Although it is approaching its 20th birthday, the fractional aircraft industry is still very much mired in adolescence. It’s come a long way since NetJets chairman Richard Santulli invented the concept of fractional ownership and launched his program in 1986, but the industry still has a long uphill road ahead.
Charter operator Delta AirElite is offering a 10-hour Fleet Membership program through September 30. Pricing for the new program, called Perfect 10, starts at $41,400 for 10 hours in the light jet category, $59,900 for a midsize aircraft and $102,900 for a large aircraft. The program guarantees aircraft availability with 12 hours’ notice, and members can fly all or a portion of their hours as one-way flights.
Fractional provider CitationShares recently announced three new programs for its customers. Preferred Positioning lets customers book and purchase–at a steep discount–positioning (deadhead) flights on fractional aircraft. Caribbean Express enables CitationShares’ fractional owners to travel to the Caribbean and Costa Rica without incurring repositioning fees on Saturday trips that fall within designated four-hour windows.
Delta AirElite, the business aircraft charter division of Delta Air Lines, this summer introduced a revenue guarantee for aircraft owners who are accepted for enrollment in the company’s aircraft-management program. The company offers new management clients flight-hour guarantees ranging from 200 to 500 hours annually for select aircraft.
The U.S. DOT’s unwillingness to ease unpopular restrictions on foreign charter operators flying into the U.S. is jeopardizing moves on the other side of the Atlantic to reform rules covering fractional ownership.
Cleveland-based fractional provider Flight Options last month launched Fractional First, which it describes as a “purchase and use program designed to deliver up to a 15-percent increase in value through access to more hours or savings on long-haul trips.” All new Flight Options contracts will include Fractional First, while existing customers have the option to transition to a new Fractional First agreement for the remainder of their current
It’s one thing to find a new way of doing business. It’s quite another to make it work. Paul Touw, founder and CEO of Xojet (pronounced exojet) in San Carlos, Calif., believes he has done both.
Avantair’s new owner, Alfred Rapetti, has clearly defined goals for the all-Avanti fractional provider. A retired investment banker with previous ties to aviation interests, Rapetti plans to further expand the company by offering “elite levels” of customer service, moving and expanding the corporate headquarters and steadily increasing the aircraft fleet.
It’s no secret that the NetJets pilot contract ratified in late November raised the bar for fractional pilot pay. Within hours of the tentative agreement’s release in early October, speculation began about when pilots at the other major fractionals would get an equivalent raise.
While its larger competitor NetJets saw profits vanish last year, fractional ownership operator Flexjet is reporting “our best year yet in terms of revenue and profitability.”