A Traveler's Guide to Business Jets: Private Flight Choices
In addition to purchasing a jet outright, you can fly privately through local charter companies, national charter operators, national charter brokers, 25-hour fractional programs, or fractional providers. Following are summaries of the various options and contact information for some of the leading companies in each category.
While NetJets remains the market leader in this segment, the other providers have expertise in their own niches: CitationShares focuses on shorter flights with the CJ1, Bravo, and Excel; all of Flexjet’s planes are built and maintained by Bombardier, which keeps maintenance costs low; and Flight Options owns the largestfleet of Beechjet 400As in the world.
This segment, which was created in 2001 by Marquis Jet, offers fliers the benefits of fractional flight without the five-year commitment that a share requires. Members purchase 25 hours of annual flight aboard planes that are owned by the major fractional providers. Holders of the Stratus Rewards Visa card can also fly aboard Marquis’ planes by accumulating points; for example, a Stratus card holder who spends $195,000 earns 195,000 points, which is good for an hour of flight aboard a Citation Excel. Typical members include fractional owners who seek supplemental flight hours or newcomers to private aviation.
etPass, 877.703.2348, www.flightoptions.com/jetpass
Marquis Jet, 866.538.1400, www.marquisjet.com
Stratus Rewards, 877.258.2360, www.stratusrewards.com
Vector, 877.832.8678, www.citationshares.com/vector
National Charter Operators
Industry professionals say that a trusted local charter operator is worth its weight in gold, but these national charter operators offer breadth and depth in their fleets that smaller companies do not have. The companies either own the planes in their fleets or manage aircraft that belong to individuals, corporate flight departments, or other charter operators.
National Charter Brokers
National charter brokers do not own the planes in their fleets, but instead tap into their networks of local charter operators to meet client demand. Because of their national base, these brokers can offer more choices in aircraft. Brokers choose operators that can provide the requested services at preferred prices and then pass the savings onto their clients.
Air Royale International, 800.776.9253, www.airroyale.com
Blue Star Jets, 866.538.8463, www.bluestarjets.com
CharterAuction, 800.370.7719, www.charterauction.om
Sentient Jet, 866.473.6843, www.sentientjet.com
Skyjet, 888.275.9538, www.skyjet.com