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 then download our Guide to Private Aviation, which compares the products and providers.
The latest news and research on private jets and aircraft is included below.
Kansas-based fractional provider Executive AirShare recently announced a majority recapitalization agreement with long-term customer, investment firm Curran Companies. As a result of the investment, the provider will now be controlled by Curran, with Executive AirShare founder Bob Taylor maintaining "significant ownership". Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed. According to Curran President, Wiley Curran, the company will focus on expanding the fractional provider (the nation's 3rd largest) into new markets.
New Hampshire-based fractional plane operator PlaneSense, has announced plans to add more Nextant 400 XTi jets to their fleet. PlaneSense was founded in 1996 and has had a close partnership with Pilatus since their founding. In fact, the company flew only Pilatus PC-12 turboprops until very recently.
Canadian fractional company AirSprint has announced plans to expand its fleet with a recent order for up to 12 Embraer Legacy 450 aircraft. The $198 million deal will include two definite deliveries in late 2016, with the option for 10 additional deliveries in 2017 and beyond. AirSprint and Embraer announced the agreement at the recent Canadian Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (CBAA) in Calgary, which is also AirSprint's base of operations.
NetJets has a new addition to its range of midsize aircraft, with the recent delivery of the company’s first Cessna Citation Latitude. But the delivery was more than just a special occasion for NetJets, the nation’s largest private aviation company. It also marked the 7000th Citation to take to the skies.
A newcomer to the shared private aviation market hopes to attract customers with a combination of customized rates and eye-catching aircraft. SevenJet is based in St. Petersburg, FL but is a subsidiary of C&L Aviation Group, located in Bangor, ME. And although the current fleet consists of just ten craft, SevenJet founders hope that their years of industry experience and customer service will result in significant growth.
If you have flown commercially in recent months, you have no doubt experienced the inconvenience of lengthy TSA security checks. While major airports such as LAX can have waits of up to three hours, even travelers through smaller airports can face long delays and missed flights. For example, those booked on early morning flights from smaller regional airports may find that the TSA desk opens just thirty minutes before scheduled departure.
Cleveland-based Directional Aviation recently announced a restructuring within the company, transitioning its Flight Options brand from a fractional provider to an on-demand operator. This will effectively leave two national fractional providers: Flexjet, which is also part of the Directional Aviation family, and Columbus-based NetJets.
Fractional private aviation company Flexjet recently announced an addition to its service line-up with the new Global Access program, which provides access to larger aircraft capable of long-range flight. Flexjet’s Senior Vice President of Sales, DJ Hanlon, says that this flexible membership program will “extend clients’ abilities to fly outside of North America and still enjoy the consistency and level of service they have come to expect.”
The data from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) shows sales in 2015 were at the same level as 2014. The annual databook reported 718 new business jets sold worldwide in 2015 compared to 722 unit sales in 2014. Here are some of the highlights and the sales by manufacturer.