Let’s make a deal. The private jet M&A market is hot, but not without risks

Private aviation M&A

Vista Global’s deal yesterday with Red Wing that brings it 15 light jets to XOJET is the latest and doesn’t look to be the last

In just over 3 years, we’ve tracked over 50 deals, fundraises, launches, and bankruptcies

(Updated Jan. 11, 2021) The COVID-19 crisis may be bringing the already simmering mergers and acquisitions market for private jet operators and brokers back to a boil.

NetJets, Wheels Up, Flexjet, and Vista Global’s XOJET lead the list of Biggest U.S. Private Jet Operators

Largest Private Jet Airlines

Despite consolidation, the 25 largest Part 135 and 91K operators account for only 25% of the U.S. private jet market

Why you won’t find Wheels Up when you look at lists of private aviation operators

Sizing the U.S. private jet market between Part 91, Part 91K fractional and Part 135 charter operators

8 of the 10 largest companies are led by the founder or family member

Here’s a big difference between the private jet market and the airlines. Just 10 airlines account for 90% of the domestic market for scheduled passenger traffic. Four companies – Delta Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines – are responsible for two-thirds of U.S. flights.

Despite consolidation, business aviation remains fragmented. An analysis by Private Jet Card Comparisons of various reports from Argus TRAQPak and other data shows the 25 largest operators of charter and fractional fleets together account for just 25% of all U.S. flying.

FlyExclusive sets discounted pricing for JetSuite jet card customers

FlyExclusive jet card

The private jet charter operator launched its first jet card program last week

Light jet hourly rates are as low as $3,096 for SuiteKey customers, based on their balances when JetSuite entered Chapter 11

North Carolina-based Part 135 private jet charter operator FlyExclusive is making an offer to JetSuite’s SuiteKey customers impacted by its bankruptcy.

Argus reveals top Part 135 private jet charter operators for 2019

biggest private jet charter companies

Argus Traqpak has published its list of the largest private jet rental operators in the U.S. based on 2019 flight activity

Part 135 flights declined 0.6% while flight hours fell by 1.4% in 2019

The report highlights the fragmented nature of private jet charter with the top 25 companies only accounting for one-third of flight hours

Gama Aviation Signature remains the dominant player in Part 135 private jet charter, according to a recap of 2019 activity by Argus Traqpak.

With 103,096 flight hours, it saw a 13% increase compared to 2018, despite an overall decline in the market for commercial private aircraft charter rentals.

Overall, Part 135 flying decreased by 0.6% in flights and 1.4% by flight hours on a year-over-year basis.

Jet Edge acquires Jet Select marking more consolidation

JetEdge Jet Edge private jet charter

Jet Edge’s deal for JetSelect brings an 85 strong fleet mainly focused on large-cabin and super-midsize private jets

The merger may mean better terms for large cabin and super-midsize jet card offerings

The old year ended with Delta Air Lines announcing it was merging Delta Private Jets into Wheels Up. When the deal closes, it becomes Wheels Up’s largest shareholder creating a fleet of over 180 aircraft, mainly King Air, light and midsize aircraft.

The new year begins with Jet Edge International, a major player in large-cabin private jets, acquiring JetSelect Aviation. The deal creates a fleet of 85 aircraft.

Last February, Jet Edge announced it had raised $60 million to fund expansion and acquisitions.

Private Jet Charter Broker vs. Charter Operator

private jet charter broker

Charter broker Paramount Business Jets makes a case for the middleman

With the increasing profile of  branded floating fleets – think Delta Private Jets, JetSuite, VistaJet, Dumont Group, TMC, and Jet Edge – Virginia-based Paramount Business Jets issued a press release to highlight the benefits of working through a charter broker instead of directly with an operator.

Jet Edge secures $60 million in financing, plans jet card program

Jet Edge jet card

Jet Edge, which specializes in the management of large and super-midsize aircraft, says it will use the funds for “a number of strategic initiatives.”

Jet Edge, a major player in the management of super-midsize and large-cabin private jets, said it has secured a $60 million investment from Solace Capital Partners to support its continued growth. The company said it has “grown significantly over the past several years.” It now has a fleet of 50 large-cabin and super-midsize aircraft, including Bombardier, Dassault, Embraer, and Gulfstream jets in its managed fleet with 425 employees.

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