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, a directory of charter operators, and our Aircraft Buying Guide then sign up for membership.
The latest news and research on private jets and aircraft is included below.
Recent data from ARGUS TRAQPak shows a record setting pace for business aviation in North American and European markets for the first six months of 2022. In North America flight activity was up 15.8% from 2021, while European activity rose 58.3% from 2021 for the first half of the year. There are signs that the pace of growth is cooling.
Priester Aviation, one of the most experienced private aviation companies, specializing in aircraft management, jet charter and aviation consulting, has just relaunched its 25 hour Centerline Jet Card program. SherpaReport spoke to Andy Priester, Chairman and CEO of Priester Aviation, about the relaunch of their card program, and what it means for the company and their clients.
Private jet operator Jet Linx has restarted sales of both its Enterprise Jet Card Membership, designed to serve its corporate clients, and restarted a Tier II Executive Jet Card Membership for leisure travelers who fly less frequently than its Tier I Executive Membership offering.
Flexjet, one of the largest fractional jet providers, has launched a private helicopter division by integrating Associated Aircraft Group (AAG), into the Flexjet family. Flexjet will now extend complimentary helicopter transfers to its Gulfstream G650 fractional owners, and will sell add-on fractional, lease and charter access in Flexjet-branded Sikorsky S-76 helicopters.
Since SherpaReport first took a look at fractional jet provider Jet It in 2020, the company has gone from strength to strength. Last year, the company announced plans to expand into Canada, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Jet It was the recipient of the Aviation International News 2021 Top Flight Award for Charter, Fractional, and Jet Card Innovation. Meanwhile, Ernst & Young named company co-founders Glenn Gonzales and Vishal Hiremath the 2021 Southeast Entrepreneurs of the Year. Read on for the latest news about Jet It’s continued growth and some new additions to the fleet.
Surf Air has been in existence since 2011, and has been successful in flying private aircraft to and from many regional airports throughout the country. But recently, Surf Air has mobilized its parent company, Surf Air Mobility (SAM), in creating a new regional air travel ecosystem, putting the often elusive vision of green, eco-sensitive flying into clear focus. The SAM goal is the development of proprietary powertrain technology in order to electrify existing fleets, thus reducing operating costs and emissions.
Prices for private aviation flights continue to rise. Several factors are adding to the increasing prices including record demand, increasing aviation fuel charges and a shortage of both planes and crews. This is driving prices across the board and is most obvious in jet cards, where card providers have been increasing their hourly rates.
Due to the continuing record demand for private aviation flights, leading private jet operator NetJets has said it will not be selling jet cards in 2022. It is focusing on its fractional jet and lease programs and continuing to maintain the service levels to these owners.
Private aviation company Wheels Up saw revenue increase 24% year-over-year to $325.6 million in the first quarter of 2022. At the same time the number of Active Members grew 26% year-over-year to 12,424 and Live Flight Legs increased 15% year-over-year to 17,626.
Kansas based Airshare is the fourth largest fractional provider in North America, with a fleet of light and super-midsize jets. It also provides aircraft management, jet charter and jet cards. SherpaReport spoke to CEO John Owen about recent growth in the programs, current demand and future plans.
Global business aviation company VistaJet just took delivery of its 10th ultra-long-range Global 7500. This was the 100th 7500 delivered by Bombardier and means VistaJet now owns 10% of the world’s Global 7500 fleet. SherpaReport reviewed the 7500 with VistaJet and how they are being used by its customers.
Private jet operator flyExclusive is launching flyExclusive Fractional. This new program gives private jet flyers a fractional aircraft ownership experience with additional access to the growing flyExclusive fleet. To support the launch of the program, flyExclusive has agreed to purchase up to 30 Cessna Citation CJ3+ aircraft over the next three years.
March 28, 2022, was an average day for most people, but for the many in Wichita, Kansas, it was a day of wistfulness, remembrance, bordering on a tangible, unshakeable sadness, as Learjet, the iconic business jet manufacturer, delivered its final aircraft to Northern Jet Management, bringing some 60 years of production to a close.
Private aviation and fractional ownership pioneer NetJets continues to innovate with its recent announcement of a partnership with German company Lilium, manufacturer of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) jets. NetJets reported that it has signed a “right to purchase” agreement with Lilium for up to 150 eVTOLs.
Vista Global Holding, parent of VistaJet and XO, is acquiring charter operator and aircraft management company Jet Edge. The acquisition will bring 100 additional aircraft to the overall Vista fleet, including the largest charter fleet of Gulfstream jets in the U.S.
Air Charter Service (ACS), a leading aircraft charter broker, announced sales of $1.8 billion (£1.3bn) for their year ending 31st January 2022. The company’s largest area was their private jet division, which saw nearly a 40% increase year on year and put it at 20% above pre-pandemic levels.
Private aviation company Jet Linx has announced the acquisition of Southern Jet, a Boca Raton Airport (BCT) based charter and aircraft management company, establishing its second Florida base location and 21st location nationwide.
The private aviation provider Wheels Up announced that in the fourth quarter of 2021 it saw continued growth in members & flight legs and had record sales of its prepaid block programs. Total revenue in Q4 increased 64% year-over-year to $345 million and reached $1.2bn for the whole of 2021.
The idea of moderation in all things has been with us since time immemorial: Aristotle discussed it as the Golden Mean, defining it as the middle ground between two extremes, Buddha expressed the same idea as the Middle Way and even in a moderately contemporary fairy tale, Goldilocks chose the porridge that was not too hot, not too cold but just right. Aristotelian Goldilocks!
In a similar manner, however, a jet concept has emerged that seems, arguably, to be like her porridge: in the middle of the jet travel realm - not completely commercial, not completely private. Called semi-private or shared-private air travel, it is gaining in popularity.