FlyExclusive, Solairus, Airshare, Nicholas Air gain on Top 135/91K operators list

NetJets, Flexjet, Wheels Up, Vista Global, and Jet Linx continue at the top of the leaderboard as FlyExclusive jumps from #8 to #5

Analyzing the latest data from Argus TraqPak from the first six months of 2021, there is no change in ranking the four largest private jet providers.

NetJets remains in the top spot, following by Directional Aviation’s Flexjet, Wheels Up, and operators in which Vista Global holds a minority stake – XOJET, Red Wing, and Talon Air.

Related:
- Charter/Fractional flying increases share of private flights to record levels
- 2020 Top Part 135/91k Fractional and Charter Operators 
- 25 Biggest Private Jet Charter Operators (Part 135) ranked for 2020 
- Top 25 Busiest Private Jet Airports for 2020 
- 2020 Most Popular Private Jets by Category
- 2020 Private Jet Flights by State, Region, and Quarter
- PRIVATE AVIATION DEAL BOOK - Catalog of Mergers, Acquisitions, Launches, IPOs, Capital Raises, and Bankruptcies by Business Aviation Operators

Fast-growing FlyExclusive, including its Gulfstream operator Sky Night, jumps from the 8th spot on our final 2020 list to the 5th spot. Jet Linx moves from 5th to 6th. PlaneSense drops from 6th to 7th. Solairus moves from 10th to 9th. Jet Edge, with Jet Select flight hours, moves from 9th to 8th, the ranking previously held by Mountain Aviation, now part of Wheels Up Experience. Airshare breaks into the top 10.

Top Private Jet Operators (Jan. to June 2021)

RankProvider Flight Hours% Share 91K/
135 share **
(Charter/Fractional)
% Share All Flights
(w/Part 91)
1NetJets, Inc.*242,91819.77%10.75%
2Flexjet (Directional)86,7647.06%3.84%
3Wheels Up Experience Inc81,4096.63%3.60%
4Vista Global Holding*47,2433.84%2.09%
5Fly Exclusive*21,8221.78%0.97%
6Jet Linx20,7411.69%0.92%
7PlaneSense19,4071.58%0.86%
8Jet Edge*18,4401.50%0.82%
9Solairus Aviation16,7631.36%0.74%
10Airshare9,3190.76%0.41%
11Clay Lacy7,5910.62%0.34%
12Nicholas Air7,5690.62%0.33%
13Corporate Flight Management6,2630.51%0.28%
14AirSprint5,8580.48%0.26%
15Thrive Aviation5,7870.47%0.26%
16Aero Air5,7030.46%0.25%
17Worldwide Jet Charter5,6620.46%0.25%
18Jet Access5,1270.42%0.23%
19Wing Aviation (Alliance Aviation)5,0250.41%0.22%
20Superior Transportation Associates4,9710.40%0.22%
21Jet Aviation4,9440.40%0.22%
22Premier Air4,6320.380.20%
23Jet It4,5930.37%0.20%
24Advanced Air4,4850.36%0.20%
25Scott Aviation4,4680.36%0.20%
26GrandView Aviation4,4260.36%0.20%
27Pacific Coast Jet 4,3690.36%0.19%
28SC Aviation4,3490.35%0.19%
29Hop-A-Jet4,2540.35%0.19%
30Northern Jet Management2,7030.22%0.12%
31West Coast Charters2,1930.18%0.10%
Notes: * NetJets, Inc. flight hours includes NetJets and Executive Jet Management; Vista Global Holding includes VistaJet flights into or out of North America, XOJET Aviation, Red Wing Aviation, and Talon Air. As a foreign-based company, Vista Global can only hold minority stakes in U.S. operators. Fly Exclusives includes Sky Night Aviation; Jet Edge includes Jet Select. ** See methodology below.

Leading up the next 10 largest operators are Clay Lacy Aviation (11th) and Nicholas Air, (12th) both of which offer jet card programs.

Other jet card providers in the top 30 include Wing Aviation (19th), the operator arm of jet card seller Alliance Aviation, GrandView Aviation (26th), and Northern Jet Management (30th).

AirSprint (14th) and Jet It (22nd) both sell fractional ownership shares and leases.

Many charter operators focus on local customers and wholesale to brokers and other operators for their charter and jet card programs.

Business aviation consolidation

There has been a seemingly endless string of acquisitions and mergers. How has consolidation impacted the industry?

So far in 2021, the 10 largest operators account for 46.0% of Part 135/91K flight hours, up from 44.3% at the end of 2020. Looking at the overall industry, the top 10 flew 25.0% of flight Part 135/91K hours in North America as tracked by Argus compared to 23.2% for 2020.

Looking at the 30 largest operators of fractional and charter aircraft, together they account for just 53.6% of Part 135/91K flight hours and 29.4% of total North American private aviation flight hours.

Biggest Private Jet Companies – Methodology

A note about the numbers: The Private Jet Card Comparisons’ rankings combine Argus’ reporting of both Part 135 and Part 91K flight hours. While Part 135 represents charter flights and 91K is those of fractional operators, we believe viewing them together provides the most accurate picture of the industry landscape.

That’s because Argus creates its separate 135 and 91K lists, which we report on annually, based on which category the majority of the operator’s flights fall into. In other words, the list of Part 91K fractional operators includes a significant number of Part 135 flying.

For example, providers on the fractional list also sell jet cards (a form of charter) and operate Part 135 flights. Specifically, during the first six months of 2021, NetJets racked up 216,537 hours, not including Executive Jet Management, its management arm that is counted in the Part 135 data. NetJets has previously said about 20% of the flying on its fractional fleet is for jet cards, or Part 135. That infers over 43,000 Part 135 hours, which would make it the second-largest operator of Part 135 flight hours.

By combining the flight hours of Part 91K fractional operators and those of the 135 operators, we believe this gives you a clear picture of all flight hours for private aviation users who don’t own an entire aircraft operated for non–commercial use, which is Part 91 flying.

By then adding in Part 91 flight hours, you can see what percentage of total North American private aviation flight hours each provider accounts for under their Part 135/91K operations.

(Updated Aug. 4, 2021 – An earlier version of this story omitted Sky Night flight hours from FlyExclusive, moving it from 6th to 5th. Jet Select flight hours were also omitted from Jet Edge totals. The revised flight hours move Jet Edge from 9th to 8th. Jet Linx moves from 5th to 6th. Solairus Aviation moves from 8th to 9th. We also updated share numbers for providers and for the top 10 and 30 operators.)

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