Private Jet

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.

If you only fly a few hours a year then on demand aircraft charter is probably the best way to go. As your number of hours of private flying increases look at charter cards and fractional cards.

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.

The numbers from aviation services company ARGUS, show fractional aircraft operators flew 504,821 hours in 2020 a decrease of 115,467 hours (18.6%), compared to 2019. The number of actual flights by the fractional operators dropped 22.4% in 2020 compared to 2019 flight levels. The largest operators are ranked and discussed below.

Last year, SherpaReport took a look at up-and-coming aviation company Jet It. The North Carolina company was established in late 2018 to offer fractional ownership of the HondaJet Elite aircraft. The company quickly garnered attention with its day-use model and its guaranteed residual values. This latest article looks at their continued progress and recent announcements for further expansion.

SherpaReport recently caught up with Ian Moore, the Chief Commercial Officer at VistaJet. We talked through the changes that VistaJet has seen over the last year, the effect of COVID, expectations for 2021 and advice for anyone looking at private aviation.

Wheels Up is planning to go public via a merger with special purpose acquisition company, Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp (NYSE: ASPL). The transaction values Wheels Up at an enterprise value of $2.1 billion.

Having just launched in August 2020, the premium on-demand charter provider has seen rapid growth. FXAIR ended the year having arranged more than 4,000 premium on-demand charter flights for more than 8,000 passengers to 600 destinations.

If you are considering private aviation for your future travels, this article will give you a good introduction to chartering an aircraft for the first time.

As part of its continuing acquisition spree, Wheels Up has acquired operator Mountain Aviation. Adding 59 total aircraft to its fleet. This latest acquisition follows on a pattern of buying large, well established management and jet charter operator companies.

Air Charter Service (ACS) is running a holiday promotion on its jet card with the goal of helping families come together to celebrate. Air Charter Service’s Empyrean jet card usually has a minimum requirement of 25 hours. This festive offer lets people buy a card with a reduced requirement of just 15 hours. Cards can be bought through December 31, 2020.

In their most recent, Q3 Survey, JetNetIQ found that private jet passengers and customers were most concerned about COVID related items including cleaning the planes between flights. This topped more traditional concerns such as pricing and cost per hour.

The CARES Act suspended federal excise taxes (FET) on air transportation from March 28 to Dec. 31, 2020. Based on recent guidance from the IRS many charter, jet card and jet membership companies are offering FET free travel into 2021 and beyond. SherpaReport has talked to many of the providers and also touched based with a legal expert to discuss all the offers.

XO, an on demand and membership based private aviation provider, announced that it is adding 15 Citation light jets to complement its current super midsize aircraft offering. This move takes its dedicated fleet up to 58 light and super midsize jets. XO has further plans to expand to over 50 light jet aircraft over the coming years.

Our annual summary report on the state of the business jet industry draws upon expertise from several key business insiders, including manufacturer Honeywell and analysts at JETNET iQ, with additional input from Aviation Week.

We are approaching the time of year when private jet travel reaches its peak levels of demand. In the US, the Christmas and New Year holiday season sees the most private flights. Here’s a look at what this means if you plan to charter, or use your jet card or fractional program.

The Part 135 operator owns a floating fleet of aircraft and has been adding to the numbers even during the coronavirus pandemic. Their new Jet Club jet card program has also been attracting new customers.

VistaJet has seen a rapid acceleration in corporate demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has launched a new Corporate Membership offering a full suite of flexible travel solutions for businesses and executives around the world.

Jet Linx recently announced a fourth level of jet card membership for corporate travel, entitled the Enterprise Jet Card Membership. With the introduction of its new membership level, the company plans to provide a higher level of services and solutions optimized for corporate travel.

The data from August and early September show further increases in business and private aviation. In contrast, commercial aviation continues to struggle.

There are many good reasons to use private jets when traveling, but 2020’s coronavirus pandemic has seen more people abandon commercial flights in favor of private aviation alternatives. This article explores why flying privately now makes more sense than ever.

SherpaReport recently noted how private operator XOJET Aviation had been able to retain all staff during the coronavirus downturn. Now they’ve gone one step further. As demand has increased, the company has not only taken on an extra 40 new pilots; they have also added several new aircraft to their fleet. We spoke with COO Kevin Thomas to learn more.

New hybrid fractional provider Jet It launched its program just a few years ago in 2018. It’s focusing on the relatively new HondaJet, with a days-based access model. June 2023 Editorial Update: Jet It has closed down. Details of the closure are in this linked article

The large private jet operator, Qatar Executive, has launched a pre-purchase fixed-hourly rate jet card type program called The Diamond Agreement. This provides access to Qatar’s fleet of long-range and ultra-long-range private jets.

Commercial aviation is experiencing a dramatic drop in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the ongoing uncertainty leaves many industry insiders wondering when things will get back to normal. This downturn has also carried over to manufacturers like Boeing, whose 777X long-haul jets are being delayed. But at the same time, private aviation companies are seeing an uptick in demand. One of these, VistaJet, recently took delivery of its first Bombardier Global 7500, the largest and longest range business jet in production. SherpaReport spoke to VistaJet’s Chief Commercial Officer Ian Moore about the company’s new fleet.