With the well documented issues in commercial flying more and more people have found reasons to turn to private aircraft.
There are a variety of options to consider. The starting point is how often you want to fly privately.
Once you reach about 50 hours of flying a year then fractional aircraft ownership can start to make sense and above 300 or so hours per year whole ownership is worth looking into. Here is some core information to help you understand the options.
All of the major providers have expanded over the last few years. Many now offer a wide range of products and solutions to meet the needs of various clients. If you're looking at the different options and would like a good general overview then download our free Guide to Private Aviation, which includes details on charter, jet cards and fractional ownership. For detailed side by side comparisons of the leading jet card and fractional providers, and a directory of charter operators, then sign up for membership.
The latest news and research on private jets and aircraft is included below.
For customers looking for a more customized solution for their next jet card, Magellan Jets has just announced a new "Build-A-Card" program. The system allows customers to choose their own preferences to put together the perfect option for their specific traveling needs. Customers are offered a variety of options to choose from for jet category, amount of hours, and two additional add-ons, including no peak surcharge and 1.5 hour minimums.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has recently released their 2013 General Aviation Statistical Databook & 2014 Industry Outlook. The report included data on sales of new business jets in 2013, which showed a small 0.9% increase in the number of planes sold, from 672 in 2012 to 678 in 2013.
JETNET, a provider of corporate aviation data and information, recently released 2013 year-end results for the pre-owned business jet, business turboprop, helicopter and commercial airliner markets. The data continues to show a buyer's market, but with a continued drop in for-sale inventories across all pre-owned market sectors with the exception of turbine helicopters.
Private jet company, Nicholas Air, was founded in 1997 by Nicholas Correnti as an aircraft management company. Over the years, they've added an array of private jet programs, including a jet card, a fractional jet share, and an aircraft lease program. Nicholas Air operates in and out of 9,000+ airports in the US, and has had 17-years of accident-free operations. Their fleet of Pilatus PC-12s, Phenom 100s, and Phenom 300s are 5 years or newer and allow customers to choose the most economical aircraft for their mission.
In December 2013, American Airlines and USAirways finalized their merger, which made them the nation's largest commercial air carrier. Following the recent mergers of United and Continental, and Delta and Northwest, the United States now has three major air carriers, offering 70% of seats in the US. These changes, along with the January 2014 implementation of FAA Rule 117 (Flightcrew Member Duty and Rest Requirements) have combined to make private aviation even more appealing to consumers concerned with convenience.
While commercial airlines continue to cut back on food and beverage options available to passengers, private aircraft travelers have numerous options for meals and snacks aboard their flight. SherpaReport had the opportunity to talk with Manda Redfern, Flight Options Catering Services Manager, and Marialena Barnard, Sentient’s Senior Manager of Client Operations, about the options their companies offer owners and clients.
Every year, tens of thousands of companies use private aviation services, including private jets, turboprops and helicopters. While many may think that the typical passenger is a senior manager from a Fortune 500 company, the truth is, those travelers are actually in the minority of private aviation customers.
In announcing results for last year, Sentient Jet saw key metrics rise to levels not seen since 2008. The company sold over 32,000 hours in 2013, which is the equivalent of more than 1,300 25-Hour Jet Cards, and grew revenue to more than $150 million.
While private jets provide much more flexibility for travelers than flying commercial, sometimes that still isn't flexible enough. Travelers flying in the Boston to Washington DC corridor, who need the flexibility of landing on a heliport or private landing spot may consider a helicopter charter, fractional ownership, or flight card from Associated Aircraft Group (AAG). AAG, which has been in business for over 20 years, started offering fractional helicopters in 1999. They have nine Sikorsky S-76 six- and seven-passenger cabin helicopters, that can be booked 24/7, 365 days per year.