It looks like Solairus Aviation is getting serious about selling jet cards. The Petaluma, California-based management company is keeping the name of its former jet card program – Altitude 25 by Solairus, but it has made a number of improvements and looks to have created a best-in-class program for those of you who charter super midsize and large-cabin private jets for shorter flights.
Paul Class, senior vice president of charter sales, tell Private Jet Card Comparisons, “We have had more and more customers who want to know the cost for a fixed number of hours. We’ve seen a tremendous increase in the type of request.”
The new program, which will be officially launched in the coming weeks but is already being sold, maintains the former policy of no surcharges during peak days, but introduces new, lower 60-minute daily and segment minimums, including taxi time, and including for super-midsize and large-cabin aircraft. The revised Altitude also allows members to upgrade or downgrade cabin category for each trip and adds a 20% roundtrip discount.
Lead-time for reservations is 24 hours and 120 hours on 75 peak days, with the tradeoff for the high number of peak days being lack of surcharges. WiFi is guaranteed on super midsize and large-cabin jets while fully enclosed lav is guaranteed on light jets.
Hourly rates, including 7.5% Federal Excise Tax are $5,800 (light jets), $7,800 (midsize jets), $9,900 (super midsize) and $14,000 (large cabin). Deicing is extra, however, for every 25 hours you fly, you then earn one free hour on the cabin category you flew most often, so approximately an extra 4% in savings from the above. The minimum deposit is $145,000, based on 25 hours on a light jet.
In terms of the primary service area, it’s the Continental U.S. plus 200 miles from the border with other flights requiring a custom quote, however, you can use your deposit to fund custom charter pricing. There is an escrow account option and you can get a full refund any time of unused funds.
The new, shorter daily and segment minimums make the Solairus program much more attractive (they had previously been 120 minutes), and in fact, Solairus now becomes a top choice in the super-midsize and large cabin areas if you are doing flights under 90 minutes where you often run into minimums of 120 minutes per day or longer. The large cabin program is new, although the very light jet program went away in the revamp.
In terms of safety and fleet sourcing, Solairus uses its own managed fleet and its network of operators that meet its standards. All aircraft must be 20 years old or newer, and all aircraft in the partner network must go through an audit, which allows Solairus to investigate the aircraft’s service history, maintenance records, FAA, insurance coverage and a thorough review of the operator’s safety management system. Solairus holds IS-BAO Stage 3, Wyvern Wingman and Argus Platinum ratings, the highest given from each entity.
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