PrivateFly launches Directional Aviation into Europe’s jet card market

By Doug Gollan, August 4, 2020

A week after the parent of Flexjet and Sentient Jet debuted a new U.S. on-demand charter brand, PrivateFly is bringing the company’s first fixed-rate, guaranteed availability private jet membership to Europe

Buoyed by requests from ad hoc charter customers and newcomers to private aviation, PrivateFly is launching a fixed-rate, guaranteed availability jet card.

For parent Directional Aviation, it now joins NetJets, Vista Global’s VistaJet and XO, Air Partner, and Air Charter Service with fixed-rate card programs on both sides of the Atlantic.

PrivateFly CEO Adam Twidell tells Private Jet Card Comparisons many customers and prospects expect to eschew airlines for at least the next 12 months due to concerns about COVID-19. They want to know what they will pay so they can better plan in advance. And of course, they want to minimize potential exposure to the deadly virus is paramount.

PrivateFly Jet Card

Cabin Size Hourly RateDaily Minimum,
including taxi time
Light Jet€5,90060 minutes
Midsize Jet€7,95075 minutes
Large Jet€11,70090 minutes

For its jet card, PrivateFly will use company operated aircraft and a limited number of operators to ensure the highest standards of health-hygiene compliance, Twidell says.

The entry point is 25 hours, and the card is non-refundable. However, funds never expire, there is an escrow account option, and you can use funds for on-demand charters outside of the fixed-rate service area as well as for City Pairs flights.

PrivateFly’s City Pairs, which offer fixed rates on popular routes in Europe changing seasonally, will now also offer guaranteed availability so long as you book at least 14 days in advance.

€5,900 per hour for Light Jets

PrivateFly’s new jet card offers fixed one-way pricing on light, midsize and large cabin private jets. Light jets are priced at €5,900 per hour; €7,950 for midsize jets, and €11,700 per hour for large-cabin aircraft.

Up to five lead passengers can share a single account, making it good for families and companies.

PrivateFly Adam Twidell
PrivateFly CEO Adam Twidell is leading Directional Aviation, which includes Flexjet, Sentient Jet, and FXAIR, into the European jet card market.

There are two zones, with Zone 2 pricing at a 30% premium. That impacts flights that start or end in Zone 2 or are wholly within it.

Zone 1 includes England, Wales, Ireland, France, Spain including Balearic Islands, Portugal, Italy including Sicily and Sardinia, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic.

Zone 2 includes Scotland, the Greek mainland, Malta, Turkey, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Morocco, and the cities of Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca (Romania), and Sofia (Bulgaria). 

U.S. access via Sentient Jet

Sister Sentient Jet provides PrivateFly customers U.S. access. Sentient is one of the largest buyers of Part 135 charter in America, with an estimated $300 million in annual sales.

There are no peak days surcharges and only 15 peak days, however, it’s as available for those dates. There’s also a 20% discount for qualifying roundtrips. PrivateFly has no joining or membership fees and there are no fuel surcharges. You also get a 12-month rate lock. You can also switch between categories without interchange fees. Catering and deicing are included, although WiFi isn’t guaranteed. Pets are guaranteed with notice at the time of booking.

Taxi time inclusive minimums are 60 minutes for light jets, 75 minutes for midsize, and 90 minutes for large jets. Light jets guarantee six seats, while midsize aircraft offer eight seats, and large-cabin jets accommodate 13.

The lead time for reservation is 24 hours. Over 120 hours, there are no cancelation charges. From 120 to 48 hours, there is a 25% charge, and from 48 to 24 hours, the fee is 50%.

PrivateFly allows five lead passengers per account and multiple aircraft on the same day at fixed rates.

Directional’s ambitions

PrivateFly’s announcement follows by less than a week parent Directional Aviation’s launch of FXAIR. The new entrant is positioned as a premium on-demand charter brand in the U.S. It will utilize 17 Flexjet Bombardier Challenger 300 and Global Express XRS private jets retired from the fractional fleet.

In May, Kenn Ricci, principal of Directional, confirmed Flexjet will move forward with its plan to sell leases and fractional shares in Europe, delayed until 2021 due to the global pandemic.

Directional acquired PrivateFly in 2018.

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