Chicago-based private aircraft management company Priester Aviation is launching an invitation-only jet card
After testing jet card offerings in Chicago and Dallas earlier this year, Priester Aviation is now rolling out its entry into the increasingly crowded jet card market. According to an email received by Private Jet Card Comparisons, the program named Centerline will be “by invitation only” and is targeted “for the world’s most discerning traveler.” Since the Great Recession, the number of jet card providers has more than doubled with over 40 sellers and over 250 different programs. Jet cards as a product type are increasingly coming in more flavors, including dynamic pricing and denominations starting at five hours. Earlier today, Wheels Up announced it will launch a membership program next year targeting fliers who need less than 10 hours per year. On the other end of the market, there are jet cards with published pricing up to 100 hours.
The announcement said the jet card is being offered at 25 hours with immediate booking, guaranteed availability, point to point pricing, and concierge-level service. Priester said, “When we envisioned our jet card, we focused on making the impossible, possible.” Comparing the new offering to on-demand charter, the company said, “Time is ever so valuable and should be treated as such. Eliminate the stress of traditional private charter with immediate booking and guaranteed availability. With Priester’s jet card, each experience is tailored without sacrificing safety or quality to achieve every members’ wishes and desires. “
The website shows availability in light jets, midsize jets, super midsize and large-cabin aircraft, with ultra long-range available through its on-demand charter program. From the graphic it displays, Priester is using the maximum number of seats to divide categories. Light jets have up to six seats, midsize aircraft up to seven seats, super midsize aircraft eight seats maximum and large jets capacity to nine seats. For example, the Embraer Phenom 300, which by maximum takeoff weight classifies it as light jet, but with seven seats it’s part of the Priester midsize jet program.
Featured lights jets include the Learjet 31/31A, 40: Citation V, Bravo, Encore, CJ1, CJ2, CJ4, Hawker 400XP, Beechjet 400A, Phenom 100, 100E, and Premier 1. In addition to the Phenom 300, The Gulfstream G100 and G150, the Hawker 800A, 800XP, 900XP, 950XP, Citation Excel/XLS, Learjet 45, 45XR,70, 75, and 60XR. In the super-midsize category, options include the Citation Sovereign, Hawker 4000, Gulfstream G200 and G280, Hawker 4000, Falcon 50/50EX, Legacy 450 and 500, plus Challenger 300 and 350. The Gulfstream G450, Falcon 900 series, Challenger 600 series, Falcon 2000 series and Legacy 600/650 make up the large cabin selection.
As a charter operator, Priester has achieved ARGUS Platinum, Wyvern Wingman, and IS-BAO Stage 3 ratings. Priester Aviation was founded by George Priester in 1945 as a flight training school and today is headed by Andy Priester who as president and CEO is the third generation to lead the business. Based on the aircraft Priester shows as being under management on its website and the various aircraft being offered in the program, it appears that the company will use a hybrid model of private jets it manages as well as sourcing aircraft through third-party operators. At press time, we are awaiting more details on the program.
According to ARGUS, Priester was the 21st largest FAR Part 135 charter operator in 2017 clocking 8,718 hours. Among other jet card providers, GAMA Aviation which operates the Wheels Up fleet led the way with 67,152 hours, while XOJET was second at 45,990 hours, followed by Delta Private Jets at 34,048 hours, Jet Linx Aviation with 32,167 hours, Jet Aviation at 19,110 hours, Clay Lacy with 17,194 hours and JetSuite at 15,335 hours.
After we posted this, we received the following additional details:
Service Area – 48 lower US states plus locations within 200 miles of US borders. Flights must originate or finish in one of seven major regions in the USA: Flight Regions: Metro Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Denver (and major ski resorts, Aspen, etc.) and major South Florida destinations (FXE, PBI, MIA etc.).
· Guaranteed Availability – As little as 14 hours for domestic, non-peak dates
· Upgrades / Downgrades – Based upon availability and will be confirmed 24 hours prior
· Safety Standards – Fleet and crew must pass an ARGUS check
· Age of fleet – Maximum age is 20 years old
· Hourly rates – Inclusive of fuel surcharges and taxes
· Funds – Refundable