A beginners guide to: Flight programmes

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Not everyone wants to buy an aircraft and there have never been so many other options. Comparing companies that offer a variety of different products, from fractional ownership to club memberships, this beginner’s guide will help you decide which programme and company is best for you.

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MHS Aviation


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MHS Aviation is not an industry newcomer and has been in business for already more than 40 years and has developed into one of the largest executive charter operators in Germany. With more than 20 aircraft MHS Aviation offers an exceptional fleet diversity. Weather short-haul or long-haul flight, for 4 up to 32 passengers, With MHS Aviation, customers receive exactly the right aircraft for their individual requirements.

MHS Aviation Portfolio:
• Executive Charter
• Aircraft Management
• ACMI

With the 2 Global Express, 2 Falcon 2000LX, 1 Challenger 605, 2 Challenger 604 and 1 Challenger 300 MHS Aviation operates on a floating base structure and therefor guarantees maximum flexibility and worldwide Charter availability to their customers.

The boutique Hospitality Service offered by MHS Aviation Crew and the Team in the Headquarter in Munich is a guarantee for dedicated, professional and tailored made Service.

Lead Sponsors

Aerion


Aerion Supersonic of Reno, Nevada is introducing a new era of practical and efficient supersonic flight. In 2017, the company joined forces with GE Aviation and Lockheed Martin to develop the Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet.

The 12-passenger AS2 is expected to fly at a maximum speed of Mach 1.4 over water, and, where permitted by regulation, at speeds approaching Mach 1.2 without a sonic boom reaching the ground. Thanks to its unique supersonic natural laminar flow wing, the aircraft is expected to achieve long range (LA to Paris) and efficiency at supersonic and subsonic speeds. Once fielded, it will reduce trans-Atlantic trips by as much as three hours, enabling business leaders to fly roundtrip between New York and London in a day.

Aerion was formed in 2003 to advance more efficient supersonic technologies. Since that time, the company has developed and demonstrated advanced wing technology in conjunction with NASA and other leading aeronautical institutions. This research includes breakthrough work in supersonic natural laminar flow, the key enabling technology behind the AS2 supersonic business jet.

In November 2015, Aerion announced a fleet order from fractional aircraft fleet operator Flexjet for 20 AS2 aircraft.

DC Aviation Al-Futtaim


DC Aviation Al-Futtaim (DCAF) is a joint venture between DC Aviation, a leading German business jet operator and previously a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler AG, and Al-Futtaim, a privately owned UAE business conglomerate
DCAF is the first and only fully integrated business aviation facility based out of Al Maktoum Int’l Airport located at Dubai South with a dedicated hangar measuring 5,700sqm and a 1,300sqm exclusive VVIP lounge area designed to international standards offering customers the highest levels of comfort and privacy, shower areas and a conference room. Along with the VVIP lounge, 24-hour on-site security, screening facilities, customs and immigration services; customers are assured of a speedy and enjoyable travel experience. In November 2017, a second hangar was completed with 7500 square meters of covered space, bringing DCAF’s total landside plot area to 24,000 sqm and the apron area to 13,000 sqm.
DCAF’s core areas of business include Aircraft Management, Maintenance, FBO and Ground handling services, aircraft hangarage as well as Business jet charter.

DCAF has a total of six aircrafts on its managed fleet including two Globals, three Challengers and a Falcon 7X.

GE Aviation


GE Aviation is committed to providing leading propulsion systems for business and general aviation (BG&A) customers around the world. We provide jet engines for small and large cabin business aviation aircraft and turboprop engines for BG&A operators. We are passionate about customers and the flexibility, access and productivity their flight operations bring to remote communities, commerce, recreation, agriculture, medical missions, pilot training, and humanitarian aid.

GE has a global service network to support these offerings. GE and its customers are also working together to unlock new opportunities to grow and deliver more productivity beyond traditional services. GE Aviation is becoming a digital industrial business with its ability to harness large streams of data that are providing incredible insights and in turn, real operational value for customers.

Gogo Business Aviation


With more than two decades of experience, Gogo is the leader in inflight connectivity and wireless entertainment services for business fleets and commercial airlines around the world. Gogo connects aircraft, providing its partners with the world’s most powerful networks and platforms to help optimize their operations. Gogo’s superior technologies, best-in-class service, and global reach help planes fly smarter, and passengers travel happier.

Today, more than 4,000 business aircraft are flying with Gogo’s connectivity solutions onboard, including the world's largest fractional ownership fleets, and Gogo is a factory option at every major business aircraft manufacturer. Gogo also has partnerships with 16 commercial airlines with its connectivity solutions flying on more than 3,000 commercial aircraft. Gogo’s corporate presence globally includes multilingual customer and technical support available around the clock from teams based at several locations worldwide. Connect with Gogo at business.gogoair.com and www.gogoair.com.

Jetex Flight Support


A global leader in executive aviation, Jetex is recognized for delivering flexible, best-in-class trip support solutions to customers worldwide. Jetex provides exceptional FBOs, aircraft fueling, ground handling and global trip planning. The company caters to an elite clientele including owners and operators of business jets for corporate, commercial and personal air travel. To find out how you can benefit from Jetex’s award-winning services, visit jetex.com today.

It was in 2005 at the Dubai Air Show that Jetex Flight Support announced its establishment. Today Jetex has 100 people working in its headquarters and over 300 staff members based globally.

Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI)


Founded in 1989, JSSI is the only hourly cost maintenance provider covering virtually all makes and models of business aircraft, engines and APUs. JSSI provides its customers with comprehensive, flexible and affordable financial tools for managing the often unpredictable costs of operating and maintaining nearly all types of turbine-powered aircraft, including jets, turbo-props and turbine-powered helicopters. JSSI serves customers globally and manages maintenance services through its worldwide infrastructure of certified technical advisors.

OPMAS


At OPMAS, we have dealt with aircraft customs handling for more than two decades. This is the only service we provide. We are not involved in financing, offshore tax structures, tax planning or yachting etc. Over these last 20 years, we have learned that long-term local presence and knowhow are essential when it comes to aircraft importation and admission in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. Our experienced acquired knowledge and strong and invaluable handling with the Danish authorities ensure a smooth handling process.

Denmark has the very best reputation both within the EU and worldwide. Denmark is further number one on the Transparency List over the least corrupt nations in the world. We are known always to implement all EU-directives promptly and 100% by the book without ANY bending of the rules in favour of local companies. Denmark is the only member state involved in aircraft importation or admission, which is not considered a tax haven.

We have an extensive legal, aviation and administrative background. Our founder and CEO, Lasse Rungholm, is an aviation lawyer (L) and commercial airline pilot (ATPL, EASA and FAA) with more than 20 years of experience in these fields. Denmark has been the member state of choice for these procedures for a long time and our local presence and detailed knowledge of the systems mean that any proposed change in legislation can be easily detected and implemented. We are not strangers setting up shop in a foreign jurisdiction. We know that one of our strongest assets is our extensive local knowledge and long experience working with the authorities.

We are a FULL-SERVICE provider – with no exceptions – and we will support you in any situation. You will never walk alone.

Please, contact us regarding your situation – we will advise you of the best solution for our situation and needs. For more information go to: www.opmas.dk.

The Registry of Aruba


Aruba is an autonomous and self-governing state of The Kingdom of the Netherlands and an overseas territory of the European Union.

Established in 1995, the Registry of Aruba was the first privately managed aircraft registration program rated Category-1 by the FAA, with regulatory framework in compliance with international standards.

Aruba is an OECD white-listed tax-efficient offshore jurisdiction with an outstanding reputation that offers flexibility and value adding services; enhanced through the introduction of the Cape Town Convention and the registration of an aircraft through the election of domicile.

Innovation continues in Aruba as we develop and grow our client services, offering the utmost qualified registration, certification, and inspection team; efficiently managing all the details involved when registering your private, corporate, and commercial aircraft.

With a dedicated and experienced staff, our management and technical personnel are available 24/7 to offer personalized and effective service to meet all operational needs from day one.

Our top priority is providing excellence in service and creating long lasting relationships with our customers. We pride ourselves in offering unrivaled boutique-appeal solutions preserving Air Safety First.

San Marino Aircraft Registry


The Republic of San Marino is an enclaved sovereign microstate located in the north-eastern part of the Italian peninsula. The Aircraft Registry is governed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is a Signatory to the Chicago Convention since 1988, complying with international standards in providing safety oversight of its registered aircraft with prefix ‘T7’.

Aircraft Registry welcomes foreign aircraft and helicopter owners operating private, corporate or commercially.

An organisation or enterprise that wishes to operate an aircraft for the purpose of Commercial Air Transport must obtain an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the CAA and have their principal place of business in San Marino.

Subsequently, the CAA has certified seven (7) Air Operator Certificates (AOCs). Alternately, applicants can choose to operate commercially under a foreign AOC utilising an ICAO Article 83bis agreement. Today, the CAA has signed an ICAO Article 83bis agreement with the Republic of Lebanon, Kingdom Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.

Watson Farley & Williams


Having been embedded in the aviation industry since the firm’s establishment in 1982, Watson Farley & Williams is a leading international law firm providing a powerful combination of sector expertise and technical excellence, leading the way in aviation and in corporate jets in particular.

In the corporate jets sector, we act for financiers, corporates, private clients and operators in the acquisition, leasing and financing (pre-delivery, long-term and structured) transactions. The nature of these assets plays to our strengths in aviation finance and tax structuring. We have developed a particular expertise in the financing of corporate jets operated in Turkey, India, Kazakhstan and the UAE.

In more recent uncertain economic times, we have undertaken a number of restructurings and repossessions employing our dispute resolution specialists and global reach to deliver on our clients’ commercial requirements.

Through our offices in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the USA, we provide an integrated aviation capability across all types of aircraft, guiding our clients through complex financial arrangements and cross-border transactions throughout the entire aircraft life-cycle.

Sponsors

CAE


CAE is a global leader in training for the civil aviation, defence and security, and healthcare markets. Backed by a 70-year record of industry firsts, we continue to help define global training standards with our innovative virtual-to-live training solutions to make flying safer, maintain defence force readiness and enhance patient safety. We have the broadest global presence in the industry, with over 8,500 employees, 160 sites and training locations in over 35 countries. Each year, we train more than 120,000 civil and defence crewmembers and thousands of healthcare professionals worldwide.

Embraer


Every 10 seconds an Embraer-manufactured aircraft takes off somewhere in the world, transporting over 145 million passengers a year. Since its inception nearly 50 years ago, Embraer has boldly and consistently revolutionized the commercial, defense, agricultural and business aviation segments – and now, as one of the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, Embraer also boasts the broadest portfolio of business jets in the market. Our beautifully designed, brilliantly engineered aircraft continuously blaze new trails, and when it comes to delivering the ultimate in value and customer experience, Embraer is in a class by itself. We take on our customers’ challenges and apply fresh, innovative perspectives to create solutions that enable our clients to outperform. That’s Embraer’s mission, and that’s what truly makes all the difference.

Our world-class lineup of extraordinary business aircraft includes the entry-level Phenom 100, the trailblazing Phenom 300 light jet, the revolutionary Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 medium-cabin jets, the large Legacy 650E and the ultra-large Lineage 1000E. Embraer’s global business jet fleet exceeds 1,100 aircraft, which are in operation in more than 70 countries  all supported by the world’s No. 1-ranked product support team and more than 70 owned and authorized service centers.

Embraer is a global company headquartered in Brazil with businesses in commercial aviation, defense and security, executive aviation, agricultural aviation and aircraft services and support. Our industrial units, offices, service facilities and parts distribution centers, among other activities, span across the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Embraer Executive Jets’ expansive North American campus is located in Melbourne, Florida, and includes an ultramodern Global Customer Center, a 75,000-square-foot Engineering & Technology Center and state-of-the-art production facilities for the Phenom 100, Phenom 300, Legacy 450 and Legacy 500.

ExecuJet


ExecuJet is a leading global business aviation organisation offering a diverse range of services including aircraft management for private and commercial registered aircraft, aircraft charter, aircraft maintenance, aircraft completions management and fixed base operations. ExecuJet has operations in six regions – Africa, Asia Pacific, Caribbean, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. ExecuJet manages 165 business jets worldwide under the most stringent safety standards. Its commercial fleet is operated under the regulatory umbrella of seven regional civil aviation issued air operating certificates (AOCs). ExecuJet has many authorised maintenance facilities throughout four regions, certified to work on most business jets. ExecuJet operates 25 world-class FBO facilities worldwide. ExecuJet is part of the Luxaviation Group.

Global Jet Capital


With approximately $2.5 billion in assets under management and the additional current committed capacity to lend, Global Jet Capital has the expertise, financial strength, industry relationships, and infrastructure necessary to offer a variety of flexible leasing and financing solutions at the speed the market requires. We currently serve nearly all jurisdictions and have the capital and expertise to meet the needs of today's rapidly expanding and diversifying private jet owners and operators.

Jetcraft


Jetcraft is the leader in international aircraft sales, marketing and ownership strategies, managing and maintaining over 20 regional offices globally. The company’s unparalleled success over more than 50 years in business aviation has earned it a world-class reputation, along with an exceptional customer base, a wide network of connections and one of the largest inventories within the industry.

Rolls-Royce


Rolls-Royce designs, develops, manufactures and services integrated power systems for use in the air, on land and at sea. We are one of the world’s leading producers of aero engines for large civil aircraft and corporate jets. We are the second largest provider of defense aero engines and services in the world. For land and sea markets, reciprocating engines and systems from Rolls-Royce are in marine, distributed energy, oil & gas, rail and off-highway vehicle applications. In nuclear, we have a strong instrumentation, product and service capability in both civil power and submarine propulsion.

 

VistaJet:

VistaJet owns a fleet of Bombardier Challenger and Global aircraft. The advantage of this for its customers is that there is no need to buy a fraction of an aircraft and tie capital into a depreciating asset. Instead, VistaJet’s “The Program” allows customers to buy a block of hours, which provides guaranteed access to the fleet.

VistaJet is well known for its luxurious standardised cabin interiors, meaning you always know what the aircraft will be like – a huge advantage over chartering aircraft. VistaJet is expensive, but it isn’t targeting budget business travellers. And you certainly get the luxury you pay for.

VistaJet also charters its aircraft for one-off flights via its “On-Demand” programme, as well as providing access to empty leg charters for VistaJet aircraft through its “Direct” programme.

A major benefit of VistaJet is that you do not have to pay a repositioning fee – greatly reducing the per-hour cost.

Zetta Jet:

Zetta Jet offers a very similar product to VistaJet – whereby customers buy a block of hours to use on Zetta Jet’s aircraft. The Singapore-based company operates a fleet of 11 Bombardier Global and Challenger aircraft worldwide. It believes it offers the perfect blend of Asian inspired service, European Chic and American “can do” attitude.

Like VistaJet, Zetta Jet also offers a charter product, allowing clients who do not fly enough to warrant buying a block of hours to experience the luxury offered on a per-flight basis.

The company entered into Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in September 2017.

Flexjet:

Flexjet primarily focuses on fractional ownership, with a fleet ranging from Learjet 75LXis to G450s. One of Flexjet’s main advantages is its app – allowing users to manage their programme and quickly book flights.

Read more about Flexjet’s app here

Flexjet also offers a jet card, which can be purchased in 25-hour increments and provides access to Flexjet’s fleet of Phenom 300 and Challenger 300 aircraft without the need to buy a fraction or have any contractual commitment.

Another service offered is the lease programme, which is aimed at customers who want the advantages of fractional ownership without having to buy a share. You can sell back unused hours to other Flexjet customers or buy more hours if necessary.

Flexjet has placed an order for 20 Aerion AS2 supersonic business jets, with deliveries due to start in 2023.

NetJets: 

NetJets is one of the most recognised names in aviation, due to its tenure and the financial backing of Warren Buffett.

Most known for its fractional ownership programme, NetJets has a fleet of more than 700 aircraft globally – ranging from the Citation Encore to Bombardier’s Global 6000. A large fleet means that owners will almost certainly have an aircraft available, with only four hours’ notice required. Flights during major holidays, however, may require more notice. The fractional company does turn to outside charter companies when it runs out of aircraft – something that can happen, even with more than 700 aircraft.

NetJets offers a leasing product as well, with customers able to lease an aircraft without owning the asset. The lease programme starts from 50 hours, with increases of 25 hours available. Fixed lease terms range from 24 to 60 months, and are available for any NetJets aircraft types.

NetJets purchased Marquis Jet – a jet card programme provider – in 2010. Marquis Jet has been integrated into the business, allowing customers to purchase 25 hours on one aircraft type within the NetJets fleet.

Wheels Up:

Wheels Up breaks away from the traditional mould of ownership programmes, adopting a club membership approach that allows customers to pay as they fly or via their pre-purchase programme. The one-time initiation fee is $17,500, with subsequent annual dues starting at $8,500.

The pre-purchase programme allows users to buy a dollar amount of flight credit – ranging from $50,000 to $400,000. The (variable) flight cost is then deducted from your credit. The more you pay upfront, the more benefits you get, such as better guaranteed availability, improved peak day access, and slightly cheaper hourly rates. Flights require 24 hours notice to book – slightly longer than other programmes.

Wheels Up also offers partner benefits, exclusive experiences, parties and a concierge service, through its Wheels Down brand.

Surf Air:

Surf Air has a different approach to business aviation – offering customers an individual seat rather than the whole aircraft. The Californian company brands its aircraft-sharing as a great networking opportunity for its customers. Others would argue it ruins the privacy that business aviation should provide.

Surf Air is more like a private airline in the sense that users can only fly on scheduled routes between smaller airports and less congested airports, such as Oakland to Burbank.

Although sharing an aircraft may put some people off, the price will not. A $1,000 initiation fee, and a monthly cost of between $1,950 and $2,950, allows customers to fly as much as they want. This makes Surf Air the cheapest way to use private aviation.

The company has been growing rapidly – acquiring RISE, an all-you-can-fly competitor based in Texas – as well as launching their European operations in June 2017.

Surf Air Europe adopts the same business model, but uses Phenom 300 aircraft instead of PC-12s.

XOJET:

XOJET offers various alternatives to fractional ownership and jet cards with its two main categories of membership programmes: Access Solutions and XOJET Enterprise.

Access Solutions has three tiers of membership options.

“Select Access” is for customers who fly fewer than 25 hours a year, with “Preferred Access” being a suitable choice for customers flying more than 25 hours per year.

The final programme is “XOJET Enterprise” – a service aimed at businesses to provide them with a bespoke flight programme – theoretically creating more cost-effective programmes.

PlaneSense:

PlaneSense sells itself as the simple and easy way to fly, by offering a fractional ownership product based around PC-12 aircraft. The New Hampshire based company offers fractions of its identically-specified PC-12 and Nextant 400XTi aircraft. Fractions start at 1/16th and, when more than 5/16ths are owned, the owner is guaranteed access to two aircraft on concurrent trips.

Customers can fly with only eight hours’ notice, and will also benefit from being the first passengers to fly on the PC-24 after PlaneSense becomes the first delivery customer at the end of 2017.

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