While airline passenger counts stayed at just 12% of last year’s holiday weekend, the private jet travel rebound continued
From the Wednesday prior to Memorial Day through Tuesday, the number of passengers who passed through TSA checkpoints hovered at just 12% of 2019 levels.
During the same period, fractional and charter operator flights surged to 58% of 2019 levels, continuing an upward trek. The data from Argus affirmed the rebound for private jet operators, which just last month had seen flying drop to just 20% of last year’s level as the Covid-19 stay-at-home orders ground travel to a virtual halt.
The acquisition follows the purchase of Delta Private Jets, Travel Management Company, and Avianis, and squares it up against NetJets
Wheels Up is looking to move closer to NetJets and pull away from Directional Aviation and Vista Global Holdings. Its acquisition of Gama Aviation LLC this morning gives it over 300 owned and managed aircraft.
Gama Aviation Signature, as it is known, already was managing the Wheels Up fleet of King Air 350i, Citation Excel/XLS, and Citation X aircraft.
It follows its acquisitions of Travel Management Company last June and Delta Private Jets, completed in January.
The pay-as-you-go jet card provider plans to introduce a new membership tier targeting lower frequency private air travelers in 2019
After helping develop the 25 hours per year private jet traveler with Marquis Jet Partners before selling it to NetJets, and then launching Wheels Up in 2013 with a pay-as-you-go model attractive to folks who fly under 25 hours per year, Wheels Up CEO Kenny Dichter says his next goal is to bring a branded, high-quality offering to people who fly under 10 hours per year.