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Private Travel: Private Landings: Getting There

Michael Schulze and Shaun Tolson

The following charter, flight-card, and fractional providers offer aircraft that will enable you to minimize your travel time when visiting any of the featured resorts or other properties with on-site or nearby airstrips. (Note: Unless otherwise indicated, a one-sixteenth fractional share of a jet corresponds to 50 flight hours per year, a one-half share to 400 hours per year.)

 

The Air Group
Fast-growing charter firm with a fleet of more than 40 aircraft. Jets available range from the seven-passenger Cessna Citation V ($1,800 per hour) to the 14-passenger Gulfstream V ($8,625). 818.781.8890, www.theairgroup.com

Avantair
Fractional-ownership firm that flies only the seven-passenger Piaggio Avanti P.180 twin turboprop, the fastest, roomiest, most fuel-efficient plane in its class. Ownership options range from a one-sixteenth share ($415,000) to a one-half share ($3.24 million). 973.227.4666, www.avantair.com

Blue Star Jets
Flight-card firm with access to more than 4,000 aircraft. Under the company’s SkyCard program, customers place deposits of $50,000, $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, or $1 million, from which flight costs are deducted. Jets range from the light Beechjet 400A (around $2,300 per hour) to the Boeing Business Jet (around $11,000). 212.446.9037, www.bluestarjets.com

Bombardier Flexjet
Fractional operator with a fleet that consists entirely of Bombardier Learjet and Challenger aircraft. Customers give this company high marks for service. Prices range from about $541,000 for a one-sixteenth share of a Learjet 40XR to about $13.4 million for a one-half share of a Challenger 605. Flexjet also offers flight cards in 25-, 30-, and 35-hour increments. A second card program, called Skyjet, is described on the next page. 972.720.2800, www.flexjet.com

CitationShares
Fractional company that offers shares in three Cessna Citation jets: the six-passenger CJ3, the eight-passenger XLS, and the nine-passenger Sovereign. A one-sixteenth share of a CJ3 costs $445,500, a one-half share of a Sovereign about $8.25 million. CitationShares also offers the Vector JetCard program, which provides access to four jet types: the five-passenger CJ1, the seven-passenger Bravo, the XLS, and the Sovereign. The program begins at 20 hours of flight time per year, at prices from $99,000 for a CJ1 to $172,000 for a Sovereign. 203.861.9667, www.citationshares.com

Clay Lacy Aviation
The largest jet sales, charter, and management firm on the West Coast. Charter prices range from $2,145 per hour for a six-passenger Learjet 35 to $18,000 per hour for a new Boeing Business Jet. Participants in the company’s Executive Travel Program gain discounts by either charging their travel against a debit account or committing to a certain number of annual flight hours. 818.989.2900, www.claylacy.com

Delta AirElite
Jet charter operation owned by Delta Air Lines. The company offers flight cards in 10-, 25-, and 50-hour increments for light, midsize, super midsize, and large jets. Prices range from $43,900 for 10 hours aboard a light jet to about $488,000 for 50 hours on a new, 14-passenger Gulfstream IV-SP or 550. Delta AirElite does not impose a time period in which members must use their hours. 859.767.3500, www.airelite.com

Executive Jet Management
The jet charter and management company owned by the large fractional operator NetJets (also listed here). Charter customers have access to hundreds of jets of more than 30 types, from the seven-passenger Beechjet 400A (about $2,000 per hour) to the 17-passenger Gulfstream V ($8,000). An 18-seat Boeing Business Jet is available at varying rates. 513.979.6700, www.ejmjets.com

Flight Options
Large fractional operator with a fleet that consists of five jet types: the Beechjet 400A, Hawker 400XP and 800XP, Cessna Citation X, and Embraer Legacy. Prices range from $412,500 for a one-sixteenth share of the Beechjet to about $12.2 million for a one-half share of the Legacy. The company also offers the JetPASS flight-card program, which deducts charges from a $100,000 deposit. JetPASS members may fly the Beechjet or the Hawker 400XP for about $3,400 per hour, the Legacy for about $13,200. 216.261.1454, www.flightoptions.com

Jet Aviation
Vast aircraft management and charter firm with a boutique approach. It is especially skilled at arranging international flights. Charter customers have access to more than 1,700 jets of 30 types, from a seven-passenger Beechjet 400 ($2,250 per hour) to a 14-passenger Bombardier Global Express ($8,800). The company also offers a Privileged Travel Card in increments of 10, 25, 50, and 100 hours. Prices range from $45,000 for 10 hours in a small aircraft such as a Cessna Citation II to $1.3 million for 100 hours in a new Bombardier Global Express. 201.288. 8400, www.jetaviation.com

JetNetwork
Fast-growing flight-card program that offers access to approximately 100 jets, from a seven-seat Beechjet 400A ($2,550 per hour) to the 19-passenger Bombardier Global Express ($7,850). Charges are deducted from deposits of $100,000, $250,000, or $500,000. 305.871.2500, www.jetnetwork.com

JetOne Jets
Charter operator with access to more than 4,000 aircraft, from small turboprops (about $1,200 per hour) to a Boeing 747 (about $15,000). Participants in the company’s AccessOne card program place a deposit of $100,000, $200,000, $500,000, or $1 million, against which flight costs are deducted. 212.710.3888, www.jetonejets.com

Marquis Jet
Jet-card operation associated with the leading fractional provider NetJets (also listed here). The company offers cards in 25-hour increments. Members have access to nine jet types, from the seven-passenger Citation V Ultra (about $120,000 for 25 hours) to the 14-passenger Gulfstream 450 (about $340,000). A Boeing Business Jet is available at variable rates. 212.499.3790, www.marquisjet.com

NetJets
The world’s largest and most experienced fractional company. Customers may choose from hundreds of jets of 14 types. Prices range from about $413,000 for a one-sixteenth share of a Hawker 400XP to $22 million for a half share of a Gulfstream 550. Shares of Boeing Business Jets also are available. 732.326.3855, www.netjets.com

OneSky Jets
Flight-card operator with a unique price-ceiling policy. The company’s Latitude Membership program charges an all-inclusive hourly rate. Fees range from $2,450 per hour for a light jet such as a Beechjet 400 to $7,000 per hour for a heavy jet such as a Gulfstream V. 603.663.1066, www.onesky.com

PlaneSense
Fractional company that sells shares in the Swiss-made Pilatus PC-12, a six-passenger turboprop that is much less expensive to operate than similarly sized jets and can land at many more U.S. airports (about 9,000 compared with 5,000). The firm offers a one-quarter share (180 hours per year) of the aircraft for about $952,000 and a one-eighth share
(90 hours) for about $476,000. 603.627.1253, www.planesense.aero

Sentient
Charter membership operator with one of the largest fleets in the world. A recent merger with the aircraft management firm JetDirect has added more than 100 jets to Sentient’s existing fleet of 70 dedicated and 600-plus nondedicated aircraft. Participants in the company’s TravelCard program pay a refundable deposit of $100,000 or $250,000. A Preferred Plus option, which requires a $150,000 nonrefundable deposit, gives customers a roughly 6 percent discount and access to the newer planes in the fleet. Hourly rates for this option range from about $3,300 for a round-trip on a light jet to $9,600 for a one-way trip on a heavy one. 781.763.0200, www.sentient.com

SkyBridge Private Air
Charter operation that aims to provide a lavish door-to-door travel experience. Options include private sleeping accommodations, a computer with Internet service, and an onboard butler. Rates range from $3,250 per hour for a light jet such as a Beechjet 400A to $9,600 per hour for a large jet such as a Dassault Falcon 900EX. 310.798. 5388, www.skybridgeprivateair.com

Skyjet
One of two jet-card programs offered by Bombardier Flexjet. Skyjet provides flight hours in Flexjet’s fleet of Learjet and Challenger aircraft, as well as in a range of other jets. It issues cards in three categories: Skyjet (beginning at $94,000), Learjet (beginning at $101,000 or $145,000, depending on the jet’s size), and Challenger (beginning at $236,000). The cards come in 25-, 50-, and 100-hour increments. 469.791.4460, www.skyjet.com

TAG Aviation
Aircraft acquisition, charter, management, and maintenance firm with a fleet of more than 150 jets. Charter customers have access to 25 jet types, from a six-passenger Raytheon Premier (about $2,000 per hour) to a 16-passenger Gulfstream V (about $7,500). The company also offers a JetCard that requires a deposit of $100,000, $250,000, or $500,000. 914.933.4800, www.tagaviation.com

Talon Air
New York–based charter operator with a focus on personal service. Talon owns all of its 15 aircraft, and chief executive Adam Katz often pilots them himself. Prices range from $900 per hour for a twin-engine, four-seat Baron 58 piston plane to $8,500 for a Gulfstream IV-SP. 631.753.8881, www.talonairjets.com

Vitesse FlightPartners
Offers a program called Strategic Jet Partnerships, in which as many as four people share ownership in a single Hawker 800XP or 850XP. Each jet has four dedicated crew members and a relationship manager. An ownership interest begins at about $2.5 million. 212.974.5842, www.vitesseflightpartners.com

XOJet
Has developed a unique business model in which customers, by purchasing a whole or half share in a Cessna Citation X, gain access to the company’s entire fleet of those planes. The firm charters out jets that are not in use, reducing the customer’s cost. A whole share (as many as 800 flight hours per year) costs about $20 million, a half share (as many as 400 hours) about $10 million. 650.594.6300, www.xojet.com

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Photo by Ellen Jaskol
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Copyright by Adriaan Louw