While rivals Flexjet and Jet Edge are moving to challenge NetJets with varied strategies, the market leader shows no signs of letting up. In a letter to customers, NetJets president Patrick Gallagher wrote the Berkshire Hathaway-owned fractional and jet card provider would take delivery of over 50 factory-new aircraft this year.
Previously, the company had put the number of deliveries at “more than 40.” It recently stopped selling the Citation Latitude in its jet card program. It cited a shortage of inventory on the super-midsize aircraft. It also began telling customers it is hiking hourly jet card rates 2-to-8% in July.
Gallagher also revealed NetJets is seeing record flight activity. Earlier this year, as it internally announced a plan to hire 150 new pilots, the company said it didn’t expect record levels until October. Last year, speaking at Corporate Jet Investor Miami, Gallagher estimated outside of holidays, he didn’t expect flying to recover to pre-pandemic levels until the second half of 2021.
In the email, Gallagher wrote, “As for travel, owners are doing more than ever. Our daily flight volumes are at a record high and continue to grow. Likewise, a recent study tells us that most owners plan to fly more, whether for business or pleasure.”
In January, a survey of Private Jet Card Comparisons’ subscribers found 96% of flyers who started or restarted flying privately because of Covid-19 plan to continue post-pandemic. That includes 41% who say they will use private jets regularly.
What’s more, existing private aviation users said they expect to increase private jet flying post-pandemic by a 38%-to-7% margin, with 55% saying they would maintain a similar level of usage.
One broker recently issued a press release predicting jet card, and on-demand charter rates could increase up to 20%. Data from Tuvoli, a payment processing platform for charter brokers and operators, shows flight volume at second-home airports up 30% to over 100% compared to 2019 pre-pandemic levels.