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, and a directory of charter operators, then sign up for membership.
The latest news and research on private jets and aircraft is included below.
The International Herald Tribune has an article on the growing popularity of private jet cards. It includes comparisons to some of the alternatives.
There are many companies that offer jet card programs, but like any investment, you need to do your due diligence before signing on. The types of companies that offer cards fall into three broad categories. The large fractional operators all have jet card programs, other large fleet operators also offer cards (or sometimes they are called "access" or "executive" programs), and then a lot of charter brokers also offer jet cards.
The recent bankruptcy filing for Jet Network has an important lesson for folks putting down deposits on charter cards and fractional cards - do your due diligence.
The Virgin group established an Internet charter flight-booking portal last June with the take-off of Virgin Charter. The program's invitation-only beta version will expand this year to connect all interested travelers to private aircraft charter operators.
Very light jets (VLJs) are revolutionizing private flying, making it possible to travel for business trips or vacations at short notice and with great ease. Two companies, DayJet and LinearAir, have tapped into the opportunity to use VLJs to offer travelers in the private aircraft market personalized service with no more than three passengers on most flights. These "Air Taxis" are changing private flying as we know it, and here is a look at how they do it.
In a sign of the continuing strength of private aviation Executive AirShare has expanded operations to four cities and assembled a fleet of 12 aircraft and 20 pilots. The fractional aircraft company serves owners in Kansas City, Mo., Wichita, Kan., Tulsa, Okla., and Ft. Worth, Texas.
AvantAir was recently taken public through a takeover by a publicly listed (shell) acquisition company - Ardent Acquisition Corp. This makes it the only pure play fractional aircraft company that is publicly traded.