Jet The World has bought a Part 135 certificate, its first aircraft, and is planning to expand its operator side via management.
Jet The World is making the transition from pure broker to aircraft ownership, management, and as a Part 135 operator.
“Every operator is either a broker or they are becoming a broker. And more and more operators want to compete in the retail market, no matter what they say to brokers,” says Jet The World CEO and Founder R.J. LaSasso.
Last year it acquired its first aircraft, a Hawker 800XP midsize jet, which it has refurbished.
LaSasso says he then decided to operate the jet, buying the charter certificate from Fort Pierce, Florida-based Airbrock Management and Charter.
He’s since hired a pair of executives experienced in the operator/management sector.
Curtis Whitmer, President of Jet The World Management, comes from charter operator Jet-A.
David Michael, who is focused on compliance as Director of Operations, comes from Jet Edge, which was acquired last year by Vista Global.
LaSasso says the move to having its own operator was originally driven in part by demand.
However, the core reason today is reliability.
“If there is a problem, I want it to be our problem, not some operator who is doing what they want because it’s best for their needs,” he says.
While Jet The World’s brokerage, with 10 full-time employees and around 100 members in its jet card program, straddles what might be described as a boutique or midsize provider, LaSasso says operators are focused on their own direct clients first.
He hopes to have 10 jets across different categories under management by the end of the year and expects the headcount to double.
He also wants to attract single brokers to the Jet The World charter team.
For the first several years, LaSasso operated as a one-person shop.
He says there is a long tail of charter brokers who have a couple of big clients but can see their fortunes reversed if a client moves from charter to ownership.
He is hoping to bring those brokers in-house to Jet The World and help clients who are ready to move to ownership do so, with Jet The World managing their aircraft.
For aircraft owners, he believes a management company with a strong retail business enables a more dependable flow of charter revenues.
In terms of its jet card program, LeSasso says he expects to make some changes.
When demand outstripped supply, it moved to 14-day callouts.
Prior to the surge, like others, it offered non-peak callouts at just eight hours.
According to a Private Jet Card Comparisons analysis of over 250 programs, the minimum lead time to book reservations on non-peak days was 64.7 hours at the end of Q4 2022.
That was 179% higher than the 23.2 hours in Q4 2019.
He also plans to relook at the number of peak days where the callout is 45 days.
The average number of peak days for the industry stabilized during 2022, settling in Q4 at 55.7 peak days.
Still, it was 144% more than the pre-Covid average of 22.8 peak days in Q4 2019.
“We didn’t want to put on paper something that we couldn’t do, but with the market having changed, we want our jet card to be competitive,” LaSasso tells Private Jet Card Comparisons.