NetJets, Flexjet top fractional share operators in 2018

NetJets maintained its firm first place position while Flexjet posted stronger growth by an 8.4% to 0.1% margin last year.

By Doug Gollan, February 3, 2019

NetJets maintained its firm first place position while Flexjet posted stronger growth by an 8.4% to 0.1% margin last year

NetJets and Flexjet remained the two dominant players among fractional share operators in 2018, according to new research from Argus TRAQPak. The data shows that in 2018 NetJets, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, tallied 365,710 hours while Directional Aviation’s Flexjet flew 85,520 hours. In third place with 35,047 hours was Planesense followed by Directional Aviation’s Flight Options at 26,270 hours, Airshare with 18,408 hours, Airsprint Canada at 12,168 hours, Nicholas Air (10,449 hours) and Northern Jet Management (5,085 hours). Fractional operators flew 575,108 hours representing an increase of 4,977 hours over 2017.

NetJets reigned supreme with 64% marketshare

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NetJets flew 64% of all hours recorded by fractional operators, according to the report while Flexjet notched a 14.9% share, the only company to record double digits. Flexjet and Flight Options had a combined share of just under 20%.

Top 2018 Fractional Operators (in hours)

Rank Operator 2018 2017 % Change
1 NetJets365,710 365,495 0.1%
2 Flexjet 85,520 78,901 8.4%
3 Planesense 35,047 35,344 -0.8%
4 Flight Options 26,270 34,927 -24.8%
5 Airshare 18,408 18,221 1.0%
6 Airsprint 12,168 10,789 12.8%
7 Nicholas Air 10,449 8,212 27.2%
8 Northern Jet Management 5,085 5,128 -0.8%

Nicholas Air led with a 27.2% increase in flight hours

Overall, fractional operators saw a 0.9% in increase 2018 in flight hours. Nicholas Air posted the highest percentage growth increasing its flight hours by 27.2% while Airsprint Canada recorded 12.8% growth, Flexjet enjoyed an 8.4% gain and Airshare grew flight hours 1%. NetJets flight hours edged 0.1% up. Both Planesense and Northern Management saw 0.8% declines while Flight Options, which is being phased out by Directional saw a 24.8% drop.

Hours on midsize private jets increased 15.7% in 2018

Midsize cabin fractional flight hours saw an increase of 8.3% in 2018. Small cabin flight hours decreased 0.5% while large cabin flight hours dropped 15.7% during the year. Turboprop flight hours decreased by 5.5%. During the year Airshare, which rebrand from Executive Airshare, dropped the King Air 350i from its fractional and lease offerings.

Las year NetJets’ CEO Adam Johnson said it had taken delivery of 230 new private jets over the past four years and said it plans to order 325 Cessna Longitude and Hemisphere aircraft from Textron. Meanwhile, Kenn Ricci and his CEO Mike Silvestro have been remaking Flexjet adding more long range aircraft like the Gulfstream G650 and G500 and adding to its Red Label program which features a series of designer led interiors and pilots dedicated to specific tails. The goal is to provide an experience closer to full ownership. At the same time Planesense added the Pilatus PC-24 and launched its first jet program in addition to the PC-12 single engine turboprop. Its CEO George Antoniadis has been expanding its primary service area west and expects to eventually offer a national program.

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