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.
Part 135 charter operators saw November year-over-year totals off by just 6.4% while fractional operators were down 14.5% and Part 91 flying was 24.1% below 2019
Argus TRAQPak analysts predict a year-over-year drop in private jet flights of 18.5% during December
The latest Argus TRAQPak monthly report shows Part 135 charter operators are continuing to see the strongest recovery.
Newcomers looking for deals and cash strapped private jet owners are causing a surge in illegal charter activity. However, FAA enforcement often misses the mark, industry experts say
Illegal charter can be deadly. Last year’s death of European soccer star Emiliano Sala came on an aircraft not authorized for commercial charters in Europe. It was flown by a pilot who wasn’t qualified. A 2018 Falcon 50 crash that killed both pilots in South Carolina found that maintenance records weren’t up to date. The pilots were not qualified to fly Part 135 charter flights.
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.