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 total number of private aviation flights for 2023, compared to 2022, showed a drop of 3.3%. There were mixed results within the various sectors. Fractional had a strong 2023 and in particular higher flight numbers in large cabin fractional aircraft drove the overall large cabin sector to a positive result.

The large private jet operator became a public company today through its merger with EG Acquisition Corp. (NYSE:EGGF). The combined company now trades on the NYSE American under the symbol “FLYX”. It is projecting 2023 revenue of $323m and forecasts further significant growth in 2024.

Yes, OK, so it’s a bit of a “come on in” title, but it is also a valid new program from private jet operator Volato. Their new Vaunt app gives you access to all the empty legs and repositioning flights across their fleet. You can reserve the whole plane for any of these flights and the cost is just $1,000 for a years subscription to the app, with no additional costs when you fly.

Private jet operator Northern Jet merged with Florida based operator Speedbird, earlier this year. The enlarged company has recently launched new jet card and fractional jet ownership programs.

Private aviation company Volato has completed a business combination with PROOF Acquisition Corp I (NYSE: PACI). The new entity will operate under the Volato brand, with its common stock and warrants commencing trading today, December 4, 2023, on the New York Stock Exchange American (NYSE American) under the new ticker symbols “SOAR” and “SOAR.WS.” Volato has added $60m in funding as part of this overall deal.

VistaJet, a global private aviation company, has partnered with leading brands in the wellbeing and longevity space to introduce the VistaJet Wellness program. This new offering aims to transform a private flight from a potentially tiring experience into an energizing one, integrating onboard wellness facilities and services, and offers unique experiences at destinations with a focus on wellbeing.

The latest data for the preowned business aircraft market shows inventory continues to offer increased choice for buyers while transaction activity trends back to historical norms.

The latest SherpaReport Aircraft Buying Guide has been published. This updated book provides comprehensive and user-friendly guidance on all aspects of purchasing a private aircraft. The new edition of this one-of-a-kind guide, geared towards individuals and businesses, offers brand new sections as well as updated costs and enhanced information.

Private aviation operator flyExclusive has taken delivery of its first three Citation CJ3+ jets which will go into its new fractional fleet. This brings the total fleet size to over 100 aircraft, comprised of mainly Cessna Citation jets.

XO, a major private aviation company, has introduced XO Firsts, a collection of once-in-a-lifetime member experiences. This includes access to some of the most in-demand sporting events, the most coveted cultural happenings, and desired destinations in the world. SherpaReport reached out to Leona Qi, President U.S. of parent company VistaJet.

Private aviation solutions provider Magellan Jets has launched a jet card program specifically aimed at corporate users and named Magellan Business. It offers hourly rate locks for up to three years, 10 hour callouts and a service guarantee, with a 100 hour minimum annual commitment.

Private aviation company Airshare has acquired the aircraft management business of Wheels Up. This agreement brings about 90 managed aircraft to Airshare, and significantly expands its fleet and locations.

Solairus, a private jet management company, has reopened Altitude by Solairus. The company refers to this as a “Private Jet Charter Club” and it offers jet card like fixed hourly rates on the Solairus fleet.

The transformative, disruptive and historic idea of the eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing ) aircraft has the potential to jolt both the commercial and private aviation industries into the future. With this idea, as with most disruptive technologies, there are associated challenges and issues on the (flight) path to a commercial reality.

A few weeks ago we looked at the leading eVTOL aircraft that are in development. They offer the potential to revolutionize urban transportation and reduce congestion and emissions. However, before eVTOLs can enter commercial service on a large scale, several key issues and challenges must be addressed, including:

Textron Aviation and NetJets have signed an agreement giving NetJets the option to purchase up to 1,500 additional Cessna Citation business jets over the next 15 years. The deal covers the upcoming Cessna Citation Ascend and the Citation Latitude and Citation Longitude aircraft and is valued at about $30bn.

NetJets currently operates hundreds of mid-size Latitudes and super-mid Longtitudes, with the Latitude being the largest single model in the NetJets fleet.

The large private aviation provider Flexjet just opened a new, purpose built $50m HQ and Global Operations Control Center. SherpaReport just toured the building and talked to multiple Flexjet staff to learn more about all aspects of their operations.

Wheels Up has announced George N. Mattson as its new Chief Executive Officer. Mattson brings 25 years of aviation experience to the role, as a strategic advisor, financier, business owner/operator and director.

The interest in electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft continues to climb. There are numerous aircraft that are in development and testing, with billions of dollars being invested in their evolution - they will potentially have a huge impact on both commercial and private aviation. This article looks at the overall market and some of the leading contenders. 

Looking at the hours flown by the largest part 135 charter operators, most providers have been holding steady or seen drops in the number of hours during the first half of 2023. There are a few exceptions where companies have increased their hours.

This fits with the trend of lower hours overall after the covid induced peaks in private aviation.

Delta Air Lines joins travel and tourism investment firm Certares Management and deep value and turnaround investment firm Knighthead Capital Management in a non-binding agreement to co-lead a $500 million facility.

The lenders will receive newly issued Wheels Up common stock resulting in them owning approximately 95% of the equity of the company on a fully diluted basis. This new funding is expected to provide the company the stability to execute on its strategic vision over the long term. (Update: This funding deal closed on 20th September.)

The large private aviation operator Wheels Up has just received additional funding from Delta Air Lines - one of its largest shareholders.

Airshare has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to purchase Wheels Up's aircraft management business. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2023, subject to customary approvals and closing conditions.