Fractional and jet card provider NetJets recently shared a review of 2021 and predictions for 2022, commenting on the “unprecedented flight demand” which “fueled extreme growth and innovation” but also “caused a ripple of new challenges across the industry.” The company is currently operating at 30% more flight volume than prior to the pandemic. One key aspect that NetJets noted is that “we hope to return to selling our full product lineup by spring.”
Sales Were Paused in 2021
Last summer NetJets initially paused sales on its light jet fleet and then soon extended this pause to cover all new jet card sales across the whole range of aircraft. At the time NetJets said that the pause “allows us to continue prioritizing what is most important - delivering the best possible experience to all Owners.” Requests for new jet cards have been placed on a waitlist, which has now grown to number over 2,000. The company also subsequently paused share and lease sales for immediate access, which resulted in further relief of demand on the fleet.
Sales Restart in Spring
NetJets told SherpaReport “While the exact timeline of when specific programs will be available is still taking shape, we hope to begin offering NetJets Cards, NetJets Leases, and NetJets Shares again in the spring. Please note, because our focus will remain, above all, on safety and service, some programs may be offered on a very limited basis.”
Aircraft and Staff Additions
To allow the sales restart NetJets has been adding both aircraft and staff. In 2021 they added 55 aircraft, and have plans to acquire more than 75 new aircraft in 2022. Their first Global 7500, a new flagship and Bombardier’s 1,000th Global, was delivered in December with more to be delivered in 2022.
2021 also saw more than 630 staff additions, 300+ of whom are pilots, with more hires planned for 2022.
To put the increased level of demand in another perspective, NetJets say they flew over 600,000 passengers in 2021, compared to over 500,000 in 2019. They have “also noticed the lines between business and leisure travel have become quite blurred, with travelers enjoying their families while continuing their workday in flight.” This is another trend that we’ve heard from other private aviation companies, as people combine work and leisure flights, and bring their families on these extended trips.
NetJets were certainly not alone in pausing sales, with several other jet card providers putting their programs on hold due to the record demand for private flights. With the year end holiday season rush completed, some of these programs are starting to resume new sales, and we expect others to restart over the coming months.