The fractional operator sells shares on its Pilatus PC-12
and now expanding PC-24 fleet
While most people would probably know the nation’s two biggest fractional operators are NetJets and Flexjet, they might be hard-pressed to name number three. That would be New Hampshire-based PlaneSense. And while the two leaders battle it out with Gulfstream G650s and the Global Express, PlaneSense continues to pursue the short to mid-range flight market. Today it announced it has taken delivery of its third Pilatus PC-24, a twin-jet with a range of 2,000 nautical miles, and a takeoff distance of just 2,930 feet, including gravel and grass runways.
The lead time to book flights with a jet card varies
For those of you that plan in advance, you may not need access to a private jet on short notice, but all things being equal it never hurts. Sometimes, life happens and you need to get from where you are to some other place quickly. Or sometimes, you may need to fly a business colleague or family member on short notice. If you are using your jet card for business, shorter windows can be an advantage.
When is a jet card not a jet card? When it’s a turboprop or piston aircraft – which for shorter flights might be the perfect solution
The number of jet card programs and providers has more than doubled in the past 10 years in large part because card memberships are the easy way to charter an aircraft – as close to that tap and go Uber analogy many like to use as you can get. What’s more, you can buy jet cards in chunks ranging from five hours up to 100 hours, so you don’t have the three to five-year commitment of buying a fractional aircraft share. Of course, the trick is finding the right program for your needs, and while many programs offer all sizes and shapes of jets, not all programs off turboprop or piston solutions.
If you aren’t sure you will need 25 hours over the next two years these programs, which start at five hours and $15,000, are an alternative to on-demand private jet charter
Jet cards are the hot spot of private aviation bridging the gap between on-demand charter and fractional or full aircraft ownership. Jet cards make flying easy with one call or some taps on your smartphone to arrange your flight. Many programs have guaranteed availability with one-way fixed rates so you know what you will be paying ahead of the time. You also don’t have to pay for positioning flights. Lead time to make a reservation can be as little as eight hours and unlike charter, you may be able to cancel within hours of your flight with no penalty.
The two biggest players in fractional jet ownership have different approaches to the jet card segment
The vast majority of jet cards are marketed by charter brokers, however, two of the most prominent names in the jet card space – NetJets and Flexjet – are in fact fractional aircraft operators with their principal business selling fractional shares and leases in whole aircraft. Fractional ownership entails a commitment of three to 10 years whereas, with jet cards, we have seen programs with commitments starting as few as 10 hours and $25,000.