Argus reveals top Part 135 private jet charter operators for 2019

By Doug Gollan, March 4, 2020

Argus Traqpak has published its list of the largest private jet rental operators in the U.S. based on 2019 flight activity


Part 135 flights declined 0.6% while flight hours fell by 1.4% in 2019


The report highlights the fragmented nature of private jet charter, with the top 25 companies only accounting for one-third of flight hours


Gama Aviation Signature remains the dominant player in Part 135 private jet charter, according to a recap of 2019 activity by Argus Traqpak.

With 103,096 flight hours, it saw a 13% increase compared to 2018, despite an overall decline in the market for commercial private aircraft charter rentals.

Overall, Part 135 flying decreased by 0.6% in flights and 1.4% by flight hours on a year-over-year basis.

In total, Part 135 operators flew 1,564,670 hours, a decrease of 21,591 hours, according to Argus.

On that basis, Gama Aviation Signature (now owned by Wheels Up) represented a 6.6% market share, highlight the highly fragmented nature of the private jet charter market in the United States.

Second place Executive Jet Management, a 100% owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway’s NetJets clocked 59,237 hours, or a 3.8% share of the pie.

XOJET Aviation, the operator of Vista Global’s XO and U.S.-based VistaJet fleet ranked third on the list with a 3.3% share with 51,742 hours.

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Delta Private Jets, now also part of Wheels Up, placed fourth with 38,447 hours, followed by fast-growing Jet Linx Aviation with 31,354 hours. According to Argus, the Omaha-based private jet management company increased its fleet from 88 to 107 aircraft.

Top 25 Part 135 Private Air Charter Operators – 2019

Private Jet Operator 2019 Hours
1. Gama Aviation Signature 103,096
2. Executive Jet Management 59,237
3. XOJET 51,741
4. Delta Private Jets 38,447
5. Jet Linx Aviation 31,354
6. Solairus Aviation 28,352
7. Jet Edge 22,549
8. Exclusive Jets 20,764
9. Travel Management Company 18,618
10. Mountain Aviation 17,714
11. Clay Lacy Aviation 16,026
12. Jet Aviation 15,725
13. Corporate Flight Management 12,703
14. Aero Air 12,125
15. Talon Air 11,826
16. JetSuite 10,929
17. Worldwide Jet Charter 9,362
18. LI Associates 8,196
19. Red Wing Aeroplane 8,143
20. SC Aviation 7,661
21. Jet Access Aviation 7,622
22. Dumont Aviation 7,388
23. Ultimate Jet Charters 7,354
24. Pegasus Elite Aviation 7,046
25. Wing Aviation Charter Services 6,817

Solairus Aviation led the next five, with 28,352 hours, followed by Jet Edge (22,549 hours), Exclusive Jets (20,674), Travel Management Company (18,618), also acquired by Wheels Up, and Mountain Aviation (17,714).

Other Part 135 operators ranking in the top 25 based on flight hours included Clay Lacy Aviation, Jet Aviation, Corporate Flight Management, Aero Air, Talon Air, JetSuite, Worldwide Jet Charter, LI Associates, Red Wing Aeroplane, SC Aviation, Jet Access, Dumont Aviation, Ultimate Jet Charters, Pegasus Elite Aviation, and Wing Aviation Charter Services.

In total, the top 25 charter operators flew 540,795 hours in 2019, only about 35% of the market.

By contrast, the four largest domestic airlines – American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines, control over 66% of U.S. flying.


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