Exclusive: Charter operators Northern Jet Management, SpeedBird set to merge

A rumored combination between charter operators Northern Jet Management and SpeedBird is expected to be announced tomorrow.

By Doug Gollan, March 30, 2023

A rumored combination between charter operators Northern Jet Management and SpeedBird is expected to be announced tomorrow

Charter operators Northern Jet Management and SpeedBird are merging with an official announcement expected tomorrow; Private Jet Card Comparisons can exclusively report.

The deal is expected to be completed in the second quarter and has been rumored since January.

The two operators have a combined $110 million in revenues and will have 209 employees, including 98 pilots.

When the deal goes through, there will be a fleet of 37 aircraft. There are dedicated customer terminals in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Orlando, and Naples, Florida.

The new entity will also have offices in Milwaukee and Chicago.

SpeedBird Founder and CEO Chris Bull is tabbed to serve as chief executive officer of the combined company.

Chuck Cox, who has led Northern Jet Management since 1995, becomes Chairman and a shareholder of the combined company. 

The operators will have 37 aircraft, including Cessna Citation CJ3s, Learjet 40/45/70/75s, Citation Xs, Challenger 300/350s, and Challenger 605s.

According to documents reviewed by Private Jet Card Comparisons, the two companies flew more than 20,000 hours last year, which would rank the combined entity as the 11th largest U.S. operator based on charter and fractional hours.

The transaction is being facilitated by William Blair, which is described as a boutique investment bank.

Northern Jet offers a jet card under the Florida Private Jet Advantage Card banner offering guaranteed availability and fixed-hourly rates. SpeedBird did not have a jet card.

SpeedBird was founded in 2013, according to its LinkedIn profile

The combination continues the M&A activity among charter operators. In January, Rennia Aviation acquired Dumont’s charter operations.

FlyExclusive, Directional’s provider group, which includes Flexjet, Sentient Jet, FXAir, and PrivateFly, and Jet Token, have all announced SPAC mergers expected to be consummated this year.

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