Last year, Blackstone backed iAero Group acquired Swift Air. The operator is best known for its charter services for sports teams, entertainers, tour operators, and government agencies.
Now it is partnering with Private Jet Services Group. PJS specialized in corporate shuttles, political campaigns, sports teams, and live entertainment tours, before branching into jet cards.
PJS said the deal is based on “an increased opportunity to align resources to enhance growth.”
“After eighteen years of working with various airlines for group charters, PJS has always been impressed with and confident in iAero’s capabilities. The growth through iAero Group capital, and the iAero platform, has allowed Airways to deliver superior operations. When you pair their fleet and capabilities with the PJS customer service and logistics experience, you have created the best offering in the industry,” said PJS founder and CEO, Greg Raiff.
“Our partnership with PJS further establishes our mutual capabilities, vision, and growth well into the future,” said iAero Group Chief Executive Officer, Robert Caputo.
He added, “This partnership has iAero Group and Blackstone’s full commitment to continue to build the best-integrated aviation platform and partnerships in the industry.”
iAero operates 35 Boeing 737-800s, -400s, and -300s, that are configured between 48 and 173 seats.
Raiff declined to comment on expansion, however, he said iAero is developing a 32-seat configuration that provides social distancing.
The 737-800s have the range for transcontinental and transatlantic operations if ETOPs certified. They conceivably could be used to fly scheduled public charters with single-seat sales.
It is thought there will be a niche for a new version of MGM Grand Air or EOS Airlines. Companies and high-end consumers are looking for affordable options that bridge the gap between traditional airlines and full aircraft charter. Both now gone carriers offered scheduled flights in airliners reconfigured with fewer seats. Until the pandemic, British Airways operated an Airbus A319 between New York JFK and London City Airports with just 32 flatbed seats.
Last year, PJS introduced fixed-rates for transatlantic flights as part of its current jet card offerings.
PJS sports team clients have won 17 Stanley Cups, 10 World Series titles, and 12 NCAA Football championships, among others. Five of its music industry clients are in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.