Top 25 private jet charter operator Dumont Aviation is the latest jet card provider to get payroll support

Updated: Our Private Jet Operator CARES Act Relief Scorecard shows how much the 25 largest U.S. fractional and charter operators received in payroll support

Delaware-based Dumont Aviation has received just under $3 million in payroll support as part of the CARES Act. The operator of owned and managed private jets ranks 24th for flight hours in the U.S. among Part 135 and 91k operators, according to Argus data (table below).

Of the 25 largest commercial private jet operators, 18 have now received funds, two (NetJets and Solairus Aviation) said they did not apply, and five companies have yet to appear on the Treasury Department’s published list.

CARES Act funding for private jet operators

The Payroll Support Program (PSP) provides payroll support to passenger air carriers, cargo air carriers, and certain contractors for the continuation of payment of employee wages, salaries, and benefits.

A total of up to $25 billion is available for passenger air carriers. The largest recipients have been scheduled airlines.

According to the Treasury Department, “The amount to be received by each air carrier or contractor is based on its payroll expenses from April 2019 through September 2019, subject to proration. Funds received by these air carriers and contractors must exclusively be used for the continuation of payment of employee wages, salaries, and benefits.”

The New Castle-based floating fleet operator agreed to receive payments of $986,989 and $1,990,469. Both agreements were signed on July 8, 2020, according to the Treasury Department’s website.

The most recently published data covers loans signed through July 9th. The program is widely credit for helping business aviation rebound quickly to meet the increased needs of consumers.

Decreased airline schedules have made flying more difficult, combined with concerns about possible COVID-19 exposure on packed airplanes. There are about 700 potential points of Coronavirus exposure when flying with airlines compared to private jets.

Dumont Aviation Dassault Falcon 2000s

Dumont offers the Santos Jet Card, which starts at 25 hours and uses a combination of the Part 135 operator’s owned and managed fleet, as well as off-fleet operators.

The core of its fleet is 17 large-cabin Dassault Falcon 2000s acquired from NetJets, many that have been painted in a distinctive red livery. Dumont also refurbished interiors. Its website also shows two super-midsize Falcon 50s and a Hawker 400XP.

Second ranked Wheels Up Partners, which incorporates Delta Private Jets, Gama Aviation Signature, and TMC Jets, received $74 milliion.

Third place OneSky Flight (Flexjet, Flight Options, Sentient Jet, PrivateFly) gained $84 million, while Vista Global Holdings’ XOJet Aviation, ranked fourth by Argus, received $13 million.

PlaneSense, a fractional share fleet operator of Pilatus PC-24s and PC-12s has not appeared on the Treasury Department list yet. It is now the largest player – ranked fifth in terms of flight hours – to not have shown up so far.

Private Jets boost the economy

While there has been media coverage critical of private aviation companies receiving a government bailout, in retrospect including business aviation is proving to be an astute move.

American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines received nearly $20 billion in CARES Act monies. Still, most of their fleets remain grounded with executives saying it may take at least three years to restore their networks to pre-COVID-19 levels. According to TSA numbers, the number of airline passengers remains at around 25% of pre-pandemic levels.

Private aviation providers report many customers are new to private aviation. Sentient Jet reported half of its sales in April and May were to new customers while NetJets said May was its best month for new customer acquisition since 2007. Jet card and charter brokers, including Magellan Jets and Air Partner, have reported triple-digit increases.

The newbies are driven by both health concerns and lacking airline schedule, the latter making airlines often inconvenient or in some cases impossible to use.

Below is the full scorecard of the top Part 135 and 91K private jet operators ranked by 2019 flight hours, with CARES Act funds received.

Largest Part 135/91K Private Jet Operators CARES Act Scorecard

COMPANY (Recipient/Affiliated Brands) 2019
HOURS 
CARES ACT FUNDS (in Dollars)
1. NetJets (NetJets, Executive Jet Management)            459,187 
DNA 
2. Wheels Up Partners Holdings (Wheels Up, Gama Aviation Signature, Delta Private Jets, TMC Jets)            160,161 
$      74,227,036
3. OneSky Flight (Flexjet, Flight Options, Sentient Jet, PrivateFly)            130,379 
$       84,362,984

4. XOJET Aviation (XO, VistaJet)
              51,741 
$       13,146,562

5. PlaneSense
              34,648 
NI 

6. Jet Linx Aviation
              31,354
 $       20,033,063

7. Solairus Aviation
              28,352 
DNA 

8. Jet Edge
              22,549 
NI 

9. Exclusive Jets
              20,764 
$          7,098,628

10. Mountain Aviation
              17,714 
$          7,173,077

11. Executive Flight Services (Airshare)
              16,369 
$          6,928,679

12. Clay Lacy Aviation
              16,026 
$       26,937,934

13. Jet Aviation
              15,725 
NI 

14. Corporate Flight Management
              12,703 
$          2,915,703

15. Aero Air
              12,125 
NI 

16. Talon Air
              11,826 
$          5,202,329

17. Delux Public Charter (JSX, JetSuite)
              10,929 
$          8,958,475

18. Nicholas Air
              10,072 
NI 

19. Worldwide Jet Charter
                9,362 
$          4,179,700

20. LJ Associates
                8,196 
$          3,100,359

21. Red Wing Aeroplane
                8,143 
$          2,698,908

22. SC Aviation
                7,661 
$          4,616,357

23. Jet Access Aviation
                7,622 
$          2,371,863

24. Dumont Aviation
                7,388
$          2,977,458

25. Ultimate Jet Charters
                7,354 
$         2,828,548
Source: Argus Traqpak, U.S. Treasury Department. NI = No Information; DNA = Did Not Apply

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