Charter, Fractional jet flights gain over private flying

private jet

Part 135 charter and Part 91K fractional flying surged to 54.3% of all North American private aviation flight hours during the first half of 2021

The share of flight hours operated under Part 91 – non-commercial flights conducted for the aircraft owner – continued its decade-long decline during the first half of 2021.

Biggest Private Jet Operators of 2020 led by NetJets, Flexjet, Wheels Up and Vista Global

NetJets Flexjet

NetJets stayed firmly in the top spot among U.S. private jet operators as Wheels Up zoomed from 11th to 3rd place, while Flexjet, Vista Global, and Jet Linx each made gains

Charter (Part 135) and Fractional Operator (Part 91k) flights accounted for 52.5% of total U.S. private aviation flight hours, pushing Part 91 flying below the half-century mark for the first time, according to Argus TRAQPak data dating back to 2007

The 10 largest U.S. charter and fractional operators accounted for 44.3% of Part 91k/135 activity and 23.2% of total business aviation flight hours

TRAQPak’s 2021 forecast indicates full recovery tilted towards second-half

The takeaways from the 2020 Argus TRAQPak annual review of private jet activity in the U.S. underscores two key trends: Consolidation and acceleration of what has a nearly decade-long move from full private jet ownership to fractional shares, leases, jet cards, and on-demand charter. Looking ahead, Argus analysts don’t expect the total industry to return to pre-COVID-19 numbers until the second half of 2021.

What is FAR Part 135?

When you charter a private jet, you’ve probably seen a reference to FAR Part 135. Here’s what you need to know

Understand why the price of private jet charters can vary so much

Part 135 (charter) operational requirements are considerably different than Part 91 (full ownership) with much more stringent regulatory safety requirements

There are over 2,000 Part 135 Charter Operators and four different categories impacting landing in low visibility as well as the ability to find replacement aircraft if there are mechanicals or pilots if one gets sick or runs out of duty time

When you book a private jet charter flight or are shopping for a jet card, you probably have seen at the bottom of various websites, wording that goes something like this: “Company X arranges flights on behalf of its cardholders and charter clients with FAR Part 135 air carriers that exercise full operational control of charter flights at all times. Flights will be operated by FAR Part 135 direct air carriers that have been certified to provide service for Company X clients that meet all FAA safety standards.”

BlackBird just raised $10 million to be the Uber of private flying…Here’s what I learned from reading the fine print with an aviation attorney

Fly BlackBird affordable private flights

Blackbird promises to “defy gravity” with inexpensive private flights on private jets, turboprops and piston aircraft. Takeoff with the knowledge that this isn’t a traditional air charter

“We bring you the freedom of flight…No matter who you are, no matter what you do, we all face challenges, obstacles, rules, limitations and frustrations—this daily struggle is gravity that pulls us down and tries to keep us from reaching our potential. Together we will defy gravity.” – BlackBird website

I leased a private aircraft and hired a pilot in less than 10 minutes. Was it legal?

On March 12, 2019, I received a press release from BlackBird CEO and founder Rudd Davis. It was titled, “We just raised $10 million to bring you more freedom.”

It read, “We started BlackBird to make personal aviation as accessible and affordable as driving.  Today, I’m excited to announce, we’ve taken another huge step toward making this a reality with the close of a $10 million Series A.”

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