Let’s make a deal. The M&A market for private jet operators is hot. Over 50 deals, fundraises, launches, and bankruptcies detailed
(Updated April 12, 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.
In addition to over $50 million in jet card deposits, grounded private jet charter operator JetSuite received over $57 million from affiliates since 2016
Flight delays caused by President Trump, stolen silverware, broken coffee makers and ‘race to the bottom’ pricing’ increased the losses
Is a JetSuite 2.0 in the works?
Court documents from the bankruptcy proceedings of Superior Air Charter, LLC, better known as JetSuite, show a company that was burning through cash since at least 2016.
During that time both JetBlue Airways and Qatar Airways made investments into the parent company JetSuiteX, Inc. Additionally, JetSuite used $50 million in unredeemed deposits from jet card customers towards operations, something its contracts permitted. The company, like other key players in the market, did not offer an escrow account.
For Flexjet the order follows its $1.4 billion deal with Embraer announced earlier today; For Qatar Executive, it’s in addition to its July billion-dollar Gulfstream order
A billion dollars here. A half-billion or so there. It is Las Vegas after all. As the National Business Aviation Association’s annual convention kicks off here, Flexjet followed up its morning announcement it is buying $1.4 billion in private jets from Embraer by placing an order to be the North American launch customer for the Gulfstream G700.
(Updated Oct. 23, 2019: Flexjet’s order is for 16 G700s valued at $1.2 billion)
Flexjet’s chairman Kenn Ricci wasn’t the only CEO playing at the high stakes table. Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, is buying 10 of the new ultra-long-range, ultra-fast private jets for his Qatar Executive charter division. It follows a billion-dollar order with the Savannah, Georgia-based manufacturer in July.
The charter operator and its parent Qatar Airways along with
JetBlue are investors in JetSuite
Qatar Airways last week announced an order for 18 Gulfstream aircraft during a ceremony at the White House. The order worth over $1 billion is for 14 Gulfstream G650ER and four Gulfstream G500 and will add to Qatar Executive’s growing fleet that currently includes six G650ER and four G500 aircraft.
Gulfstream executives had previously reported the order, however, the customer had not been disclosed. Flexjet had been mentioned along with Qatar Executive as likely buyers.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker said,
“Qatar Airways is very pleased to confirm this landmark deal with
Gulfstream. Our corporate jet division, Qatar Executive, goes from strength to
strength and this commitment to new orders will allow us to offer our bespoke
luxury service to even more passengers.”