based Floating Fleet aircraft for better one-way pricing, point-to-point.  These can be available in all parts of the U.S., for all types of flying, from shorter one-hour flights to coast-to-coast and international flights.  Floating Fleet aircraft do not have to return to a base, and thus can be more cost-effective charter options.

334 floating fleet jets are available nationwide through New Flight Charters; all sizes from light jets to ultra long-range jets such as the Global 5000.  Charter quotes for these floating fleet aircraft are typically 15-30% less than traditional based aircraft.

Any requested charter need can be fully customized for aircraft, size, type, and amenities along with desired ratings or registrations from ARGUSÒ, Wyvern Ltd.Ò, IS-BAO or the Air Charter Safety Foundation.

About New Flight Charters

Since 2004 charter aircraft owner and leading U.S. private jet charter brokerage New Flight Charters has arranged private domestic and international flights with top-rated operator aircraft along with its jet charter pricing Best Price Guarantee, top aircraft availability, industry empty legs list, and a perfect safety history. As a registered U.S. government contractor with an A+ rating by the BBB, and named to the Inc.500 fastest growing list four consecutive years, the jet charter company handles 1,400 flights annually nationwide and serves a wide variety of clientele including Fortune 500 companies, government heads of state, presidential campaigns, entertainment icons, private families and entrepreneurs. Extensive client reviews and industry ratings are available on the New Flight Charters website.

For charter quotes or information nationwide, call (800) 732-1653.

Colorado private charter information and quotes for Denver, Aspen, Vail, Telluride and more can be found at Jet Charter Colorado.  For private jet charter information to and from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, see Jackson Hole Jet Charter.  The nationwide jet charter aircraft listing can be found at Jet Charter Review.


Source:  company press release

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.  FlightList PRO is used by the most successful and experienced brokers and travel professionals in the industry; 80% of users have arranged charters more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years. 

Global Charter Operator Zetta Jet Calls It Quits

International long range jet operator Zetta Jet ceased operations yesterday, Nov. 30, according to court documents.  Zetta Jet owned and operated a fleet of branded Global 6000’s and Challenger 650’s and focused on the Asia-Pacific-US region, and had been embroiled in internal lawsuits and a Chapter 11 filing which is now moving to Chapter 7 proceedings.  The operator is turning over it’s air carrier certificate to the U.S. FAA according to reports.

zetta jet charter operator backruptsy

Global air charter operator Zetta Jet ceased operations November 30. A reliable source said the company is leaving its fleet of Bombardier Challengers and Globals parked where they are at the end of the day. (Photo: David McIntosh/AIN)

Aviation International News, by Kerry Lynch, Nov. 30

Just a few weeks after believing that it had lined up $8.5 million in post Chapter 11 petition financing, international air charter operator Zetta Jet is ceasing operations today and turning over its air operator’s certificate to the U.S. FAA. Court documents show that the trustee in the Zetta Jet bankruptcy case, Jonathan King, a partner and co-chair of DLA Piper’s white collar, corporate crime and investigations practice, has asked the court for a change from Chapter 11 proceedings to Chapter 7 proceedings. The change to liquidation came after the U.S. Court apparently denied Zetta Jet’s bid for new financing, a decision that was said to have come as a surprise.

Zetta Jet had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September after ousting managing director Geoffery Cassidy. Zetta Jet in mid-November announced it had arranged financing from existing lessor Scout Aviation II and said it hoped to secure a buyer for the company.

The Zetta Jet brand was launched a little more than two years ago and had become one of the fastest-growing charter operators in the Asia-Pacific region with a fleet of Bombardier Globals and Challengers. Although it was originally a Singapore-based company, the bankruptcy proceedings were filed in U.S. courts. The U.S. branch was built up following a merger less than a year ago with aircraft management specialist Advanced Air Management.


Source:  AIN article news article
Copyrights held by Aviation International News (AIN)

The FlightList PRO multi-search platform, the world’s largest, includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  FlightList PRO is used by the most experienced brokers and travel professionals in the industry; 80% of users have arranged charters more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years.  Access to the multi-search platform for 3 users is just $90/month-to-month.

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

Charter Ratings for Operators, Brokers, Examined in Industry Article

Aviation International News (AIN) today published an article under their ‘Charter & Fractional’ news category, about the state of third-party charter safety ratings and certifications for operators and brokers in the air charter industry.

The article explores the confusing nature of various ratings by different charter ratings firms, and the “myriad logos, seals and badges received from charter rating firms” displayed by operators and brokers.

The story includes ARGUS, Wyvern and the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) and stems from a November 2017 NTSP report about the fatal crash of a chartered Hawker 700 operated by Execuflight, which held Argus Gold and Wyvern Registered charter ratings.

Are Charter Ratings Worth their Weight in Gold?

Since then, Wyvern changed the name of its non-audited rating to “Registered with Wyvern data network.” It has also posted the following disclaimer on its website: “Membership in the Registered with Wyvern data network does not constitute a safety certification nor is it intended to imply an endorsement of an operator’s commitment to best practices in business aviation.”

All 4 industry safety ratings and registries are included ONLY in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform along with all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 operators worldwide.

Wyvern CEO Art Dawley added, “Knowing that the operator has chosen not to be audited and certified in the Wingman program, the data network allows customers to assess alternative criteria that allows them to set their own level of acceptable risk. Wyvern does not rate companies; if operators pass our criteria during an on-site audit, they receive Wingman certification.”

Contrary to Wyvern, Cincinnati, Ohio-based Argus has several operator ratings, and because it does—especially its two programs that allow charter operators to use round-shaped gold seals in their marketing materials and websites—president and CEO Joe Moeggenberg said he understands why some people have been confused. He didn’t argue that the average charter customer might incorrectly assume that a gold rating means its a gold-standard charter operator. The company offers Gold, Gold Plus and Platinum ratings.

To earn the Gold rating, operators volunteer info and Argus does historical safety analysis, pilot background checks and operational control validation. Argus’s Gold Plus is the result of an on-site audit, but the operator doesn’t meet the high standards of its top-tier Platinum rating or chooses not to fix “non-safety” issues within 120 days.

When asked why the company still offers Gold Plus since the Platinum rating far exceeds FAA minimums, Moeggenberg said, “Operators that choose not to have a safety management system [SMS] or an emergency response plan [ERP] can become Gold Plus. It’s not required by the FAA that Part 135 operators have an SMS or an ERP.”

There are also several scenarios where an operator might be downgraded from Platinum to Gold Plus status. One of these is when an operator “has parts of a SMS implemented within its company but chooses not to train employees in the fundamentals of the SMS,” he told AIN.

Moeggenberg also said that if an operator “does not have a hazard reporting system in every area of the company,” then that operator would become Gold Plus rated. He noted, “All industry best practices and regulatory requirements have some degree of safety impact for an operator.”

As of early October, Moeggenberg said Argus has completed its click-through software so consumers of operators or brokers can verify the status of ratings in real time. “We’re in the process of notifying our customers,” he said. Wyvern has already had this verifying process available for several years.

According to Dawley, Wyvern’s database includes approximately 2,026 Part 135 operators, though that number changes daily. He said there are 21,471 commercial and airline transport rated pilots in the Wyvern database. The number of operators that can be referenced in the Wingman Certified Directory was approximately 120 at press time. Moeggenberg reported there are currently 154 audited on-demand charter operators in his company’s system.

BROKER PROGRAMS

In addition, Argus has two charter broker rating programs—registered and certified, the latter via on-site audit. However, some of its criteria is confusing. For example, Argus’s Gold Plus audited charter operators aren’t required to have an ERP, yet certified charter brokers are expected to have this program.

“To start, a [brokerage] company is required to provide adequate documentation to determine the legitimacy of business, such as articles of incorporation; how that business is conducted, employee and operations manuals; what protections are in place for consumers; contracts; terms and conditions; and insurance,” Moeggenberg said. “They are also required to sign the Baltic Air Charter Association pledge.”

He said if the broker meets the standards of the evaluation, it’s considered Argus Registered. An Argus Certified Broker undergoes an onsite audit after completing the registration process.

“This audit verifies the information gained during the registration process, but also evaluates a broker’s due diligence process, how well its ERP is designed and how knowledgeable the brokers are in their market, among other things,” Moeggenberg explained.

Both Wyvern and the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) mandate that operators have a fully implemented SMS and an ERP. As well, neither has a broker program.

Russ Lawton, ACSF’s director of safety management aviation/safety action program, said, “The ACSF does not conduct the audits. Instead, it trains and accredits audit organizations. There are at present two accredited audit organizations: Argus and R. Dixon Speas Associates. The listing of current [15] audited companies is listed on ACSF’s website.”

Lawton added that the ACSF does not offer any “ratings, certifications or reviews for non-audited companies.”

As for not having a broker program, Dawley said, “It is a non-regulated industry with little oversight and guidance, which makes assessing any individual or company against a globally accepted benchmark challenging. There are no globally accepted benchmarks or requirements of which Wyvern is aware.”

AINonline article here


Source:  AIN article news article
Copyrights held by Aviation International News (AIN)

All four main industry safety program ratings and registries are included by operator ONLY in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform, which includes all worldwide 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators.  FlightList PRO is used by the most successful and experienced brokers and travel professionals in the industry; 80% of users have arranged charters more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years.

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

Sunwing Travel Group Adds Private Jet Service

Photo: SunwingJets

The Sunwing Travel Group, based in Toronto, announced yesterday it has added a new line of business to its corporate portfolio with the introduction of “SunwingJets”, a luxury private jet service, according to a company release.

Customers can select from a fleet ranging from economical turboprops to executive class luxury jets comfortably accommodating up to 15 passengers.

According to the company, SunwingJets’ Concierge Service offers 24/7 service and a personalized inflight experience featuring a broad range of amenities and dining options.

The full 9-aircraft fleet of Flightexec is ONLY available in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform along with all 16,631 charter aircraft worldwide.  Free 30-day trials are available.

SunwingJets is operated by Toronto-based charter operator, Flightexec, according to the SunwingJets website.  Flightexec operates a fleet of 9 charter aircraft including piston, turboprop, light jet, midsize and heavy Jets.

Sunwing Travel Group says it offers a variety of options to suit all budgets.  The company has been increasing its luxury product offering with the continued expansion of Royalton All-In Luxury™ resorts and a variety of vacation upgrade options ranging from private transfers to presidential suites.

“We’ve seen an increase in demand for luxury travel products and in particular private jet charter service from our corporate affiliates across the sports, music, and financial sectors, as well as our retail partners specializing in meeting, incentive, and destination weddings”, said Stephen Hunter, CEO & President of Sunwing Travel Group, adding “we are pleased to be able to address this demand and feel this service is a great complement to our existing suite of luxury products”.

Sunwing Travel Group is a privately owned, vertically integrated travel company headquartered in Toronto. The group operates an airline, three tour operators, a retail chain and destination management company.


Source:  company press release and website

All 822 Canadian charter aircraft and 197 operators in Canada are available ONLY in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform which includes all worldwide 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators.  FlightList PRO is used by the most successful and experienced brokers and travel professionals in the industry; 80% of users have arranged charters more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years.

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

Charter Floating Fleet Operator flyExclusive Plans Rapid Growth

After Delta acquisition, aviation entrepreneur charts growth with new airline

Seven years after selling his private jet service to Delta Air Lines, aviation entrepreneur Jim Segrave is “getting the band back together” in Kinston.

His new charter company, LGM Enterprises, is doing business as flyExclusive at Global Transpark. And it involves many of the same employees that helped him build Segrave Aviation, purchased by Delta subsidiary Delta AirElite in 2010 for an undisclosed sum.

This time, however, Segrave is doing things a bit differently. “We own all our own planes, for one,” he says.

To cover the costs, LGM has closed on $315,000 in debt capital, part of an offering capped at $2.5 million, according to a securities filing disclosed May 3rd.

flyExclusive and its 20-aircraft fleet are included in the Floating Fleets section of FlightList PRO‘s multi-search platform along with all 232 floating fleet aircraft and 14 operators.  Get your free 30-day trial here.

The 2-year-old firm already has a fleet of more than 20 airplanes, according to Segrave. He says flyExclusive adds a plane every two to three weeks.

While the first company had 17 different types of jets in its fleet, the new firm has just two. He says standardization means all of his pilots can fly all of his planes – giving him scheduling flexibility.

Editor note: The fleet currently includes 7 Citation CJ2 light jets, and 13 Citation Excel/XLS aircraft, all model year 2000-2008.  flyExclusive was recently highlighted in a previous charter alert as now being approved for the ARGUS Platinum rating.

Segrave says the business model is working. FlyExclusive targets high net-worth individuals, business executives and families. Already, the company averages about 1,500 hours per month in the air, with about a $60 million annual run rate, he adds. The goal is to increase the fleet to 50 airplanes “as fast as I can do it,” he explains. “It will probably take me two years.”

The firm has 110 employees.

Article in Triangle Business Journal here


Previous Charter Alert about flyExclusive, 7/14/17


Sources:  Article in Triangle Business Journal, public information

All 20 flyExclusive charter aircraft are available in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform which includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  FlightList PRO is used by the most successful and experienced brokers and travel professionals in the industry; 80% of users have arranged charters more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years.

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

How To Make Money With Airplanes- Management, Jet Cards, Charter: Operator Jet Linx Reaches 100 Aircraft at 14 Bases, 38 Added in 2016

Jet management company and charter operator Jet Linx reaches 100-aircraft milestone

Jet Linx charter operator management company

“A hundred airplanes is a phenomenal benchmark,” said Jet Linx President and CEO Jamie Walker. Photo: Matt Miller/The World-Herald

The trick to making money with airplanes is to not own them.

Jet Linx learned that lesson four years after the Omaha company started in 1999, giving up ownership of its jets and shifting to aircraft management and a private jet travel card service.

Now, Jet Linx is celebrating its 100th managed jet — actually, the fleet stands at 101 today — and ranks No. 3 in the highly fragmented industry of managing and renting out expensive air vehicles as a service to their owners.

“A hundred airplanes is a phenomenal benchmark,” said Jet Linx President and CEO Jamie Walker.

He hosted about 400 clients, staff members, vendors and others for supper at downtown Omaha’s Blatt Beer & Table restaurant, followed by a private concert by the band Smash Mouth at Slowdown.

No. 1 in managed fleet size is Executive Jet Management, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway’s NetJets. No. 2 is Gama Aviation, based in Hampshire, England.

Jet Linx added 38 aircraft last year and is headed for 110 by the end of 2017. Walker attributed that growth, about 30 percent a year in revenue, to the people running its network of 14 local private airport terminals, alongside the 95-member staff at its operational headquarters in Omaha.

From pilots to airplane polishers, Jet Linx has 485 employees.

Members of the Jet Linx local Omaha FBO team, with their Hawker 800XP midsize jet and crew.  Photo: Jet Linx

Joe Moeggenberg, president and CEO of air travel data company ARGUS International of Cincinnati, said Jet Linx’s local network is a unique structure in private jet management, an industry with 2,300 businesses, nearly all of them tiny, that manage private jet airplanes.

Jet Linx — an ARGUS customer — has a cost advantage because most of its flights start or end at its network cities, Moeggenberg said, meaning fewer expensive empty-cabin flights.

Aside from a few jets managed exclusively for their owners, Jet Linx’s card customers can book any of the airplanes made available at the owners’ discretion.

Jet Linx handles fueling, maintenance, safety checks, hangar storage and other services, including employing pilots, as well as scheduling and tracking flights for Jet Linx’s card members, more than 200 in Omaha and 1,300 total.

All 79 Jet Linx charter aircraft nationwide are included in FlightList PRO‘s multi-search platform along with all all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  Free 30-day trials available here.

Card members are guaranteed hourly rates — $3,500 to $8,500, depending on the size of the plane — as well as flight access and safety standards, Walker said. Their travel fees cover Jet Linx’s costs and supply revenue for the aircraft owners, often cutting net operating costs by 50 percent.

But no matter how well you manage costs, Walker said, there’s an industry truism: “You cannot make money owning an airplane.”

Besides operating expenses, aircraft prices are high, especially for long-range aircraft.

Jet Linx’s fleet includes seven-passenger Beechjet 400s that can travel 1,400 miles on a tank of fuel, often priced around $700,000, and 14-passenger, $20 million-plus Gulfstream 450s with a 5,000-mile range.

Walker said some businesses would end their company flight operations if they had to absorb all the costs. By bringing in revenue from travel card customers they can keep the convenience and time savings that jets offer.

Besides Omaha, Jet Linx’s local offices are in Atlanta; Dallas; Denver; Detroit; Forth Worth, Texas; Houston; Indianapolis; Nashville, Tennessee; St. Louis; San Antonio; Scottsdale, Arizona; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C.

Jet Linx is majority owner of each location, with a local partner as minority owner.

“We need somebody locally who gives us that credibility and trust and support in that community,” Walker said, plus contacts to recruit as travel card members.

Besides reduced “dead-head” flight costs, he said, the terminals provide local-style, personalized service for card members and aircraft owners. The local Jet Linx partner typically becomes “the jet guy” in each city, he said.

Later this year Jet Linx’s local offices will celebrate the 100-aircraft landmark. Jet Linx was founded by Denny Walker, Jamie’s father and now chairman. He is former head of MemberWorks Inc., an Omaha-based card membership company. Jamie Walker said Jet Linx has room to grow, with plans to open about two locations a year. He said another dozen or so U.S. cities meet Jet Linx’s requirements for airport services and other standards.

The Omaha World-Herald is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

By: , 6/26/17.  Article in the Omaha World-Herald here.


All 79 Jet Linx charter aircraft are available in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform which includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  FlightList PRO is used by the most successful and experienced brokers and travel professionals in the industry; 80% of users have arranged charters more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years.

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

Two Popular US Charter Operators Now ARGUS Platinum

Two popular US charter operators now carry the ARGUS Platinum rating, the highest designation available from the aviation services and safety organization, ARGUS.  With this, 31 more aircraft spanning both US coasts, have the Platinum designation.

The two-year-old operator flyExclusive with its fast growing floating fleet has become a major player in the one-way pricing charter market nationwide.

Operating a defined fleet of seventeen jets, consisting of eleven midsize Citation Excels and six Citation CJ2 light jets, flyExclusive is included in both the Aircraft Search and the Floating Fleets sections of FlightList PRO’s multi-search platform, along with all 14 floating fleet operators and 232 aircraft.


Founded in 2006, Latitude 33 Aviation manages the largest and newest fleet of light jets in the United States according to a company press release. Headquartered at KCRQ McClellan-Palomar Airport in Southern California, Latitude 33 Aviation is convenient to San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and surrounding areas.

Operating a total of fourteen aircraft for charter, Latitude 33 offers seven Citation CJ3 and CJ3+, and four other Citations; M2, CJ4, XLS and Sovereign.  Rounding out the current fleet are a Phenom 100 and two Phenom 300’s.  All are manufacturing dates of 2005 or newer.

The fleet is based in Southern and Central California, the majority in the Los Angeles and San Diego area, including 9 at KCRQ Palomar Airport, Carlsbad, CA, a northern Suburb of San Diego.

The full fleets of flyExclusive and Latitude 33 are only available in  FlightList PRO‘s multi-search platform, the only source including all Part-135 certified charter aircraft and operators in the US and worldwide.  Free 30-day access is available here.


Currently worldwide, 1,698 charter, cargo and ambulance aircraft with 134 operators carry the ARGUS Platinum rating, 1,372 aircraft and 109 operators are in the United States.

ARGUS International, Inc. is one of four main aircraft operations safety services and registration organizations, and has the largest number of operators subscribing.

Other major safety services organizations include Wyvern Ltd., Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF), and the International Business Aircraft Council (IBAC).

flyExclusive and Latitude 33 both also carry the Wyvern Registered designation.


Other Charter Alert about Latitude 33, 9/29/16


Source:  Company press releases, news and public information

All 4 major safety standard organizations and 6 operator ratings are included by operators in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform which includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  FlightList PRO is used by the most successful and experienced brokers and travel professionals in the industry; 80% of users have arranged charters more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years.

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

The Future For Charter – XOJET, Part 3

By Alasdair WhyteJune 16, 2017, Corporate Jet Investor


Part 1 – An overview and brief history of XOJet touching on its strategic goals and fleet
Part 2 – The Six Principals of Owned Charter


Part 3

The future for charter

With XOJET, his consultancy background and a place on the JetSmarter board, CEO Brad Stewart has a wide view of the US business aviation market. He also spends a lot of time thinking about it.

“There are three key themes at the moment,” says Stewart. “Private airlines like Surf Air or JetSuiteX offering fixed schedules; digital brokerage like JetSmarter, Victor and others; and plane sharing.”

He is not convinced all of them will necessarily succeed. “As a former consultant to United I know how tough the airline market is. Airlines have trouble making money when they cannot fill aircraft. It is much harder with five or six passengers and smaller aircraft,” says Stewart. “But we are not in this market so I don’t know how big it can become.”

Stewart is also unsure if selling individual seats on other routes will work.

“Plane sharing is still unknown.”

“Plane sharing is still unknown. It seems to work on some fixed routes but I am not sure how big this,” says Stewart. “But we are seeing JetSmarter and Wheels Up try it.”

Although he is watching new business models closely he does not see any direct competitors. “We operate in a very different market. Our customers are prepared to pay more for a whole aircraft and have customers with very different requirements,” says Stewart.

XOJet and its 41-aircraft fleet are included in both the Aircraft Search and the Floating Fleets sections of FlightList PRO‘s multi-search platform along with all 232 floating fleet aircraft and 14 operators.  Free 30-day trials available here.

But he is convinced that digital brokers will shape the industry.  “Digital brokerage is the idea that customers can push a button and get a jet. This is happening. This is a real thing. You have to have an app and online offering.”

JetSmarter announced what it called a strategic partnership with XOJET in 2016. JetSmarter favours XOJET aircraft when its customers charter mid-size aircraft and JetSmarter is developing an app for XOJET customers. Significant XOJET customers – ones spending more than $200,000 a year – also get free membership of JetSmarter.

Stewart is a member of JetSmarter’s board and believes that tech company is not understood by many in the market. “JetSmarter is first and foremost a digital story and secondly a plane story,’ he says. “JetSmarter is the undisputed leader in business aviation.

Private equity typically does not hold on for 10 years but Stewart says that XOJET’s investors  and co-owners TPG and Mubadala are prepared to wait.  “TPG is a wonderful investor,” he says. “We are responsible for getting a great return but there is no pressure for us to sell.” He is an adviser to TPG on aviation and points to its investment in TMC as its support for the sector.

“I am not the sort of person who is jealous of someone with a washboard stomach.

He laughs when asked if he is  jealous of JetSmarter’s valuation. “I am not the sort of person who is jealous of someone with a washboard stomach. My parents taught me to be happy with what I have and I am very proud of XOJET.”

He adds: “It is fantastic being responsible for a whole enterprise. I wake up in the morning and go to run a $500 million business with thousands of clients who are interesting people. It is also satisfying seeing how the business has changed,” says Stewart, “and we have not reached our full potential yet.”

By Alasdair Whyte, Corporate Jet Investor

Part 3 of 3


Source:  Alasdair Whyte, Corporate Jet Investor, 6/16/17

All 41 XOJet charter aircraft are available in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform which includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  FlightList PRO is used by the most successful and experienced brokers and travel professionals in the industry; 80% of users have arranged charters more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years.

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

The Six Principals of Owned Charter – XOJET, Part 2

By Alasdair WhyteJune 16, 2017, Corporate Jet Investor


Part 1 was an overview and brief history of XOJet touching on its strategic goals and fleet.


Part 2

The six principles of owned charter

The majority of aircraft that are used for charter in the US are owned by individuals or companies that make them available when they do not need them. This means that most charter companies do not worry about ownership costs. XOJET is one of a relatively small number of charter operators that own aircraft.

Despite ownership costs, XOJET CEO Brad Stewart believes that there are benefits from an owned fleet.  As a former management consultant, he has identified six principles that an owner-operator needs to be profitable. These are: a closed loop network; a floating fleet; high utilization; direct distribution to customers; dynamic pricing; and scale advantages. Although he highlights that these principles may not work for new aircraft.

XOJET meets all of these tests.

More than 80% of passengers on XOJET aircraft come from its own sales team, including its programs. The company says that it sold more than 950 programs in 2016. This program includes Preferred Access (for a refundable $100,000 deposit); Elite Access (guaranteeing availability at 12 hour notice for $200,000 deposit and $8,500 hourly fee including fees and surcharges); and an Enterprise Access for corporates.

In the last few years, XOJET has also added sales offices in New York and Los Angeles to boost its direct sales. It is also about to open a new office in Palm Beach, Florida. This is on top of its headquarters in San Francisco and an operations centre in Sacramento.

XOJet and its 41-aircraft fleet are included in the Floating Fleets section of FlightList PRO‘s multi-search platform along with all 232 floating fleet aircraft and 14 operators.  Free 30-day trials available here.

Most of the 20% of passengers that it does not sell directly come from charter bookings made from broker Sentient Jet (part of Directional Capital) and JetSmarter – both XOJET preferred partners.

XOJET boosts its utilization by not basing aircraft at one airport and having just two types (this also saves on crew and maintenance costs).

He believes any owner-operator needs a minimum of 15 aircraft. XOJET now has a fleet of 41 super midsize aircraft (GMJ has another six). In January 2017 TPG also acquired TMC, which had been XOJET’s preferred travel provider for a number of years. TMC has another 55 aircraft. He does not plan to order any more aircraft for XOJET soon.

He has no plans to launch XOJET outside the US but he is keen to add aircraft management – something the company stopped focusing on in 2006.

“We have clients who are flying a lot and we can help advise them on the pros and cons of owning an aircraft versus program,” says Stewart. “We have a fantastic platform and can offer owners great service. And it fits into our advisory strength.”

He says that the company can launch management itself but is also interested in acquiring significant management companies.

By Alasdair Whyte, Corporate Jet Investor

Part 2 of 3


Source:  Alasdair Whyte, Corporate Jet Investor, 6/16/17

All 41 XOJet charter aircraft are available in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform which includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  FlightList PRO is used by the most successful and experienced brokers and travel professionals in the industry; 80% of users have arranged charters more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years.

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.