Private jet charter operator JetSuite, which sells Phenom 300 jet cards, is halting operations. The move reflects a steep dive in private travel from the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. Closure of many hotels and resorts has meant aside from second homes and emergencies, there are few places to travel.
In a message on its website, JetSuite stated, “The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting state of emergency around the country has caused an unforeseeable, dramatic downturn in the entire aviation industry.”
It continued, “As a result, effective April 15, 2020, we have grounded our fleet and furloughed most of our crew members. For those of you who were scheduled to fly this week or in the weeks ahead, please accept our deepest apologies for this sudden, but unavoidable and necessary cancelation of all flights until further notice.”
Last year, JetSuite ranked as the 16th largest Part 135 operator in the U.S. Other charter operators have been grounding parts of their fleets as demand dived. Red Wing Aviation, 19th on the list, confirmed to Private Jet Card Comparisons it had grounded all but one of its light jet fleet.
Both JetBlue and Qatar Airways are investors in JetSuite and its sister JSX. The latter offers scheduled flights from private aviation facilities in the Western U.S using reconfigured regional jets.
JSX continues to operate a reduced schedule. Its website shows Oakland, Concord, Burbank, Orange County, Las Vegas, and Phoenix as cities it is currently operating between.
JetSuite had been selling on-demand charters and alongside guaranteed availability, fixed-rate Phenom 300 jet cards under the SuiteKey banner. Deposits for the membership started at $100,000 and ranged to $500,000. The company did not offer an escrow account option.
A spokesperson for JetSuite said they had no additional information beyond what was posted on the website.