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Best of the Best 2007: Flight-Card Programs: Fractional: Marquis Jet

Mike Nolan

Marquis Jet

Marquis Jet cofounder and CEO Kenny Dichter provides a succinct reason why Marquis once again is appearing in Best of the Best: “Choosing your aviation partner is like choosing your doctor: You consider trust, service, and safety.” Certainly Marquis has the resources to meet expectations in all three areas. Through its alliance with NetJets (see here), it provides access to the industry giant’s 600-plus aircraft and some 6,500 employees worldwide. Even so, Dichter admits to having some difficult days. “I’m 39,” he says, “but when we have 150 flights in the air, I feel a lot older.”

 

Marquis offers cards in 25-hour increments. Members can choose one of nine jet types, from the seven-passenger Cessna Citation V Ultra (about $120,000 for 25 hours) to the 14-passenger Gulfstream 450 (about $340,000). The company also offers a Combination Card, which provides flight time in two different NetJets aircraft, and a Boeing Business Jet may be chartered at variable rates. Some competitors now provide cards with fewer hours, but Dichter does not expect to follow suit. “If we move to shorter hours, we won’t learn the likes and dislikes of our members,” he says. “We want to be the Four Seasons of the aviation space—and for that reason, 25 hours will continue to be our point of entry. Our primary product is the owner experience.”

Dichter says that Marquis will incorporate a series of innovations designed to improve that experience. For example, he plans to address the inadequate state of many of the terminal facilities used by private aircraft. “Watch for Marquis flight support in the future,” he says. “We could be in the fixed-based operation business within five years.” He also plans to offer a card that will serve corporations. And with NetJets dominating the U.S. and European markets (there are now more than 1,000 NetJets owners in Europe), he is looking to expand his company’s horizons further. “China and India are in the 10- to 20-year range,” he says. “The biggest issue there is infrastructure. But we will be there.”

Marquis has about 3,000 clients, and Dichter hopes to boost this figure to about 5,000 in three to five years. Incentives for membership include special access to top Sotheby’s events and a $3,000 certificate toward the purchase of Judith Ripka jewelry. But, says Dichter, Marquis’ primary perk for travelers will continue to be its commitment to service. “We don’t operate like we have 3,000 owners,” he says. “Rather, we think of ourselves as having one owner to whom we give scrupulous attention—and then we do that 3,000 times.” 

Marquis Jet, 212.499.3790, www.marquisjet.com

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