The Jet Card start-up is focused on turboprops, pistons, very light and light jets
Pushed by what founder and CEO Tom Filippini says is strong demand in its first year of operations, Denver-based jet card seller StraightLine Private Air is making a few changes to its programs, including adding a $200,000 tier. Filippini, who didn’t want to disclose the number of members, says interest in the company is based on its somewhat different approach. The provider has also joined the fray with an end of the year offer: Join by December 31 and receive a 5% bonus up to $10,000.
The move comes as Wheels Up, VistaJet, JetSmarter, JetSuite and Victor have all announced new funding to power expansion
U.S.-based Bird Dog Jet has been acquired by U.K. PrivateFly, according to an email from the latter. “I wanted to share some exciting news with you about our continued expansion. 2017 has been a record-breaking year for us, showing another plus 50% growth rate. We’ve been busy arranging more flights, for more customers, than ever before. And I’m now delighted to be able to announce PrivateFly’s takeover of Bird Dog Jet, a US charter broker. They will join our existing US team based in Fort Lauderdale, to enable us to fly more clients within North America, the Caribbean and further afield,” wrote Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly in an email to customers.
Jet Card Membership Programs provide users convenience when they fly privately, but finding the true hourly rate you will be paying often takes a bit of work
You ask your assistant to go to a few private jet card membership websites and check out the hourly rates. She follows your instructions and puts them in a comparison chart for you. That was easy! Then you join. You get your first invoice, and shock, the prices you are paying have nothing to do with the rates on the website. It reminds you of that $29 per day car rental that ended up costing you $79.
Private Jet Card Comparisons is the only independent buyer’s guide providing subscribers head-to-head comparisons of over 100 private jet card membership programs in easy-to-use spreadsheets. Compare hourly rates, pricing, fees and more than 65 variables
To find the right jet card program for your needs takes a bit of work. While many buyers rely on recommendations from their friends, your friends’ flying habits are probably different from yours. At the same time, you can have your assistant or finance department do some Google research. They will come back with a handful of randomly selected companies. They then have to spend time filling in request forms with providers and waiting for each jet card seller to send their information. After that, they need to take the collateral and put it into a form where you can start comparing programs which vary widely. What’s more, they will have to spend time going back to providers and asking them for information they didn’t provide.
Skyjet Explorer will compete in the private jet Membership segment, including Wheels Up, JetSmarter and XOJET
Choices, choices, choices. In the private jet card and membership sector, the diversity of offers continues to grow. Directional Aviation yesterday announced it is expanding its coverage of the private aviation travel market by introducing its first pay-as-you-fly membership program. The company, which owns Flexjet, Sentient Jet and Skyjet is using the latter to introduce the new product, billed as Skyjet Explorer. Flexjet sells fractional ownership shares and leases, plus jet cards; Sentient focuses exclusively on jet cards and until now Skyjet had been an on-demand charter provider.
JetClass, JetSmarter, Surf Air and soon, possibly Wheels Up, are trying to bridge the gap between commercial airlines and full private jet charter in Europe
Another private jet like shuttle service says it is making inroads in European’s aviation market. JetClass, which is a “non-subscription” service has been offering travelers the opportunities to buy single seats on shared private jets for as little as EUR 290 since the beginning of the summer. JetClass comes from Wagas Ali and Vladislav Zenov who founded online private jet broker CharterScanner.
Wheels Up Joins VistaJet, JetSuite, Victor and Jet Smarter in raising money to fund ambitious expansion plans
Ka-ching. Jet card membership seller Wheels Up said earlier today it had completed an equity capital raise of $117.5 million. The money comes less than four months after the company said it had received a $90 million aircraft financing facility from KKR. Wheels Up said AccorFidelity Management & Research Company and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. led this current round and were joined by existing investor, NEA as well as new institutional investors. The company initially set out to raise $100 million but agreed to upsize the offering based on significant investor demand, according to a press release. Wheels Up is now valued at close to $700 million, with an enterprise value north of $1 billion, again according to the company.