Biggest Part 135 private jet charter companies for 2021 ranked

By Doug Gollan, February 10, 2022

Part 135 largest charter operators led by Wheels Up as FlyExclusive breaks into the Top 4 behind NetJets’ Executive Jet Management and Vista Global’s XOJet Aviation

Charter operators in 2021 saw flights surge 46% to a record to 1,947,472 hours, according to Argus TraqPak

The list of 2021’s biggest private jet charter companies is once again led by Wheels Up Experience as ranked by Argus TraqPak. See the 2020 list here.

With its total flight hours this year, including Mountain Aviation, Gama Aviation Signature, and Delta Private Jets, flight hours increased 40% from 119,478 to 166,805 (see chart below).

2021 Private Aviation Data and Statistics

2021’s 30 Biggest Charter/Fractional Private Jet Companies Ranked (Full Year)
2021’s Biggest Part 91k Fractional Private Jet Operators ranked
25 Busiest U.S. Private Jet Airports in 2021
2021 Private Jet Flights by State-by-State
Charter/Fractional Private Jet Market Share 2007-to-2021

However, excluding off-fleet bookings through third-party operators, its market share ticked down 4/10ths of a point from 8.99% to 8.57% as total industry Part 135 flight hours grew 46% to a record 1,947,472 from 1,329,729.

Largest Private Jet Charter Operators 2021

Operator2021 Hours2021 Share2020 Hours2020 Share
1 (1)Wheels Up166,8058.57%119,4788.99%
2 (3)Executive Jet Management (NetJets)62,6813.22%37,3482.81%
3 (2)XOJet Aviation (Vista Global)55,3252.84%50,3923.79%
4 (7)FlyExclusive43,0672.21%24,5791.85%
5 (4)Jet Linx Aviation42,2842.17%29,6642.23%
6 (8)Solairus Aviation39,6872.04%20,9681.58%
7 (9)Jet Edge32,4031.66%19,2771.45%
8 (11)Clay Lacy Aviation17,9400.92%10,7610.81%
9 (13)Corporate Flight Management14,2840.73%10,3080.78%
10 (12)Aero Air13,8000.71%10,5080.79%
11 (16)Red Wing Aviation (Vista Global)12,4190.64%9,1990.69%
12 (15)Worldwide Jet Charter11,9660.61%9,7020.73%
13 (NR)Thrive Aviation11,9360.61%7,9750.60%
14 (NR)NXT Jet/Wing (Alliance)11,7370.60%3,0930.23%
15 (NR)Hop A Jet11,6820.60%6,4530.49%
16 (18)Jet Aviation11,5020.59%7,4930.56%
17 (14)Talon Air (Vista Global)11,4890.59%9,8500.74%
18 (NR)Jet Air11,2900.58%3,9770.30%
19 (20)Superior Transportation Associates11,1870.57%6,3960.48%
20 (23)Berry Aviation10,9820.56%6,0470.45%
21 (23)GrandView Aviation10,5930.54%3,9140.29%
22 (19)Jet Access Aviation10,4770.54%6,6410.50%
23 (24)Scott Aviation10,0820.52%5,9980.45%
24 (NR)Prime Jet9,9450.51%6,1410.46%
25 (21)SC Aviation9,6150.49%6,2080.47%
 Total Part 135 Hours1,947,472 1,329,729 
Source: Argus Traqpak

NetJets’ aircraft management arm Executive Jet Management moved up a notch and regained second place as flight hours spiked 68% to 62,681.

Much of those flight hours are believed to be carrying NetJets’ passengers off-fleet when demand outstripped supply for the fractional provider.

Vista Global operators

While XOJet Aviation dropped from second to third, it joined Red Wing Aviation (up to 11 from 16) and Talon Air (down to 17 from 14), giving Vista Global three operators in the top 25. Together the Vista Global operators clocked 79,223 hours, according to Argus. Much of their lift is sold via sister brokerage XO Global.

With 75% growth in flight hours, FlyExclusive moved from 7th to 4th, while Jet Linx Aviation dropped from 4th to 5th despite a 43% gain in charter hours.

Solairus Aviation, which halted jet card sales, moved from 8th to 6th on 89% year-over-year gains. Jet Edge moved up two spots to 7th as flight hours increased 68%.

Private Jet Charter Operators – 2021’s biggest gainers

The most significant gains on a percentage basis were NXT Jet, which saw flight hours spike 279%, moving it into the 14th spot. NXT is the Part 135 certificate for Wing Aviation and its jet card broker Alliance Aviation.

JetAir entered the rankings at 18 on 184% growth, and GrandView Aviation ticked up two notches to the 21st spot on 171% growth.

Only 14 of the 25 largest operators currently have a fixed or capped rate jet card or membership program directly or through affiliated companies. However, several operators are expected to launch direct-to-consumer jet cards this year.

FlyExclusive, Jet Edge, Thrive Aviation, and Grand View have all launched various jet card concepts in the past 24 months.

The Argus TraqPak data represents aircraft arrival and departure information on all IFR flights in the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii, Canada, and the Caribbean. If greater than 50% of an operator’s aircraft have shares available then they are considered Fractional and listed in Part 91k data.

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