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.
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.
Private Jet Card Memberships can be a good solution, but there are considerable differences beyond hourly rate
Business aviation in America is big business, impacting all 50 states and generating over a million jobs and $219 billion in economic contribution, according to the National Business Aviation Association. Private jets are time machines, enabling you to conduct business more efficiently, spend more time at your vacation destination and give you more time to spend with your family or pursuing your passions instead of sitting in airports. In-flight time also becomes more productive, networking with customers, holding internal meetings and getting work done that’s harder to do in a public space such as a commercial flight. In fact, commercial airlines such as Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Saudia, Hainan Airlines and even JetBlue (with JetSuite) either own or have partnerships with private jet operators.
This is a bit confusing to a lot of people. NetJets is the world’s largest operator of private jets. It is owned by Berkshire Hathaway whose CEO is one of the world’s richest men, Warren Buffett. NetJets has an arm called Executive Jet Management, or EJM, that manages private jets on behalf of their owners. NetJets sells fractional shares in private jets. This is akin to a time share where you actually own part of a specific jet, but then get access to the fleet. The minimum share you can buy is 50 hours representing 1/16th of a plane.
While it may not be one of the main reasons to choose a private jet card program or prepaid block charter program, the fact that you are sending a big check to somebody
While it may not be one of the main reasons to choose a private jet card program or prepaid block charter program, the fact that you are sending a big check to somebody else’s bank account often comes with various VIP perks.
NetJets put on for 200 owners and guests of its fractional program a sunset private concert with Andrea Bocelli on a hillside in Tuscany. It also has offered access to provide golf clubs such as Tuhaye Golf Club in Park City, Utah and Stone Eagle in Palm Desert, California.
Another perk is the annual NetJets Poker Tournament where customers can mix with Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway which owns NetJets.
Sentient Jet offers its members private parties and VIP accessThe Breeder’s Cup and The Kentucky Derby while XOJET program customers can vacation at Yellowstone Club, a private club with its own private ski mountain and golf club.
Sometimes it’s also about the little things. When the NFL implemented new restrictions on what fans could bring into the Super Bowl Flexjet provided its customers compliant, transparent bags so they wouldn’t be inconvenienced.
There is a special section in our 62-point comparison that specifically gives you an overview of what perks and special access each of the 75 programs provide.
What’s it like to be a customer service representation at the world’s largest operator of private jets? What are some of the most memorable experiences? What will your NetJets CSR do to make that trip even more special?
NetJets pre-tax earnings increased 19% “primarily due to lower subcontracting expense and a decline in losses from aircraft impairments and dispositions,” according to parent company Berkshire Hathaway’s 2016 Annual Report. Those gains were “partly offset by increases in depreciation and restructuring,” the report stated.