Private jet operator Northern Jet merged with Florida based operator Speedbird, earlier this year. The enlarged company has recently launched new jet card and fractional jet ownership programs.
Northern Jet was founded over 30 years ago, and has its principal offices in Grand Rapids, MI and in Naples, FL. It has historically been a large operator of Learjets, and last year took delivery of the very last Learjet to come off the production line. The core customer base has been centered around the upper midwest and southern Florida and it has been offering fractional ownership and jet cards on the Learjets for many years.
Speedbird is based in Orlando, FL and has a fleet of Citations including CJ3’s and Citation X’s. The combined company has a fleet of 37 aircraft and has an ARGUS Platinum rating.
“Through this combination with Northern Jet, we are now positioned to become one of the top 20 private jet operators in the United States,” said Chris Bull, founder and chief executive officer of SpeedBird who serves as CEO of the combined company.
Citation CJ3+ Fractions
The expanded Northern Jet is now offering fractional ownership in the CJ3+. The seven passenger CJ3+ has a maximum range of about 2,000nm, but is typically used for passenger flights up to about 1,400 nm. Northern Jet is offering a late model CJ3+ with 1/16th fractional shares (equivalent to 50 hours of flying) at $599,000.
Owners also pay a monthly management fee and an occupied hourly rate, with a lower hourly rate for flights that return the same day.
Citation Jet Cards
Northern Jet is also offering jet cards on the Citation CJ3+ light jet, with an all-in rate including all fuel and federal excise tax (FET) of about $7,450.
The company told SherpaReport that they have sold upwards of 20 cards on CJ3s’ in last (3-4) months since the new program was launched.
They have also launched a jet card program on the 8 seat, 3,000nm Citation X super-mid with all in rates at about $10,500. Both cards are sold as 25-hour, two-year terms and offer guaranteed availability with 72 hours’ notice.
For both the fractional and card programs, all customers have access to the full Northen Jet fleet at fixed (Interchange) conversion rates. The full fleet includes mid-size Learjets and Gulfstreams and super-mid Challengers and Citation X’s. Before the Speedbird merger, Northen Jet clients had to rely on partners for larger cabin aircraft.
Northern Jet says the combination has brought a somewhat different customer mix. Many of the fractional owners and card holders flying between the mid-west and Naples, FL were older, leisure travelers’, with a good number of snow birds in the mix. The Speedbird customer base is a younger more business-oriented group, with more flights up and down the East coast and out to the islands in the Caribbean.
When the merger was announced, Chuck Cox, Chairman of the combined company said “It was important for us to find a company that shared the same values and commitment to putting our clients first and providing sophisticated and safe service to airports throughout the country and abroad.”