Jet Edge is a large full-service global private aviation company, and serves aircraft owners and charter flyers with its operational platform. It has seen significant expansion over the last year, fueled by additional funding.
We were pleased to have a conversation with Jonah Adler, the Chief Commercial Officer of Jet Edge International, to discover the hows and whys of such impressive growth.
SherpaReport: Covid has changed much of the private aviation industry. Last year Jet Edge achieved 1,800% growth in new member acquisitions for its priority access Reserve Membership. Do you think Covid was the only reason, or have you seen more reasons for this remarkable growth?
Jonah Adler: Just before the beginning of the pandemic, Jet Edge made the decision to start the journey of assembling the most well-appointed Challenger and Gulfstream fleet in private aviation. Those aircraft are the most desired plane types in the super-mid and heavy jet categories. In addition, they are the most widely produced plane types in the category. The increased demand from the market driven by the pandemic combined with the growth of our fleet at the same time was the reason for our growth. It was perfect timing. We built the right fleet at the right time.
SherpaReport: Have you seen differences in flight destinations in 2021 and early 2022? What destinations have proven more popular? What is one flight destination that seems to be new?
Jonah Adler: The biggest change in flight patterns since the pandemic has been a significant increase in high-end leisure destinations such as Aspen, the Caribbean, and Mexico (Cabo in particular). People are now working from leisure destinations and darting in-and-out when they have business to do.
SherpaReport: According to your records, are your clients flying more for business or pleasure?
Jonah Adler: Currently, our clients are flying more for pleasure than business.
SherpaReport: Is that an overwhelming percentage?
Jonah Adler: Yes, since the pandemic started, bookings are more for pleasure than business. We expect that to change this year as business travel returns.
SherpaReport: How has your team dealt with Covid responses on a day-to-day basis?
Jonah Adler: Testing has become a big part of the business. Jet Edge is the only company in private aviation that has a corporate deal with Cue Health, a first of its kind in the industry. Cue Health will provide all Jet Edge flight crews and global teams routine access to real-time COVID-19 molecular self-testing with instant results. Jet Edge is the first private aircraft operator to adopt a molecular self-testing solution, a game-changer for the industry.
SherpaReport: What is the CUE test?
Jonah Adler: The Cue test uses nucleic acid amplification technology to provide lab-quality COVID-19 test results from any location in 20 minutes. Based on current clinical studies submitted to the FDA, it is the most accurate self-test for COVID-19 and can detect all known COVID-19 variants, including Omicron. Cue’s lab results are directly connected to mobile devices so that critical safety information can be easily accessed and acted on immediately. The test can be used on adults and children over 2 years, with or without symptoms.
This puts us way ahead of everyone else. We have molecular level testing essentially on demand. Testing has become a meaningful part of keeping our crews and clients safe.
And with the exclusive agreement with Cue Health, all our flight crews and team members have Cue readers, which are by far the most effective solution for molecular point of care testing in the market.
SherpaReport: What do you think is the most significant challenge Jet Edge is facing in the coming year?
Jonah Adler: Really dealing with the pandemic-related service and supply chain issues that have presented themselves. Everything from getting parts delivered, to staff shortages from our vendors.
SherpaReport: Let's talk about the $265 million KKR investment in Jet Edge over the last year.
Jonah Adler: This is so important. With KKR support, Jet Edge has grown our Reserve Membership program to record numbers. KKR’s most recent investment in Jet Edge speaks to the private equity firm’s confidence in our mission to deliver private aviation solutions at scale with industry-leading service. The $265 million in new capital supports these ongoing efforts alongside continuing to allow Jet Edge to focus on fleet growth.