Solairus Aviation looks back at a record year in 2023

Management and charter company Solairus Aviation saw its fleet grow to 325 aircraft last year across its 70 bases.

By Doug Gollan, January 25, 2024

For Solairus Aviation, the question could be, what downturn?

The private jet management and charter operator said for 2023, it achieved “record flights, fleet expansion, and employee growth.”

According to a post on its website, “Solairus’ growth came primarily from long range, large cabin and super mid-size aircraft owners who accounted for 87% of new additions and who make up 88% of the 325 aircraft fleet.”

The California-based management company added 18 ultra-long-range aircraft to its fleet, a 16% gain and 70% of its net new additions.

The large cabin fleet grew to 103 aircraft last year.

It also has 45 super-midsize aircraft.

The company’s three largest manufacturers are Gulfstream (127 aircraft), Bombardier (111), and Dassault (41), while Embraer boasted the largest fleet growth in 2023 at 20%.

Part 91 focus

More than half the fleet operates Part 91 only, and about 25% are available for third-party charter.

“I am humbled and energized by the faith and trust owners place in us to safely manage and support their flight departments,” said Dan Drohan, CEO of Solairus.

He added, “We have a remarkable, growing team of dedicated aviation professionals, and we strive every day to deliver the best, personalized ownership experience to each client we are fortunate enough to serve.”

Drohan noted, “One of our founding goals was to become big enough to matter while remaining small enough to care. Certainly, this type of growth makes us big enough to matter. We work tirelessly, every day, to remain small enough to care.”

74,000 flight hours

The operator performed 35,000 flights and racked up 74,000 flight hours in 2023.

It flew to 1,334 airports in 126 countries and all 50 states.

Its 10 most-frequented airports were Teterboro, San Jose, Bedford, White Plains, Van Nuys, West Palm Beach, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, and Oakland.

Mexico, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, and Canada were the five most commonly visited foreign countries.

We’re Hiring!

Solairus added 320 aviation professionals last year to support its clients, increasing its full and part-time staff to 2,099, with the former making up more than half of the total.

Despite labor shortages roiling the industry, Solairus added 230 full-time pilots, 56 maintenance supervisors, and 29 flight attendants.

The company now employs 1,866 full and part-time crew members.

Plans call for adding 300 new crew members in 2024.

Solairus has over 70 base locations nationwide.

It holds the top safety ratings from IS-BAO, Argus, and Wyvern.

It also received the NBAA Commercial Business Flying Safety Award.

After suspending its jet card program in 2021, Solairus relaunched the membership option last September.

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