Boutique jet card broker Velocity Jets is putting a 30-day stop on accepting new jet card clients. WingX earlier today reported private jet flights over the July 4th holiday were 44% above 2019 pre-Covid levels. Founder and CEO Patrick Harris tells Private Jet Card Comparisons that it’s both a supply and demand issue.
On the supply side, he said quality aircraft are becoming harder to source and when operators cancel, it is taking longer and becoming more expensive to secure recovery flights.
“We have clients who have been with us for 10 years, and we don’t want to have a letdown in service,” Harris says.
Last week, an operator canceled a client’s flight from the Cayman Islands to South Carolina just 24 hours before the scheduled return. It took 10 hours of frantic phone calls to secure a replacement aircraft and avoid a delay. The client had booked his flight 30 days out.
“If we’re in an upside down situation, we have to suck it up. Jet cards are about averages, and we guarantee recovery at no addition cost,” he notes.
At the same time, Harris says his clients are traveling more. Customers who traveled a couple times a month are now traveling twice a week, he says.
“When our clients call we have to be ready. We’re a small shop, so for us, we rely 100% on customer service. Each flight takes work, and the paperwork, and double and triple checking all elements of the trip, from FBOs to catering. We just can’t afford to let our service slip,” he says.
Harris says he hopes to begin accepting new client requests again in August. “I don’t think it can keep up at this level for an extended period. But right now, there are only so many hours in the day.”
Earlier this week NetJets went to a waitlist for its Phenom 300 and Citation XLS jet cards, shares and leases, citing record demand.