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.
Data through April 2022 shows continuing record levels of business aviation flights. SherpaReport looked at data from ARGUS, FlightAware and Radarbox.
Kansas based Airshare is the fourth largest fractional provider in North America, with a fleet of light and super-midsize jets. It also provides aircraft management, jet charter and jet cards. SherpaReport spoke to CEO John Owen about recent growth in the programs, current demand and future plans.
Global business aviation company VistaJet just took delivery of its 10th ultra-long-range Global 7500. This was the 100th 7500 delivered by Bombardier and means VistaJet now owns 10% of the world’s Global 7500 fleet. SherpaReport reviewed the 7500 with VistaJet and how they are being used by its customers.
Private jet operator flyExclusive is launching flyExclusive Fractional. This new program gives private jet flyers a fractional aircraft ownership experience with additional access to the growing flyExclusive fleet. To support the launch of the program, flyExclusive has agreed to purchase up to 30 Cessna Citation CJ3+ aircraft over the next three years.
March 28, 2022, was an average day for most people, but for the many in Wichita, Kansas, it was a day of wistfulness, remembrance, bordering on a tangible, unshakeable sadness, as Learjet, the iconic business jet manufacturer, delivered its final aircraft to Northern Jet Management, bringing some 60 years of production to a close.
Private aviation and fractional ownership pioneer NetJets continues to innovate with its recent announcement of a partnership with German company Lilium, manufacturer of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) jets. NetJets reported that it has signed a “right to purchase” agreement with Lilium for up to 150 eVTOLs.
Vista Global Holding, parent of VistaJet and XO, is acquiring charter operator and aircraft management company Jet Edge. The acquisition will bring 100 additional aircraft to the overall Vista fleet, including the largest charter fleet of Gulfstream jets in the U.S.
Air Charter Service (ACS), a leading aircraft charter broker, announced sales of $1.8 billion (£1.3bn) for their year ending 31st January 2022. The company’s largest area was their private jet division, which saw nearly a 40% increase year on year and put it at 20% above pre-pandemic levels.
Private aviation company Jet Linx has announced the acquisition of Southern Jet, a Boca Raton Airport (BCT) based charter and aircraft management company, establishing its second Florida base location and 21st location nationwide.
The private aviation provider Wheels Up announced that in the fourth quarter of 2021 it saw continued growth in members & flight legs and had record sales of its prepaid block programs. Total revenue in Q4 increased 64% year-over-year to $345 million and reached $1.2bn for the whole of 2021.
The idea of moderation in all things has been with us since time immemorial: Aristotle discussed it as the Golden Mean, defining it as the middle ground between two extremes, Buddha expressed the same idea as the Middle Way and even in a moderately contemporary fairy tale, Goldilocks chose the porridge that was not too hot, not too cold but just right. Aristotelian Goldilocks!
In a similar manner, however, a jet concept has emerged that seems, arguably, to be like her porridge: in the middle of the jet travel realm - not completely commercial, not completely private. Called semi-private or shared-private air travel, it is gaining in popularity.
With the large increase in demand for private aviation in 2021, the sales of new aircraft bounced back from the COVID induced drop in 2020. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reported global sales of 710 new business jets in 2021, up 10% from the 644 new jets sold in 2020. Sales of piston and turboprop airplanes also increased, as did sales of new helicopters.
The part 135, private aircraft charter companies saw overall flight hours bounce back significantly in 2021, after a COVID induced drop in 2020. Amongst the top 25 companies the average growth was over 50%, and several companies grew well over 60%.
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.
The fractional aircraft companies in North America flew over 760,000 hours in 2021. This was an increase of more than 50% compared to 2020, and up over 20% compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019. The largest fractional operators are ranked and discussed below.
The Gulfstream G650 made its maiden flight in November 2009. After receiving its FAA type certificate in 2012, the first one was delivered to a customer in the U.S. later that same year. At the time of its introduction, it was Gulfstream’s largest, fastest, and most expensive aircraft on the market. (The G700 has since surpassed it). In 2014, the G650 won the National Aeronautic Association’s Collier Trophy for its technological advancements and contributions to business aviation. Here is a breakdown of the costs you should expect to incur if you buy and operate a Gulfstream G650.
Private aviation company Wheels Up is continuing its acquisition spree with the purchase of Alante Air Charter, a Part 135 operator established in 2014 and based in Scottsdale, Arizona. This follows on last week’s announcement of an agreement to acquire Air Partner PLC.
Wheels Up (NYSE: UP) announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Air Partner PLC (LSE: AIR). The acquisition increases Wheels Up’s international expansion and provides connections to international aircraft supply for the Wheels Up marketplace. It also expands the aviation services and business offerings from the company.