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.
SherpaReport visited NetJets headquarters in Columbus last month and had the opportunity to tour the Flight Center and meet several of the management team. I obtained great insights into the operations and how NetJets matches its aircraft and crews to the needs of its owners. Here’s what I learned.
Earlier this year saw the launch of the Sky Access Program from Delta Private Jets. More recently, the program has been enhanced with new booking software. Members in the program have access to free empty-leg flights, giving last-minute access to one-way travel, and can also book fixed price private jet charters. The Northern Kentucky based company says it will “make luxury travel affordable.”
Anyone wishing to join the Sky Access Program will pay a first-year membership of $8,500. After that, the annual fee is $6,000 (although this may be subject to future changes). Under the terms of the program, members will have unlimited access to empty-leg journeys with no per-leg cost.
Travel on empty-leg flights may be booked from 24 hours before departure to as little as four hours before departure. “Just one empty leg’s value could be greater than the cost of a full Sky Access membership,” said Gary Hammes, President of Delta Private Jets.
Booking is easy, and members can travel anywhere in the US on the fleet of more than 70 Wi-fi equipped twin-engine jets. Furthermore, passengers have exclusive use of the entire aircraft on the empty legs; they are not sharing with other travelers. Delta Private Jets will arrange catering, ground transportation, and any other required services at the time of booking, for an additional fee.
Fixed Price Charter
Sky Access members also have access to the private fleet at fixed hourly rates. These start at $5,995 per hour for a light jet and ranges up to $14,400 per hour for the use of a large jet, such as a Challenger 604 or Gulfstream V. These rates include fuel, taxes, and international fees, although there is a premium of 10% for any international flight. As an extra benefit, Sky Access members also qualify for a 20% discount off select, published Delta Airlines commercial flights.
In May, 2018, Delta Private Jets announced the arrival of their AmpliFLY technology to make the booking process even easier. Members can now choose up to 10 airports as their preferred travel bases. When empty leg flights are available to or from these destinations, they will receive a mobile notification, allowing them instant access to great deals. They also receive notifications of alternate routes to existing bookings, in case a more convenient flight option arises.
Gary Hammes, noted, "These new enhancements are a direct result of listening to feedback from our customers and giving them what they want and need in a timely manner, and our affiliation with Delta Air Lines makes us uniquely qualified to offer these services to our customers."
Delta Private Jets is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delta Airlines. In addition to the Sky Access Program, the company offers private charter services, aircraft management, and the Delta Private Jets Card.
The music and entertainment industries have been using private jets for many years. In the 1970’s Led Zeppelin nicknamed their plane “The Starship” and there were several stories about the parties on board. But the real reason for using these planes is that they are the most practical way to get around, especially if you’re doing a multi-city tour. They also provide a sense of continuity, safety, and sanctuary, as well as privacy - away from the curious eyes of paparazzi and fans.
If you want to control your company’s transportation, whole ownership of a business aircraft can be particularly attractive. And, with high enough utilization, it is also very cost effective. As a generalization, when your flying needs come close to (or exceed 200 annual hours), whole aircraft ownership can be more cost effective than fractional, charter or membership programs. Whole aircraft ownership offers the following benefits.
If it seems like it’s getting more difficult to choose between the many private aviation companies, that’s because they’ve been responding to customer demand to make their membership benefits and lifestyle perks increasingly more flexible and compelling. Today we take a head-to-head look at Sentient Jet and NetJets, two of the industry’s longest-standing and largest businesses.
Eleven years ago, Sherpa Report looked at some of the statistics regarding flying commercially – delays, cancellations, lost baggage, and so on. More than a decade later, the most recent Department of Transportation statistics can tell us whether much has changed and whether flying privately may still be a good alternative.
The private jet company, Jet Linx, likes to emphasize its local connections as it expands its network of bases across the country. The newest centers that are due to open are in New York, Boston, and Chicago. SherpaReport talked to CEO Jamie Walker about the expansion and the companies model for growth.
Ride-sharing social media apps such as Uber and Lyft have helped to revolutionize the taxi industry, offering passengers a greater range of options for getting around town. By 2015, Uber was a household name and publications from USA Today to The Robb Report started to speculate about who might be a comparable giant in the private aviation market.
The sales data from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) shows unit business jet deliveries in 2017 grew slightly last year. The annual databook reported 676 new business jets sold worldwide in 2017 compared to (a revised) 667 unit sales in 2016. The increase was helped by several new models entering full service during the year. Here are some of the highlights and the sales by manufacturer.
Both Flexjet and Wheels Up, have built reputable brands in the private aviation sector. They both offer access to a fleet of newer aircraft. But they have some significant differences in the planes and services they provide. Here’s a closer look at how they compare.