Clay Lacy
Clay Lacy

The Latest Offerings and News from Private Flight Providers

As demand from travelers accelerates, companies are expanding fleets and rolling out innovative programs.

Business aircraft flight activity set records in the first half of 2022, according to data from Argus, WingX, and legions of operators and brokers, and the market has responded with new card and fractional offerings, revamped access programs, enlarged aircraft fleets, and more. Here are some of the latest developments.

Access in the Americas

Clay Lacy Aviation

California-based Clay Lacy Aviation has added six large-cabin jets to its charter fleet: a Dassault Falcon 900EX EASy and Bombardier Global 5000 in the New York market; and in California, a Gulfstream G650ER based at Silicon Valley’s San Jose International Airport and a Gulfstream G550 and two Embraer Legacy 600s at Van Nuys and John Wayne Airports, where Clay Lacy operates FBOs. Having established a national footprint with its 2020 merger with Key Air, based at Connecticut’s Waterbury-Oxford Airport, Clay Lacy plans to open an FBO at that field next year.

Elite Jets

Elite Jets—which serves North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean with four Phenom 300s and a Legacy 500—recently added a dozen employees, more than half of whom are pilots. Meanwhile, the Florida-based company has earned International Standard for Business Aircraft Operators (IS-BAO) Stage 2 certification and renewed its Argus Platinum safety rating. 

Elite Jets
Elite Jets

Executive Fliteways

On-demand charter operator Executive Fliteways, based at Long Island, New York’s Islip-Macarthur Airport, has added more long-range jets to its fleet, including a Gulfstream G550 and GV and a Falcon 7X—all available for complex, international flights. The company also operates a new Embraer Praetor 600 and a Phenom 300, plus three Learjet 60s. The Praetor and one Learjet are based in South Florida. The fleet additions follow the company’s purchase in late 2020 by James Prinzivalli, a 25-year company veteran, who reports that more fleet additions are forthcoming.


Flexjet has ordered 50 jets—which will bring its fleet total to 231 aircraft—for its fractional shareowners. The new jets will include Embraer’s Phenom 300, Legacy 450, and Praetor 500; Bombardier’s Challenger 350; and Gulfstream’s G450 and G650. 

Flexjet’s new helicopter division uses a dozen Sikorsky S-76 medium twins from Associated Aircraft Group, the New York–area operator acquired last year by Flexjet’s parent, OneSky Flight. Operations will be seasonally located in the Northeast and in Florida year-round. In addition to fractional helicopter ownership opportunities, the company offers complimentary helicopter hours for Gulfstream G650 fractional owners, as well as add-on fractional, lease, and charter access to the rotorcraft.



North Carolina–based membership and on-demand fleet operator flyExclusive has introduced a Cessna Citation CJ3+ fractional ownership program, ordering 30 of the light jets to launch the offering, with options for another 60 over the next three years. Share plans start at 40 hours of access annually. Owners will pay the same daily and hourly rates featured in flyExclusive’s Jet Club and Partnership programs but no monthly management or repositioning fees or daily minimums. Owners will also have access to the company’s 85 light, midsize, and super-midsize jets through preferred fractional pricing. 


Houston JetDirect

Houston-based aircraft management firm and charter operator Cockrell Resources has been rechristened Houston JetDirect to reflect an increased emphasis on—and demand for—the charter end of its business. Based at William P. Hobby Airport, the Argus Gold and Wyvern-registered company operates a Bombardier Learjet 45 and 75, a Cessna Citation Sovereign, a Bombardier Challenger 300/350, and a Falcon 2000LX. 


Following the success in Europe of its designated point-to-point route card, InstaJet has launched in the U.S. the JetAhead jet card, providing route-based full- or multiple-day lift access on 10 routes, including East Coast flights between New York and Miami. InstaJet sources sufficient lift on a daily basis for the fixed routes. With sufficient advance booking, passengers can pay as little as $8,000 for the exclusive use of a light jet for one day.

Jet Linx

Anticipating an increase in corporate flight activity, Jet Linx has reintroduced its Enterprise Jet Card membership, which is designed for corporate clients and was suspended last October to ensure that the company had sufficient capacity to serve existing clients. Also reintroduced: the Tier II Executive Jet Card, for leisure travelers with less frequent lift needs than the company's Tier I membership provides.

Meanwhile, building on its new southern Florida presence,  Jet Linx has opened a private terminal at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport, its 20th branded ground facility, and acquired Southern Jet in Boca Raton, Florida. Southern Jet’s charter fleet includes a Challenger 300, two Hawker 800XPs, and three Learjet 60s, and it will serve as the Omaha, Nebraska–based Jet Linx’s 21st facility. 

Mente Group

Business aircraft consultancy Mente Group has launched Four Corners Aviation, an access management firm. Four Corners’ tailored Freedom programs provide clients with what it claims are “all the benefits of their own scalable aviation department, without the hassles of ownership such as administration, accounting, and uncertainties.” Based at Stewart International Airport in New York, Argus Platinum–rated Four Corners operates a fleet that includes Citation, Phenom, Challenger, and Gulfstream jets.

Nicholas Air

Long noted for its model-specific light jet and midsize jet cards, fleet operator Nicholas Air has introduced a card for access to the super-midsize Challenger 300 family and recently added four factory-new aircraft to its fleet within 90 days to support the new and current card programs. Super-midsize jets are among the most in demand, with few options for travelers seeking guaranteed access, notes Nicholas Air president Peder von Harten.

Nicholas offers three jet card types: Blue, Rise, and Lite. Blue cards are for model-specific access (15-hour minimum). Rise cards, for clients needing a wider range of aircraft, offer access to the entire fleet at preset hourly prices (account deposits start at $200,000). Lite cards, for clients with flexible schedules and agnostic model preferences, offer access at lower hourly rates. Nicholas also provides fractional ownership plans, starting at 100 flight hours per year for shareowners.

Nicholas Air
Nicholas Air

The 25-year-old, family-owned company’s fleet—boasting an average aircraft age of five years or less—includes the midsize Citation Latitude; Citation CJ3 and Phenom 300 and 100 light jets; and PC-12 turboprops. The customer base is 95 percent east of the Rockies and south of the Mason-Dixon line, but Nicholas Air also serves California, Mexico, and the Caribbean, as well as Boston and New York. 

PrivateFlite Aviation

Charter operator PrivateFlite Aviation, with bases in Sellersburg, Indiana, and Fort Worth, is offering point-to-point charter on Argus Platinum–rated midsize Challenger 300, Citation X, Sovereign, and Excel twinjets; Hawker 400XP and Nextant 400XT light jets; and Pilatus PC-12 turboprops. The network includes more than 225 aircraft in a dedicated floating fleet. 

Sentient Jet

Jet card provider Sentient Jet is rolling out a service enabling cardholders to arrange charter flights via text messaging. The user-authenticated service will provide quotes and an option to book flights automatically in less than 60 seconds, according to the company.


Augmenting its rotorcraft charters, Orlando, Florida–based HeliTeam has introduced a fixed-wing charter arm, Speedbird. Offering access “from one of the most convenient and in-demand locations,” according to the company, Speedbird operates Citation CJ2, CJ3, and Beechjet 400A light jets, the Citation X midsize jet, and the Beechcraft King Air 350 turboprop. 

HeliTeam provides aerial application, electronic newsgathering, firefighting, and external load and utility transport services using a fleet of turbine airplanes and helicopters.

Summit Aviation

More light lift is available in the Yellowstone-Jackson Hole area as Phenom 300 charter operator Summit Aviation, based at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport in Belgrade, Montana, has doubled its fleet to 10 of the Embraers since the beginning of 2021, with more on the way. Summit, founded in 2001, took three 300Es last year and two this year, and two more are slated for onboarding next year. For customers needing a larger platform, Summit brokers flights through partner charter operators. 

Tailwind Air

This summer, Tailwind Air introduced seaplane service from New York City to Provincetown, Massachusetts, via Boston Harbor, on Cessna Caravan single-engine turboprops. Operating through September 6 this year, it charges $795 for the Manhattan–Boston Harbor segment and another $275 to Provincetown. Tailwind also has seasonal seaplane service from New York to East Hampton, Sag Harbor, Montauk, and Shelter Island on Long Island, and offers a Fast Lane Club for commuters and discount prepaid ticket books.


Start-up Verijet, which operates an all-Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet charter fleet, this summer expanded service to the Northeast, with destinations including Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts; Montauk, New York; and Newport, Rhode Island. Airports in the region available for service are within a 600-nautical-mile radius of the New York metro’s Westchester County Airport. This follows the addition of service to select Caribbean locations earlier this year by the Opa-Locka, Florida–based company, which now covers most of the East and West Coasts. Established in 2020, Verijet focuses on providing sustainable travel and highlights the single-engine Vision Jet’s reduced carbon footprint, emitting over a ton less CO2 per hour than other light jets. The charter company has partnered with carbon credit provider 4Air to further offset its footprint.

Vista Global Holdings

Vista Global Holdings, parent of Malta-based VistaJet and U.S.-based XO, has continued expanding its global fleet with the acquisitions this year of large-cabin jet operator Jet Edge in the U.S. and German charter powerhouse Air Hamburg. The jets the two charter management companies operate will augment the owned and operated charter fleets of VistaJet and XO and will bring Vista’s global fleet to some 350 aircraft, predominantly super-midsize, large-cabin, and ultra-long-range jets.


Jet Edge’s fleet consists primarily of Bombardier Challengers and Gulfstreams. Air Hamburg, Europe’s largest private jet operator by number of flights (more than 18,000 in 2021), manages 44 aircraft, including a Dassault Falcon 7X and Embraer Legacys, and a Lineage 1000.

Jet Edge Reserve Program Members and AdvantEdge aircraft management clients will benefit from Vista’s broader global fleet and be able to take advantage of the charter demand, global infrastructure, and procurement advantages that Vista generates via its branded VistaJet and XO solutions.

Jet Edge has grown aggressively since the beginning of last year, propelled by $265 million in funding from equity investment firm KKR. Twenty additional Gulfstreams and Challengers joined its fleet in the first half of this year, bringing its rolls to some 95 aircraft.

Other recent Vista acquisitions include charter management/MRO provider Talon Air and charter broker Apollo Jets, both U.S.-based.

Also last year, the Global 7500, the world’s longest-range purpose-built business jet, joined the VistaJet fleet. Group founder and chairman Thomas Flohr called the addition “game-changing,” with customers of the block-hour and on-demand charter program using the jet’s 7,700-nautical-mile range on nonstop flights including São Paulo to the Maldives (15 hours 43 minutes) and Los Angeles to Hong Kong (14 hours 50 minutes). VistaJet expects to have 17 Global 7500s by year-end and is considering an upgrade of some of the last of its current orders to the recently introduced Global 8000, a slightly larger, faster, and longer-range variant.


Access to the HA420 HondaJet, Honda Aircraft’s cutting-edge light jet, is trending, with two operators launching HondaJet access programs last year. Volato, primarily serving the East Coast, augmented by a California base, offers a fractional ownership plan in the HondaJet with a 1/16th (50-hour) minimum share costing about $350,000. The company also offers on-demand charter when fleet aircraft are not in use by shareowners. 

Volato offers an innovative revenue-sharing plan that returns a percentage of fleet income annually to owners. (If the aircraft were fully booked, the return would amount to $50,000 for a 1/16th share.) However, rather than owning a share of an actual aircraft, as traditional fractional programs provide, Volato offers buyers an equivalent percentage of shares in an LLC that owns the aircraft. The Atlanta-headquartered company has some six jets in its fleet and 18 on order.


Jet Token

Las Vegas–based Jet Token offers HondaJet fractional ownership, membership access, and on-demand charter programs. One-fifth fractional shares provide 75 flight hours per year and cost about $1.3 million. Hour- and day-based membership access programs are available. Prospective owners can alternatively buy a 1/5th share via a “Special Purpose Vehicle” for $278,000, which Jet Token will finance, according to the company, but rather than a share in the actual aircraft, buyers receive the equivalent share in the SPV.

With a charter booking platform as its core business, Jet Token has raised more than $14 million from over 30,000 crowd-sourced investors who now own roughly one-third of the company, it says, and those funds covered deposits on the two HA-420s delivered in 2021 and the two expected this year.

Wheels Up

Continuing its goal of becoming an Amazon-modeled private aviation access company, Wheels Up, which went public a year ago, acquired light jet operator Alante Jet Charter early in 2022. Scottsdale, Arizona-based Alante, which had been providing supplemental lift to Wheels Up for a year prior, operates 12 Citation CJ3/3+ and CJ4 aircraft and employs 39 pilots. In addressing the acquisition, Wheels Up founder and CEO Kenny Dichter called light jets “arguably the most in-demand category of aircraft in the industry.”

Since listing on the Nasdaq exchange last July, Wheels Up has reported record revenues and membership growth, but increased costs have led to widening losses, as it has faced pilot shortages and other supply constraints, and the stock has lost some 75 percent of its value. But the company is surmounting its operational challenges, and its investors are patient, Dichter says.

Wheels Up
Wheels Up

International Access

365 Aviation

The all-inclusive jet cards that many providers offer can simplify card shopping and lift access, says 365 Aviation CEO Chris Tofts, but “may not be the most cost-effective for many clients.” In response, the London-based broker has launched its 365Bespoke jet card for travel within the European Economic Area, the U.K., Switzerland, and Norway, providing lift at guaranteed rates for service tailored to cardholders’ flying patterns. The card accesses Cessna Citation CJ2 and CJ3 light jets and the midsize Citation XLS. Service options such as de-icing and last-minute booking or cancellation authorization may be added to the card features.

Blade Air Mobility

Blade Air Mobility has acquired the commercial transport services of three European helicopter operators, which henceforth will employ their fleets exclusively for Blade’s scheduled per-seat and on-demand charter services in the south of France, Monaco, Switzerland, and Italy. The three operators—Monacair SAM, Héli Sécurité, and a French company (undisclosed at signing)—will also work with Blade toward the transition to eVTOL aircraft in the region. Burnishing the ground portion of the journeys, the New York City–based company is developing branded passenger terminals at more than 10 airports and vertiports that the carriers service in France, Monaco, and Switzerland.

Blade Air Mobility
Blade Air Mobility

Cirrus Aircraft

Cirrus Aircraft—manufacturer of the single-engine SF50 Vision Jet and SR20/22 pistons—appears intent on adding more light lift to the European market. The company has opened a sales office in Valenciennes, France, and plans to add a European regional operations office in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The U.S.-based, Chinese-owned manufacturer notes that the Vision Jet is certified in more than 40 countries, and nearly 700 pilots have type ratings. 


Charter customers in northern Germany now have a local broker in Hamburg-based Elbjets, which was established a year ago to serve charter customers. The primary focus is on flights within Europe in light and midsize aircraft, says company cofounder Alexander Mueller.


Brazil-based online charter broker Flapper, which recently expanded into Mexico, is now moving into southern Europe via Portugal. In Latin America, Flapper has a proprietary inventory of more than 1,000 general aviation aircraft available for charter. Its platform allows real-time charter quotes and the sale of individual seats on flights, subject to owner approval, and the company plans to extend its footprint on the Continent with additional offices in Spain, Italy, and Switzerland while registering local business jet and helicopter operators to source for lift. High-season flights to Mallorca and Algarve will likely be offered on a per-seat basis, including frequent departures from London. Flapper’s trip total in Europe quickly surpassed 100 charter flights and empty-leg deals booked through local operators.


Pursuant to the planned doubling of its European fleet, Flexjet has added three super-midsize Praetor 600s and a Gulfstream G650 to its rolls this year, with another G650 to come by year’s end. To ensure smooth operations in the theater, Flexjet opened this spring a state-of-the-art Tactical Control Centre and office complex at Farnborough Airport, which now serves as command headquarters for its European flight activity. Additionally, ultra-fast Ka-band Wi-Fi has been retrofitted aboard its Embraer Legacy 500s, bringing all of Flexjet’s Europe-based jets up to speed on Ka-band connectivity.

Global Jets

Luxembourg’s Global Jets has implemented cloud-based software that it says streamlines and centralizes operations, providing a single charter platform across the operator’s 10 offices in Europe, Asia, and Aruba. Global Jets manages some 70 aircraft, including a large G650 fleet and more than 35 aircraft types. 

K5 Aviation

German bizliner operator K5 Aviation, whose fleet includes four single-aisle ACJ319s and a Bombardier Global 6000, is readying entry into the VIP widebody market, with an ACJ350 and ACJ330 now in completion and scheduled to enter charter service in 2023 and 2024, respectively. The A330 will be EASA-registered—the first EASA AOC for a VIP transport category aircraft, according to K5 director Luca Madone. Among the registration’s advantages: it will provide full traffic rights in Europe and the U.S.

K5 Aviation
K5 Aviation


After working together since 2018, charter broker LunaJets and Monaco-based yacht services provider Hill Robinson Group have partnered to synchronize travel plans for clients seeking both aircraft lift and yacht charter. Headquartered in Geneva, LunaJets also has offices in London; Paris; Monaco; Dubai, U.A.E.; and Riga, Latvia. 


Charter operator Luxaviation has added a large-cabin Global 6500 in the U.K., and a super-midsize Embraer Legacy 500 and Citation M2 Gen2 in France. The five-passenger M2 Gen2, a new version of Cessna’s entry-level twinjet, features ambient accent lighting, satellite communication, and wireless charging. It is capable of covering much of Western Europe and landing in restricted destinations, including London City and Cannes. Luxaviation has also opened an office at Mandelieu Airport in Cannes to support “ambitious growth plans throughout the Côte d'Azur area,” the Luxembourg-based operator reports. 


Platoon Aviation

Hamburg, Germany–based charter operator Platoon Aviation, founded in 2020, continues building out its all-Pilatus PC-24 fleet. After taking its first of the light twinjets early last year, it added number four this spring, and more are on order. Platoon offers charter throughout Europe, with popular summer holiday destinations including Mallorca, Spain; Naples and Olbia, Sardinia in Italy; and challenging locations like La Môle in France, and Saanen in Switzerland that the short-field PC-24 can easily access. 


PrivateFly, a U.K.-based charter broker and jet card provider, has upgraded its midsize jet card into a super-midsize jet card, offering access to larger models such as the Citation Latitude and Challenger 350. A division of Directional Aviation’s OneSky, PrivateFly still sells cards for light and heavy jets; all three categories offer fixed hourly rates and guaranteed flights within the Continent.

A year ago, PrivateFly introduced its Aviator Membership, aimed at new-to-business-aviation charter customers needing more than one category of aircraft. The €10,000 annual membership provides a choice of categories as needed at guaranteed hourly rates, along with short-notice cancellation rates and services including de-icing and a London helicopter transfer. PrivateFly added extended-range fixed hourly rates on several popular routes to Aviator Membership privileges late last year. It includes any flight between the U.K. and the U.S.; the Caribbean; and the Middle East.

Wheels Up

New York-based Wheels Up has a foothold in Europe, where it now offers on-demand charter access in the wake of acquiring Air Partner, a publicly traded U.K. charter broker, the first international expansion for the New York-based access provider. Founded in 1961 Air Partner offers private jet, group, and freight charter, and aviation safety and security services.

Qatar Executive

Qatar Executive, the charter arm of Qatar Airlines, has installed active air ionization systems aboard all seven of its Gulfstream G650ER ultra-long-range jets. The eco-friendly system can eliminate potentially harmful pathogens and allergens and eradicate volatile organic compounds, visible smoke, and undesirable odors. 

Qatar Executive
Qatar Executive


RoyalJet, based in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., has added a late-model Boeing Business Jet to its charter rolls and is “pursuing further additions of new aircraft” to meet a rise in demand for VIP transport, the company says. The 23-passenger jet—the 11th BBJ in its fleet—has been upgraded with soundproofing, air filtration, and new connectivity and in-flight entertainment systems. RoyalJet also operates three Global 5000/6000 large-cabin, long-range jets.


AllianceJet has added a 189-passenger Boeing 737-800 based in Malta, its headquarters, primarily to serve the Middle East. The fuel-efficient, low-carbon-emitting aircraft meets the two-year-old company’s commitment to what it terms “sustainable aircraft mobility,” it reports. AllianceJet also operates a Global 6000 and a Challenger 605. 

Amber Aviation

Addressing what it sees as “a huge gap in the market” for charter customers seeking more comprehensive access options, China’s Amber Aviation is acquiring 20 jets over the next two years from NetJets to offer shared lease, jet card, and membership programs under a new sub-brand, AmberNet. Deliveries of the first of the aircraft, Gulfstream G450s, have begun. Jet cards are sold in 25-hour minimums; lease share minimums in what the company says will be China’s first fractional lease program are 50 hours per year. Aircraft will be deployed from AmberJet’s Shenzen base as well as from locations including Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Macau, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Clients will have guaranteed access to NetJets aircraft in the U.S. and Europe.

Sustainability Initiatives


Bizav-focused carbon offset services specialist Azzera, launched this year, creates and manages tailored compliance programs that meet the requirements of emissions regulations including the EU Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS), Swiss ETS, U.K. ETS, and ICAO’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) offsets. Azerra’s service is aimed at small to midsize operators, for which “selecting and implementing top-quality offset solutions can be very complicated,” the company says. With offices in Montreal and Zurich, Azzera also provides direct access to the voluntary carbon offsetting market and aims to become a centralized spot-trading carbon market exchange. 


A new carbon offset program from flyExclusive in partnership with 4Air enables members of the charter operator’s Partners and Jet Club programs to opt in to carbon offset solutions for their flights, with offset programs funding forestry projects along the East Coast U.S., a major flyway for the North-Carolina company.

Mirai Flights

Booking platform Mirai Flights has launched an environmentally focused program aimed at filling empty-leg segments. The U.K.-based company, founded in 2021, says it has already saved more than 200 tons of CO2 by reducing the wasted emissions that empty legs create. The AI-based app uses alerting tools, online booking takes less than a minute, and empty legs are offered at up to 70 percent off standard rates, says the company’s non-executive director, Evgeny Chuprov. 


NetJets reported that since it launched its expanded sustainability program in October 2020, it has offset more than 2.7 million tonnes of CO2 and purchased nearly nine million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel. In March, it announced a partnership with Lilium, which is developing an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle.


VistaJet announced a new sustainability initiative this year, pledging to be carbon neutral by 2025, and now offers clients global access to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The operator also released a whitepaper, “A 2022 Action Handbook for Change in Business Aviation,” which recommends increased adoption of SAF and of greenhouse gas emissions auditing and reporting. The whitepaper notes that more than 85 percent of VistaJet’s customers have adopted voluntary carbon offsetting plans.

Sun Ait Jets

California’s Sun Air Jets, which operates some 10 midsize to heavy jets, has partnered with 4Air for an evaluation of the charter operator’s emission levels and offsetting measures. Sun Air Jets’ Camarillo Airport and Van Nuys Airport facilities are both NATA-certified Tier 1 Green Aviation Businesses, featuring technologies including solar-roof arrays, EV charging stations, refillable water stations, and motion-sensing and LED lighting.

Wheels Up

Wheels Up and Hertz have partnered to offer members access to the rental agency’s electric vehicles, including Teslas and Polestars. The cars are available at more than 100 general aviation airports, and plans exist to expand the program to more than 500 airports in the coming months. Wheels Up members will also have access to a dedicated Hertz Private Aviation Specialist at the Wheels Up call center for reservations assistance. The partnership complements a Wheels Up program that allows members to offset their carbon footprint in the air.


London-based online charter marketplace Victor has teamed with Finland-based SAF producer Neste to enable customers to purchase the fuel when booking charter trips on the Victor platform, representing anywhere from 5 to 100 percent of a flight’s fuel load. However, the SAF is actually used in the fleet of one of Neste’s partner airlines, where it replaces conventional jet fuel.