The moves come as XOJET has expanded its sales coverage in Florida and rolled out new and revised jet card membership programs during 2017
XOJET is expanding its lifestyle partnerships via an agreement with the iconic golf resort Pinehurst. XOJET Preferred Access and Elite Access program members receive benefits, including complimentary club rentals, room category upgrades, and a complimentary round of golf on The Cradle.
Pinehurst is set on 2,000 North Carolina acres featuring nine championship-rated golf courses, including Pinehurst No. 2, which has hosted three U.S. Opens since 1999 and has served as the site of the PGA Championship, the Ryder Cup and the U.S. Women’s Open. The U.S. Open will return to Pinehurst No. 2 in 2024. Pinehurst is also home to three hotels, a condominium complex offering two- and three-bedroom condos, a large resort spa, tennis courts, the Four-Diamond 1895 Grille and Resort Clubhouse.
In 2017, Pinehurst announced the opening of the 789-yard The Cradle, a nine-hole short course. Designed by golf architect Gil Hanse, The Cradle features holes ranging from 56 to 127 yards. The name is taken because the mini-course is in the same area wherein 1898 Dr. Leroy Culver built the first nine holes. Pinehurst has come to be referred to as the “cradle of American golf.” Private travelers can fly in via Pinehurst Regional Airport which has a 6,502-foot runway and is located 15 minutes from the resort by car.
Separately, XOJET has launched a new advertising campaign, the latest chapter in its Take Command story, Fly Savvy (see below). According to the company, Fly Savvy “reminds our clients of changing times and the rise of the sharing economy, and underlines the importance of continuously evaluating your flying program to select a program that’s designed with you in mind. Fly Savvy communicates our key commercial pillars of personal service, flexible options, and on-demand flying – rarified terms in the private jet industry.”
XOJET’s Busy Year
It has been a busy year for XOJET. It expanded its sales coverage opening an office in Palm Beach, Florida. It also launched a series of new jet card style membership programs building off its fast-growing on-demand charter business that has taken the company beyond its owned fleet and into an expanding “closed fleet” of aircraft sourced from pre-selected charter operators. The company also continues the process of a soft refurbishment of its own Citation X and Challenger 300 fleet, and in September continued the expansion of its lifestyle partnerships by inking an agreement with Canyon Ranch. XOJET alongside NetJets, Sentient Jet and Wheels Up has been among the most aggressive jet card sellers in going beyond providing just flights. Current XOJET partners, according to its website, include Pebble Beach Resorts, Vail Mountain, Beaver Creek, Mandarin Oriental and luxury travel designer Butterfield & Robinson, which specializes in bike travel. XOJET also has partnerships with The Private Suite at LAX, a luxury terminal designed for commercial airline fliers who want to avoid the terminal and Virgin Galactic, Sir Richard Branson’s proposed entry into space travel.
How much are XOJET’s membership programs?
Significantly, XOJET also made several shifts in its programs this year, broadening its offerings while at the same time launching initiation and monthly fees. Speaking about the new programs in a wide-ranging interview with Corporate Jet Investor, XOJET CEO Bradley Stewart notes, “Number one, we’re introducing a Select Access product, which is more appropriate for transactional flyers. Folks who are using us either for supplemental lift or who just do not fly more than 20 or 25 hours a year.
“The second big change is the expansion of the Elite Access to include guaranteed availability on Light and Mid jets. That to me is certainly significant as it puts our sales team in a position to compete effectively with both fractional and jet cards.
“Then, the last one I think is probably a bit more internal. It is more of an XOJET message than a market message. This pivot to subscription is pretty powerful for us because what we have concluded is that we are investing relative to our competition. We are investing in safety. Investing in quality pilots. Investing in training. Obviously, we are investing in vendor standards for off-fleet fulfillment. We are investing in program benefits: the rebate on our fleet and the catering credit. We’re investing in all this stuff that a lot of our on-demand competition is not investing in.
“Charging a subscription fee enables us to keep investing and improving the platform. For people who like working with a national at-scale player like XOJET versus a local mom and pop, they have a decision to make, which is, do they want to help fund the platform?”
Select Access is XOJET’s entry-level program, which starts with a refundable $50,000 deposit that never expires it. Hourly rates are based on dynamic pricing and provide access to both XOJET’s owned aircraft and its charter inventory. Preferred Access is a similar program starting at $100,000 deposit while its Elite Access program at $200,000 offers fixed rates of $5,500 for a Light Jet, $6,750 for Mid-Size aircraft and $8,500 for Super-Mid. Lead time for reservations with the Elite membership is 24 hours except during peak periods when it rises to 48 hours. Fixed rates for the Light Cabin Network apply east of Mississippi River, and for the Mid-Size Cabin Network are valid East of Rocky Mountains. XOJET Enterprise is the provider’s private aviation solution targeting Fortune 500 companies.