Top 10 operator Solairus Aviation is restarting its jet card program with an added fixed-rate service area to the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska.
Solairus Aviation is back in the membership market with a revised version of its Altitude jet card, suspended in 2021 as private jet travel demand surged to record levels.
According to Senior Director Charter Sales Chad Davidson, the new program launches next week.
The hybrid program includes a number of new features that will enhance its market potential.
First, it adds guaranteed complimentary WiFi for domestic flights across all categories.
Previously, it had only offered guaranteed connectivity on super-midsize cabin aircraft and above.
It is also vastly expanding the program’s international and overwater footprint.
While the former Altitude only offered fixed rates within the Continental 48 states and within 200 nautical miles of the U.S. border, the new program includes Alaska, Mexico, and the Caribbean south to St. Thomas, as well as the Western Caribbean.
Solairus is also adding an ultra-long-haul aircraft option with a 12-passenger guarantee.
The provider keeps its 90-minute daily and segment minimums, including taxi time, across the board.
That will make the program particularly attractive for super mids and up, where minimums can range to three hours.
Not surprisingly, the non-peak booking window moves from 24 to 48 hours.
What’s not to like?
The 75 peak days now carry a surcharge of about 15%.
Light jets only have a four-seat guarantee, although Davidson says there is flexibility.
He said the decision was based on exceeding customer expectations.
Since aircraft range depends on various factors, including weight, users were often disappointed when they filled the airplane; it no longer had the range for the mission.
While pets are allowed, there is also a $1,000 surcharge per flight.
Rates start at $9,500 per hour for light jets, including Federal Excise Tax.
Solairus is Argus Platinum, Wyvern Wingman, and IS-BAO Stage 3. It requires Argus Gold, Wyvern Wingman, or IS-BAO Stage 1 when it sources off-fleet.
There is a 12-month rate lock and no provision to add a fuel surcharge.
Davidson says the card business wasn’t a significant focus before the suspension, and there were only a couple dozen members.
However, he says the company has seen a growing number of on-demand clients who want to lock in pricing for business planning purposes or just because they prefer fixed pricing.
Subscribers to this website want fixed or capped hourly rates with guaranteed availability by a 9-to-1 margin, according to the soon-to-be-released 2023/24 Jet Card Report by Private Jet Comparisons.
Solairus is one of the largest private jet operators in the U.S., with over 320 aircraft, although only about 70 fly under Part 135.
The relaunch is also partly because more of its aircraft management clients are looking for charter revenue to offset increasing expenses.
The new Solairus Altitude program has been updated for paid subscribers in Version 116 of the 2023 Comparisons Guide.