Flexjet, Sentient parent OneSky Flight plans IPO

By Doug Gollan, October 10, 2022

Directional Aviation’s OneSky Flight group, which includes Flexjet, Sentient Jet, and FXAir is planning an IPO

Two of the biggest private jet flight providers will be stand-alone publicly traded after Directional Aviation announces tomorrow that its OneSky Flight unit, which houses Flexjet, Sentient Jet, FXAir, and PrivateFly, is planning an IPO.

The news came via an email sent this evening to Flexjet customers from Chairman Kenn Ricci and CEO Michael Silvestro.

It reads, “We are writing to share some significant news regarding Flexjet’s next chapter. Tomorrow, we will announce that we have made the decision to enter the public markets and become a publicly listed company, with the transaction scheduled to occur in the second quarter of 2023. Flexjet will be listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol FXJ.”

Outlining its rationale, the executives wrote, “Our industry has seen significant growth over the last few years, and Flexjet has never been in a better position to find opportunities to grow our service offerings in this opportunistic environment. We will parlay our existing profitability with access to capital and use that as a launch pad to continue to enhance your customer experience through fleet, program, and geographic expansion as well as significant infrastructure investment including maintenance support facilities and private terminals. Please know our leadership team is as committed as ever and will remain in place.”

It will join Wheels Up, which went public via a SPAC in July 2021.

NetJets, the largest player in the market, is a unit of Berkshire Hathaway, which is publicly traded.

However, the Warren Buffett company’s financial reports provide little visibility into its private jet business.

The same is true of Jet Aviation, a subsidiary of General Dynamics.

Upcoming filings should provide a trove of insights into Flexjet, the second-largest player in the fractional ownership market, and Sentient Jet, a key player in the jet card space.

There had previously been some limited visibility via its bond ratings.

Many had thought Wheels Up had cooled the appetite for industry players to pursue an IPO after its stock crashed to $1.15 from its initial price of $10 per share. Its market cap has shrunk to $276 million. In its June financials, Wheels Up listed the value of its aircraft at $557 million.

Vista Global, which includes VistaJet, XO, XOJet, Jet Edge, Red Wing Aviation, Talon Air, Air Hamburg, and Apollo Jets, has said, after raising over $1 billion via a bond offering earlier this year, it has no aspirations to have its stock traded on the public markets.

Directional Principal Kenn Ricci already has one SPAC under his belt, helping Embraer spinoff Eve as it enters the eVTOL market.

Eve Holdings, Inc. closed yesterday at $8.12, between its 52-week high of $13.34 and low of $5.30. Eve’s current market cap is $2 billion.

A spokesperson declined to provide additional comments or details on the proposed transaction.

Updated Oct. 10, 2022, @ 9:55 pm: Bloomberg is reporting OneSky’s IPO will be via a merger with SPAC Horizon Acquisition Corp. II, which was started by billionaire Todd Boehly.

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