After raising rates, eliminating the Citation Latitude from its card offerings, suspending sales of its Classic jet cards, and moving to peak day blackouts on its Elite cards, NetJets this morning is putting a “temporary pause” on the sale of jet cards, fractional shares and leases on its Phenom 300 and Citation XLS entry-level aircraft options. The move impacts both new customers and existing customers who are seeking to stay with the world’s largest private jet operator.
“As unprecedented demand within the private travel industry continues, NetJets, the worldwide leader in private aviation, announced today that they will be placing all new requests for its light cabin aircraft – the Citation XLS and Phenom 300 on a waiting list effective immediately for the U.S. Market. Sales of jet cards, fractional shares, and leases for these aircraft are temporarily paused as the company continues its unwavering focus on safety and service, above all else,” according to a statement from the company.
It continued, “Due to record contract utilization by existing fractional owners, NetJets’ flight demand is currently exceeding all other highs in their 57-year history. While most owners have experienced business as usual in their recent travels, a few have felt the challenges that coincide with heightened demand across the industry.”
The message from NetJets added, “The vast number of flights is taxing the air travel infrastructure in ways we haven’t seen in years—everything from fueling and ramp space to catering and ground transportation are being pushed to their limits in many locations. This is mainly due to demand across the industry, as well as staffing challenges. Within the company’s own operations, inventory constraints within the light jet category have reached a point that additional sales before more aircraft are delivered would put service at risk.”
A survey of Private Jet Card Comparisons subscribers found 18% said they have experienced service disruptions over the past several months. Most complaints dealt with flight delays of several hours and in some cases service recovery taking until the next day or more.
In terms of how the waitlist works and application, an official tells us, “For each card purchase and subsequent purchase ‘renewal’ there is a new contract executed. We are saying that all card purchases and all incremental shares are on a waitlist for these aircraft.”
How long is the waitlist period? The official declined to give an estimate. He says it will depend on capacity. In May demand was up 20% over 2019 and June demand was up 36% over 2019.
The official says, “For shares, it’s not dissimilar to the current practice wherein you sign a binder and give a deposit which is refundable up to 60 days from delivery at which point it becomes non-refundable. For a card, we would have someone execute a card agreement and they would be in the queue but would not pay or otherwise make a deposit. When we open up sales on that aircraft again, we would go down the list and give them a defined time period – X business days – by which they would need to fund the purchase price stated in the agreement. It will be important to have people on the list because if we were to decide to open up X number of Phenom cards on Y date, they will be sold based on the queue.”