NetJets, Flexjet power growth in the fractional ownership market

By Doug Gollan, March 3, 2020

The two largest players in fractional ownership of private jets saw significant growth in 2019

NetJets and Flexjet, the two largest players in the fractional ownership market, both recorded strong performances in 2019, measured by flight hours.

According to data released by Argus Traqpak, for the total fractional market, flights and flight hours grew 5.9% and 7.9% respectively, when compared to 2018.

“The fractional industry will look back and see 2019 as a banner year. The segment saw yearly gains in every month, of 2019,” the reported noted.

Midsize cabin fractional flight hours increased by 15.1%. Small cabin flight hours grew 5.9% for the year, while large cabin hours declined 9.6%. Turboprop flight hours saw a decrease of 5.6%.

Fractional flight activity comparison 2019 vs. 2018
Powered by growth at NetJets and Flexjet, fractional ownership private jet flight hours flights grew 5.9% in 2019 compared to 2018.

Together, fractional operators flew 620,288 hours, an increase of 45,180, hours over 2018.

NetJets vs. Flexjet

NetJets increased flight hours to 399,950 from 365,710 hours in 2018, a growth of 9.4% for a market share of 64%

At the same time, Directional Aviation’s Flexjet flight hours rose from 85,520 to 11,189, a 30% gain.

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Flight Options, also owned by Directional, which is phasing out, saw its flight hours drop from 26,170 to 19,190.

Combined, both Directional companies recorded 130,379 hours, up from 121,790, an increase of 7%, representing a 21% share.

PlaneSense, which introduced its first jet program with the Pilatus PC-24, in addition to its PC-12 program, saw hours inch up 1.7% to 35,648 in 2019.

Kansas-based Airshare, which has been expanding its footprint in the midwest, saw an 11% dip to 16,369 hours, while Canada’s Airsprint saw flight hours grow 14% to 13,871 hours.

Nicholas Air recorded a 3.7% decline, while Northern Jet Management flew 3.9% more hours last year.

2019 Top Fractional Operators

Operator2019 hours% Change
1. NetJets399,950+ 9.4%
2. Flexjet111,189+ 30.0%
3. Planesense34,648+ 1.7%
4. Flight Options19,190– 27.0%
5. Airshare16,369– 11.1%
6. AirSprint13,871+ 14.0%
7. Nicholas Air10,072– 3.6%
8. Northern Jet Management5,284+ 3.9%

Last year, Flexjet set its targets on NetJets with its first campaign specifically targeting its in-state rival. Flexjet is based in Cleveland, while NetJets is headquartered in Columbus.

It has also been bolstering its lifestyle partnerships and made billion-dollar orders with both Embraer Executive Jets and Gulfstream Aerospace to support its growth plans.

NetJets, meanwhile, said it took delivery of 70 new aircraft in 2019. It also launched sales for its Bombardier Global 7500 program, which will see the delivery of the first aircraft in 2021.

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