The jet card world is losing another iconic brand. After Wheels Up dropped the Delta Private Jets brand in February, NetJets has retired the Marquis Jet brand. It had been using the mark for its jet cards.
A spokesperson tells Private Jet Card Comparisons, “To create more consistency and build upon the strength of the NetJets brand, we believed our card program should be renamed to align with NetJets Share and NetJets Lease. By calling it the NetJets Card, we promote simplification across the marketplace and can leverage our brand name itself rather than having to promote different brand identities at the product level.”
Marquis Jet was launched in 2001 by Kenny Dichter. He exited 2011 after selling to NetJets in 2010. Dichter founded rival Wheels Up in 2013.
Marquis Jet was born after Dichter convinced then NetJets CEO Richard Santulli to appoint his start-up as exclusive sales agent of 25-hour jet cards on the fractional operator’s fleet.
At the time, NetJets only offered shares and leases. The starting point was 50 flight hours per year with a minimum of a three-year commitment.
Dichter believed there was a broader market. That segment didn’t need as much jet time and didn’t want to make multi-year commitments.
Wheels Up, along with jet card inventor Sentient Jet, helped popularize the pre-paid flight programs. They offered flyers fixed rates, one-way pricing, eliminating repositioning fees, and guaranteed availability with as little as 10 hours’ notice. Today over 60 jet card providers are bridging the gap between ownership and on-demand charter.
NetJets has been expanding its jet card line-up. It features the Embraer Phenom 300, Cessna Citation XLS, Sovereign, and Latitude, Bombardier Challenger 350 and 650.
Card flyers account for about 20% of NetJets’ flight hours, according to executives. Based on Argus data, that would equate to about 60,000 flight hours. That’s similar to leading Part 135 charter operator Gama Aviation, now owned by Wheels Up.
NetJets offers a Classic version, with a 10-hour non-peak booking window and 30 peak days without surcharge. The lower-priced Elite card has a 24-hour non-peak call-out and 45 peak days with a 25% surcharge. The recently renamed Corporate Angel Jet Card is an evolution of its former X-Country, nee [Red] jet card. It gives users a super-midsize jet for flights over 3.5 hours and the XLS for shorter legs.
All NetJets cards included WiFi, deicing, full catering, and welcome pets.
Dichter went on to build Wheels Up into the second-largest U.S. for-hire private aviation provider. It trails only worldwide leader NetJets.