The old year ended with Delta Air Lines announcing it was merging Delta Private Jets into Wheels Up. When the deal closes, it becomes Wheels Up’s largest shareholder creating a fleet of over 180 aircraft, mainly King Air, light and midsize aircraft.
The new year begins with Jet Edge International, a major player in large-cabin private jets, acquiring JetSelect Aviation. The deal creates a fleet of 85 aircraft.
Last February, Jet Edge announced it had raised $60 million to fund expansion and acquisitions.
Neither operator has its own jet card programs. In the past Jet Edge hinted a program might be in the offing. That no longer seems to be the case.
Both instead focus on serving the charter market mainly via wholesaling to brokers. Those brokers then retail on-demand charter and jet cards to consumers.
Jonah Adler, chief marketing officer for Jet Edge, tells Private Jet Card Comparisons there are no plans to change that.
In fact, he says the charter operator and private jet management company is “doubling down on wholesale.” It plans to roll out an institutionalized program to reward top brokerages in the next several months.
Benefits are likely to include more favorable terms for cancelations, night flights and even fixed rates for city pairs.
The result could be jet card brokers are able to offer better terms as part of their card membership programs.
That might include lower daily minimums for large and super-midsize jets. Depending on provider they can range as high as 150 minutes or more.
Last year Vista Global’s XO, which owns 43 super-midsize jets, launched capped rates at 3.5 hours, plus taxi time.
That means if your flight exceeds three-and-a-half-hours, you still only pay your hourly rate multiplied by 3.5 plus 12 minutes for ground time.
PrivateFly, owned by Directional Aviation, has been rolling out fixed rates in Europe and more recently between New York and Los Angeles or San Francisco for $29,000 each way. However, there isn’t guaranteed availability.
Last year, Jet Edge expanded its floating fleet of Gulfstream GIVs. The fleet specifically appeals to the on-demand charter market as well as jet card brokers.
“The acquisition will provide more elevated private jet charter options for consumers and corporations across the country as Jet Edge expands both east and west coast as well as midwest and central operations,” according to a press release.
The deal was first reported by Corporate Jet Investor earlier today.
The deal expands Jet Edge’s fleet of large-cabin and ultra-long-range aircraft. It goes from Gulfstream, Bombardier, Dassault, Boeing, and Embraer to include a larger offering in the super-midsize cabin class with Challenger 350 and Challenger 300 aircraft.
“Both organizations will immediately benefit from integrating the combined fleet into Jet Edge’s robust charter platform with dedicated internal wholesale sales teams that leverage exclusive partnerships with industry-leading charter brokers,” the release claimed.
It added, “Jet Edge’s point-to-point charter fleet will also now be offered by two complementary aircraft series, Bombardier Challenger and Gulfstream GIV/GV aircraft.”
Jet Edge CEO Bill Papariella said, “(JetSelect founder) Robert Austin has done an incredible job building an amazing team, a significant fleet of Bombardier series aircraft, and the infrastructure to support the new fleet diversification. We look forward to working together towards a very successful 2020 as this acquisition further solidifies Jet Edge as a world-class, end-to-end private aviation services platform.”
JetSelect Aviation will maintain Columbus-based operations and Jet Edge will retain all the existing team members as well as provide growth and advancement opportunities.
JetSelect Aviation’s aircraft fleet is strategically located throughout the Central and Eastern U.S. and expands Jet Edge’s domestic hub locations.
Jet Edge is ARG/US Platinum Rating, Wyvern Wingman Recommendation and the IS-BAO Stage 3. The company employs more than 425 employees and is based in Van Nuys, California.
Jet Select has 10 super-midsize aircraft available for charter, according to its website. Jet Edge has seven super-midsize jets, with its main focus on large cabin and ultra-long-haul private jets.