Directional Aviation’s OneSky, which owns Flexjet and Sentient Jet, said it has merged its Skyjet brand into PrivateFly, which it had acquired last September. Skyjet was acquired by Directional in 2014 as part of Bombardier’s divestiture of its fractional share arm Flexjet. The Skyjet team is being merged into PrivateFly under Adam Twidell, the co-founder and CEO of PrivateFly.
Both brands have been leaders in online bookings for on-demand charter. Skyjet’s Explorer jet card will now be offered under the PrivateFly moniker. Explorer provides guaranteed availability and fixed one-way rates. Its annual membership fee is being discounted from $9,500 to $5,000, a savings of 47%. The offer is valid through the end of April.
Explorer allows the ability to share membership benefits with up to four authorized users and includes deicing. Light jets are priced at $4,975 per hour ranging to $11,167 for large-cabin jets, excluding 7.5% Federal Excise Tax. Along with Wheels Up and Jet Linx, Explorer is one of a handful of pay-as-you-go guaranteed availability, fixed rate programs.
In terms of integrating the two brands, Directional said the combination will double PrivateFly’s size. The integration also means it will be Directional’s singular on-demand offering for private jet travel. It will sit alongside fractional ownership provider Flexjet and jet card seller Sentient Jet.
There will be sales teams based in Boston, Ft. Lauderdale, New York, Dallas and London. PrivateFly’s restructured U.S. sales team will be led by Michael Hall, who becomes senior vice president of sales. He brings 10 years with Skyjet and Sentient Jet.
The integration brings Sentient’s vetted aircraft network to the combined entity. PrivateFly is independently audited as an Argus certified broker and Wyvern Broker. It’s an active member of industry bodies including NBAA, EBAA and BACA.
It holds a Better Business Bureau accreditation ranking of A+. It also carries a TrustScore of 9.8/10 and is included in Private Jet Card Comparisons’ list of best charter brokers.
All existing clients of Skyjet will continue to speak with their dedicated account manager. There is the additional benefit of an experienced flight team in Europe with the combination.
PrivateFly offers a deposit jet card with dynamic pricing, so essentially a convenience for customers who want to hold money on account. During the winter it trialed a fixed rate program between London and Geneva for customers headed for the ski slopes.
Trade reports say Flexjet is readying a major expansion in Europe and possibly another billion dollar order for Gulfstream jets. Sentient was rated tops last year for overall satisfaction by the readers of Business Jet Traveler. It was the only card program to receive exclusively excellent and very good ratings.
It’s not the first time Directional boss Kenn Ricci has opted to prune the brands in his portfolio. Despite having founded Flight Options, several years ago he opted to discontinue it in favor of focusing on the newly acquired Flexjet brand.
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