Clipper Jet says its by the seat private jet membership model is finally getting ready to take flight
Perusing Google search results I came across a first page May 2015 article from AFAR titled “6 Jet Startups That Will Get You Flying Private.” JetSmarter, Victor and Surf Air are still alive and kicking. BlackJet and Beacon are out of business, and I hadn’t heard or seen anything from ClipperJet in years. However, when I went to their website, it was still up and running and in fact, there was a full page outlining its three membership options. In the press section, there was no coverage since the aforementioned piece and something from Conde Nast Traveler from April 2015. Wondering what was going on, I called the number on the website and it was answered by Paul Sanchez, one of the founders and an executive vice president.
Surf Air’s growth in Europe has been tepid so far, however, it and others continue to pursue a by the seat private aviation model against a backdrop of mixed results
Seat sharing, where travelers buy single seats on private aircraft, either via memberships or on individual flights, is considered a growth area for business aviation getting plenty of play in consumer media. The major benefit is saving time at airports by using private aviation facilities while paying prices at or near what the commercial airlines charge. For short hops, it can cut total travel time significantly. However, the model may be in trouble once again. Two sources tell Private Jet Card Comparisons that upstart Surf Air Europe has recently pared back its marketing and sales team there.
The all-you-can-fly membership program has added on-demand charter to its offerings
Surf Air is adding on-demand charter to its fly as much as you want by the seat membership programs. The new Surf Anywhere aircraft options include short, medium and long-haul planes. As an incentive to use its brokerage, Surf Air is giving charter customers a free membership for its Surf Air Escapes program, a $2,500 value.
Surf Air in Europe is offering a new Escapes membership with a minimum of three months plus an initiation fee
Surf Air wants to get you to the Alps faster without having to commit to a full year of membership.
Of more than three million private flights in North America last year, the single-engine Pilatus PC-12 used by Surf Air, Nicholas Air and PlaneSense was the most popular
Turboprops rule! At least when it comes to which makes are the most popular with private flyers. According to just-released research from TRAQPak, there were 226,378 flights with the single-engine Pilatus PC-12 making it not only the most popular aircraft in its category (see below), but also the most favored airplane among Bizav users.
From big players such as Warren Buffett’s NetJets, the largest operator of private jets in the world, to boutique brokers, the number of companies selling Jet Cards has grown more than 100% in the past decade
In the past 10 years the number of companies selling jet cards has more than doubled. Perhaps that’s because once you find a program that fits your unique flying needs, jet cards make private flying easy – as little as one phone call or tapping your app. Private Jet Card Comparisons provides detailed comparisons of more than 250 jet card programs by over 65 variables, each of which may influence the offering that is best for you.
Surf Air, JetClass and JetSmarter are expanding their European private jet footprint and may be joined by Wheels Up and others
Surf Air is adding Sion in Switzerland to its current schedule from London City Airport to Zurich. The service will be twice per week in each direction and represents what so far has been a somewhat zigzagging path since its launch last Summer between seasonal destinations and expectations for expansion on key business routes.