Lufthansa halts Lufthansa Private Jet service

By Doug Gollan, June 14, 2022

Lufthansa had been using NetJets to supply lift for Lufthansa Private Jet before ending the service in April

German flag carrier Lufthansa ended its Lufthansa Private Jet service in April, Private Jet Card Comparisons has confirmed.

There had been no official announcement. However, posters on the website Flyertalk recently noted the service’s demise.

While private jet travel is hitting record levels, a spokesperson says, “Economically, the segment was too small. It was a niche for Lufthansa.”

She says there are no plans as of now to restart the service.

NetJets Europe had been providing flights for Lufthansa. Yet, NetJets Europe had suspended jet card sales last year as demand hit record levels.

When it reintroduced the cards earlier this year, they carried a blackout period stretching from June until September.

After launching the service with NetJets in 2005, the two companies split in 2007.

At the time, Lufthansa said it would build its own fleet with Cessna Citation light jets to start.

While the service initially envisioned connecting passengers to Lufthansa’s scheduled intercontinental flights, about 70% of passengers were flying point-to-point.

After building a fleet of Citation CJ1+s, CJ3s, XLSs, and Hawker 800s, in 2011 Lufthansa decided to close the subsidiary Swiss Private Aviation and returned to NetJets Europe as its supplier.

In 2012, Lufthansa said it was expanding its NetJets partnership to both sides of the Atlantic offering private jet connections via its 21 North American destinations.

Lufthansa is not alone

Lufthansa is not the only airline to start and stop a private jet partnership or operator.

Delta Air Lines, after selling Delta Private Jets to Wheels Up, remains a major shareholder of the company. The two have a commercial relationship, and Wheels Up members gain SkyMiles status and can earn bonus miles.

JetBlue and Qatar Airways had invested around $100 million JetSuite and JSX. While JetSuite went into Chapter 11 in 2020, it is now flying again albeit with just three Phenom 100s. Meanwhile, JSX has been expanding its by-the-seat private flights.

Air France had a long partnership with Wijet before the VLJ operator went into liquidation in 2020.

British Airways also had a brief private aviation partnership with Textron’s CitationAir in 2010.

United Airlines’ launch of Avolar was shuttered before taking flight in 2002 amid pressure from unions after the 9-11 terrorist attacks led to large layoffs at the main airline.

At the same time, Qatar Airways’ Qatar Executive private jet division has grown into the largest operator of Gulfstream G650ERs.

Private jet travel is expected to continue at record levels throughout 2022.

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