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, 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.
Fractional jet provider Volato is offering a new structure for potential HondaJet owners. Share buyers can choose to pay no monthly management fees and instead pay a higher hourly usage charge.
This no monthly management fee program is designed for owners who fly infrequently but require guaranteed availability when they do fly, while also desiring the full benefits of aircraft ownership.
Private aviation provider Magellan Jets expanded its portfolio of private aviation solutions in 2022. Among other initiatives, they launched a new aircraft sales & management division, moved to a new corporate headquarters with a new flight operations center, and recently opened the company’s first private jet terminal. As a result, the company grew gross revenue to a total of $120 million last year and is projecting $140 million for 2023.
The fractional aircraft operators in North America flew over 833,000 hours in 2022. This was an increase of more than 7% compared to 2021, and up about 65% compared to the reduced pandemic levels in 2020. The largest fractional operators, including operators of both jets and turboprops, are ranked and discussed below.
Sentient Jet, one of the largest jet card providers, recently introduced its newest 2023 Exclusive Benefits Guide – the 10th anniversary edition. The Guide provides a wide collection of offerings available from strategic partner brands in hospitality and hotels, unique events, luxury shopping, gourmet experiences and more.
Worldwide private aviation group Vista Global Holding’s (Vista) had a record year in 2022, with revenue growth of more than 50%. The group also completed several investments and acquisitions including expanding their fleet to over 360 aircraft around the world.
The largest business aviation operators in 2022, together with their flight hours for 2022 and 2021 are listed and discussed below - the data is courtesy of ARGUS. The list is a mix of fractional operators and charter operators.
The overall number of business aviation private flights was up 5% in 2022, compared to 2021, to reach a new record level. There was growth in all categories from Part 91 whole ownership, to Part 135 charter and Part 91k fractional ownership.
Private aviation provider Magellan Jets is launching a new aircraft sales & management division which will assist prospective and current aircraft owners with the purchase, management, and optimization of their assets. Magellan has also opened their first private jet terminal, at Laurence G. Hanscom Field in Bedford, Massachusetts—Magellan’s home-base airport.
The feud between the Elon Musk and the student Jack Sweeney, has received a lot of publicity. Sweeney runs various @elonjet social media accounts, that report on the flights and locations of Elon Musk’s Gulfstream jet. Sweeney also tracks other celebrity aircraft. So, what are the options for Elon Musk or anyone else who doesn’t want to be tracked while flying in a private jet?
One of the leading innovators in the private aviation sector, and the originator of the jet card, Sentient Jet is forecasting revenues of $460m for 2022. Helping this growth is the trend towards more digital reservations, that the company is seeing as it rolls out more booking options for clients. SherpaReport talked to Andrew Collins, CEO of Sentient Jet about this growth and these recent trends.
Four Corners Aviation offers a novel program for companies that fly over 200 hours a year and want access to a corporate aircraft. The program really works for organizations that recognize the value of private aviation but that don’t want the upfront capital expenditure of owning an aircraft, or want to keep a plane off the corporate balance sheet. It offers the financial surety of a fixed monthly fee, rather than varying monthly expense costs.
Fractional jet and jet card provider Volato has ordered another 25 HondaJets. This new order will bring the total fleet to over 40 of these light jets. The new order is for the latest HondaJet Elite II.
NetJets, the largest private aviation company, is the fleet launch customer for Bombardier’s Global 8000 jet, with a firm order for four aircraft and conversion of eight existing orders.
The new firm order for four Global 8000 aircraft is valued at $312 million dollars based on 2022 list prices.
As 2022 draws to an end, aviation companies are once again releasing their industry forecasts for sales of new business aircraft. We look at insights from manufacturer Honeywell and analysts at JETNET iQ to see how ongoing economic, social, and political factors may play a part in the market for new business jets.
Kansas City based private aviation operator Airshare has seen significant growth over the last few years. It is phasing out the smaller Phenom 100s, adding super-mid Challenger 350s and increasing its managed fleet. SherpaReport spoke to CEO John Owen about all the developments.
The recent numbers from across the market show continuing high demand for pre-owned business aircraft. General demand, including new buyers, plus the 100% bonus depreciation, which ends this year, is keeping the market very active as 2022 closes out. Prices are generally at historically high levels.
One of the largest private aviation companies in the world, Wheels Up, just announced its results for the third quarter. Revenue increased 39% year-over-year to $420 million, making $1,171 million for the year to date. The number of active members grew 12% to 12,688.
Two family-owned private aviation management companies have joined forces to pool resources while retaining their dedication to personal service. Chicago-based Priester Aviation announced that they will be merging with Mayo Aviation, which is headquartered in Colorado.
Semi-private and shared air travel has been making headlines this year, as this idea has expanded across operators. A prime example is XO, a large private aviation company, which has announced an expansion of its most in-demand route between New York and South Florida, providing greater access to their shared flight options.
VistaJet has launched a new membership solution offering a three-year subscription for travelers flying 25 to 49 hours per year, as opposed to VistaJet’s 50+ hour per year commitment in its Program membership. Parent company Vista Global Holding announced sales in the US jumped 185% in the first nine months of 2022 over the same period in 2021.
Textron Aviation, manufacturer of Cessna business jets, announced it has entered into a purchase agreement with Exclusive Jets, LLC, operating as flyExclusive, for up to 14 additional Cessna Citation aircraft. This new order will grow the flyExclusive fractional jet program, and follows on the news that flyExclusive will be going public via a SPAC.