Wheels Up, Delta Air Lines to combine their private jet businesses

Delta Private Jets and Wheels Up will have over 190 private aircraft

The deal is expected to close in early 2020, subject to closing conditions and required governmental and regulatory approvals 

Delta will take an equity stake in Wheels Up becoming its largest shareholder

Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed

The transaction sets up a three-horse race with Directional Aviation and Vista Global as they battle market leader NetJets

Wheels Up’s busy 2019 included raising more money, acquiring light jet operator TMC Jets, tech platform Avianis, expanding its jet sharing membership, plus launching fixed-rate programs for light and super-midsize jets

Last week it announced a major revamp of its own jet membership programs

Is Wheels Up now poised for international expansion?

Wheels Up and Delta Air Lines this morning are announcing they have reached a definitive agreement to combine their private jet businesses.

“This groundbreaking partnership will democratize private aviation – making the convenience of private jet travel accessible to more consumers,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian.

On-Demand Charter vs. Jet Cards pros and cons

private jet charter

You can charter a private jet trip by trip – On-Demand Charter – or buy into a program – Jet Cards.

Jet memberships or calling a broker or operator each time. Which is right for you?

Both jet cards and calling a broker to rent a private jet are forms of private jet charter or private jet rental as some call it.

In both cases, we are referring to the entire aircraft as opposed to jet sharing or buy-a-seat models.

However, when it comes to full aircraft charter, which is better – jet cards or on-demand charter?

Should you buy a jet card? Should you just reach out to several brokers before each trip, and then play them off against each other?

The debate would make the Hatfields and the McCoys proud!

XO is adding quality tiers to its jet card and on-demand charter options; plans to buy more aircraft

XO jet card

XO plans to expand both fixed and dynamic pricing jet memberships to Europe by 2020

With the “heavy lifting” of the XOJET-JetSmarter integration behind it, Vista Global chairman Thomas Flohr tells Private Jet Card Comparisons the company will roll out memberships for its rebranded XO in Europe as early as second quarter 2020.

Additionally, the company is making a major change in how it sells both on-demand private jet charter as well as pricing options for its dynamic pricing jet card membership programs.

When buying a jet card, timing is everything

There are three ways jet card providers calculate your flight time

When comparing jet cards, there are lots of factors to consider, however, one that many first time buyers don’t think about is time, as in flight time, as in how is your flight time billed?

Yes, you have a fixed one-way hourly rate, so you don’t have to worry about reviewing multiple on-demand charter quotes. You also researched daily and segment minimums, plus how taxi time charges are structured as well as making sure you account for fuel surcharges.

Maybe you even used the exclusive Quick Compare Flight Pricing tool available to subscribers of Private Jet Card Comparisons which amortizes membership fees into your hourly rate.

How not to get burned when you buy a private jet membership

Jet Card

Lawsuits, closures, bankruptcies and lack of transparency show the challenges consumers face

In the two years since I launched Private Jet Card Comparisons, I’ve been surprised by the number of bankruptcies, closures, lawsuits, and lack of transparency in private aviation. In Europe, Wijet liquidated its UK subsidiary while Surf Air closed its entire operation there. Zetta Jet filed for Chapter 11 and then Chapter 7, leaving bills estimated at between $50 million and $100 million. ImagineAir just closed shop without notice. Both JetSmarter and Ascension Air find themselves facing unhappy customers, including lawsuits. Of course, there have been other failures before, including Avantair and Blackjet to name just two fairly recent ones.

How not to lose on your private jet membership

To help you avoid the same pitfalls, here are some tips I put together. While they may not be foolproof, I think they are helpful to keep in mind:

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