Top private jet operators NetJets, Flexjet, FlyExclusive, PlaneSense countered the downturn; increased flight hours in the first half of 2023, according to Argus TraqPak.
It wasn’t only NetJets. Flexjet, FlyExclusive, and PlaneSense were among the biggest charter and fractional operators to counter headwinds growing flight hours in the first half of 2023.
According to Argus TraqPak, the 30 largest operators clocked 859,839 flight hours, a 2.0% drop compared to the first six months of 2022.
NetJets, including Executive Jet Management, saw a 0.8% increase with 344,424 hours through June.
That put it far away in the top spot, ahead of second place Vista Global, which despite its Jet Edge acquisition last year, was down 7.5%, ending with 99,916.
Flexjet increased flight hours by 5.1% to 99,355 hours, good for third place
Flexjet held the second spot for our full-year 2022 ranking of top providers.
Overall, 10 of the 30 providers saw increases in the first half of this year.
Among those that offer jet cards, memberships, or fractional shares, Volato was the biggest gainer.
The 2021 HondaJet fractional and jet card operator saw flight hours spike 139.3% growth, putting it in the 21st spot.
FlyExclusive posted an 18.7% gain to 27,740 hours.
Our numbers roll up each of their parent company’s operators, so before you get to the full data, let’s talk about how we get to the numbers.
We use this analysis to combine operators under their corporate parents, something that is becoming more important with all of the industry’s M&A activity.
We also have operators that Argus categorizes as Part 135 and 91k together for our list.
That means Executive Jet Management, a NetJets Inc. company, together with NetJets U.S. and NetJets Europe’s flights to/from the U.S.
How big is Warren Buffett’s provider? EJM alone chalked up 39,117 flight hours. That would be good for the fifth spot as a stand-alone entity.
It also means summing VistaJet, Jet Edge, Air Hamburg, Red Wing Aviation, Talon Air, and XOJet flying under Vista Global Holding.
Aircraft arrival and departure information is included on all IFR flights in the U.S. (including Alaska and Hawaii), Canada, and the Caribbean. That means flights from Vista’s Air Hamburg and VistaJet’s Malta AOC in the North American region are added to the total, and the same for other operators. They are noted at the bottom of the chart below.
We also update the 2022 numbers below to include acquisitions.
Lastly, it’s important to understand the limits in tracking for aircraft flying under Part 135, which you can read more about here.
What do we miss?
This data is for operators and doesn’t count off-fleet brokerage flight activity.
As an example, in addition to its operator Flexjet, in the U.S., Directional Aviation owns jet card broker Sentient Jet and on-demand broker FXAir (via OneSky Flight, which is changing its name to Flexjet, Inc.).
So, below is the Top 30 per Argus TraqPak.
|Private Jet Flight Provider||2022||2023||Change|
|10.||Corporate Flight Management||9,024||11,976||32.7%|
|14.||Clay Lacy Aviation||8,479||8,195||-3.3%|
|19.||Superior Transportation Associates||7,475||6,252||-16.4%|
|20.||SkyService Business Aviation||6,513||6,079||-6.7%|
|22.||Cirrus Aviation Services||5,648||5,585||-1.1%|
|25.||Worldwide Jet Charter||5,638||5,139||-8.9%|
|30.||Pegasus Elite Aviation||4,359||4,075||-6.5%|
The biggest declines for jet card or fractional providers were Jet It, which shuttered, down 29.8%, Silverhawk Aviation (-16.9%), Jet Linx (-16.0%), Wheels Up (-14.8%), and Airshare (-10.2%).