The first jet card seller to halt taking new customers is now selling jet cards again, but on a limited basis
Florida-based Velocity Jets is a boutique broker. It was also ahead of the industry in halting jet card sales to new customers. It did so in early July, more than a month before NetJets, the first prominent player to put jet cards on ice. Velocity is now restarting – on a limited basis.
At the time, CEO Patrick Harris told us, “We have clients who have been with us for 10 years, and we don’t want to have a letdown in service.”
His new card program still starts at 25. Velocity never dropped its entry point during the early period of Covid when private flying dipped 80%.
Like most cards, rates are higher, the booking window is longer, and there are more peak days. He also eliminated guaranteed service recovery at no additional cost. It’s something I expect to see more of.
Harris says sourcing quality jets from dependable operators remains a time-consuming difficult task. Recovery flights are often next to impossible.
“We’ve just put together some complicated trips, and they worked out, but it’s rough out there,” he says.
He says ground services have declined as FBOs deal with record demand. Since June, charter and fractional operators starting setting record levels. Owners are flying their airplanes more. FBOS are experiencing the same labor and supply chain shortages as other industries.
Harris originally hoped to restart sales to new customers in August. As he starts now, he is only looking for three to five new jet card clients.
Before stopping, he had under 30 jet card members. It was as much as he could handle while providing the levels of service he wants to offer. When you call Velocity, Harris often answers the phone.
His restart may be similar to how others come back into the market. Jet Linx announced it is now taking new customers on a limited basis. Sentient is apparently taking a limited number of new customers. Wheels Up is making new customers who deposit less than $200,000 wait 90 days before flying.