CJIQ Q1 2023: Private jets – this time it’s personal


Cirrus Aircraft Vision Jets, Neste’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and the private jet brokerage Guardian Jet are just three of the stars featuring in the latest edition of Corporate Jet Investor Quarterly (CJIQ).

Gracing our front cover are three G2 Vision Jets, flying in echelon formation over the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. CJIQ was beyond lucky to take the left-hand seat for a flight from Cirrus Aircraft’s base at McGhee Tyson Airport, TN. The OEM’s CEO Zean Nielsen tells us about 90% of Vision Jet sales are to pilot owners.

Investors are said to be attracted by its twin safety systems offered by the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) and Garmin’s Autoland technology. “The personal jet is intended for entrepreneurs, business owners and frequent travellers, who like flying and want to use the aircraft for business and leisure,” said Nielsen. “They want the flexibility to fly privately and the jet experience without the jet price tag.”

But charter companies and corporate flight departments are becoming more interested in the seven-seat personal jet, he added. One charter business operating exclusively Vision Jets is the Florida-headquartered charter business  Verijet. It’s CEO and chairman Richard Kane told us the aircraft promises to revolutionise private jet aviation at a price point as low as $550 per seat.

“Our ultimate goal is to empty the first-class cabin of airliners between hundreds of city pairs, where there is no direct service, for flights of less than 700 miles,” explained Kane. The key to exploiting that market is a light jet optimised for single pilot operations with low approach speeds of about 85mph, he added. “Low landing speeds of the Cirrus Vision Jet enable us to operate from about 5,400 airports throughout the US. 98% of us live within 20 miles of one of these airports – often without realising it.” These capabilities, combined with the aircraft’s overlapping safety systems, deliver low cost, efficient and neutral emissions air travel, according to Verijet. Read the profile of both companies in our features Private jets: This time its personal.

From private jets to the fuel that powers them – specifically SAF. Our feature SAF potential – Out of the frying pan, into the flier takes readers on a tour of Neste’s Rotterdam refinery. Neste takes used cooking oil and waste fats and turns them into fuel. As a banner in the office says: “Why waste good waste?”

About 300m litres (66m gallons) of SAF was produced last year – a 200% increase on the 100m litres produced in 2021, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). But there’s still a long way to go. Alder Fuels says that airlines used about 30bn gallons of fuel last year, with business aviation responsible for 1.6bn of that total.

We stay with sustainability, as Marie-Laure Gassier, BNP Paribas explains in her feature Banking on sustainable aviation how the Net Zero Banking Alliance aims to help business aviation cut its environmental footprint.

Our Aircraft Family feature turns the spotlight on the Dwyer family who run the Connecticut-based jet brokerage and consultancy Guardian Jet. After sharing a bedroom as boys, brothers Mike and Don Dwyer have built an aviation business based on meritocracy, which in 2018 celebrated generated $1bn in sales.

Another business aviation entrepreneur starring in the latest edition of CJIQ is Greg Raiff, CEO of Elevate Aviation Group. Raiff tells CJIQ how he plans to grow “the largest private aviation firm that no one has heard of”. He enjoyed a flying start in business aviation. In 1989, at the age of 18, he found himself sitting on the top deck of a Boeing 747 heading to the Bahamas. Raiff had personally sold every ticket on the flight. Read the full story here: Raising the profile of Elevate Aviation Group.

The focus stays on sales as we explore the potential to sell business jets un the Metaverse. Predicted to become a $800bn market by next year, the Metaverse offers great potential to business aviation, according to Jetcraft and other industry commentators. Read the full story here: Welcome to the Metaverse – The new frontier in jet sales. 

If you are buying or selling a business jet, check out Jet Data our handy updated guide to all the latest metrics, including list prices, for leading bizjets models.

Two CJI conference reports and our Day in the Life feature close this issue of CJIQ. Our CJI Miami 2022 conference report details how nearly 600 delegates thronged the conference to discuss the latest trends in private jet aviation. The conference featured 30 sessions spread over three days.

The CJI Dubai 2022 report detailed the boom time for business aviation in the Middle East market. Despite record demand no one at our conference, staged in the Fairmont The Palm in Dubai was complacent about the challenges that lie ahead.

Finally, this edition ends with our Day in the Life profile of aircraft valuer David Crick, MD, DavAir Group. This busy appraiser sets a hectic pace, spending up to three months away from home visiting clients worldwide. “Sometimes my Monday finishes on a Wednesday,” he tells us with a smile.

Read the full digital version of CJIQ123  here. Or register for your free hard copy of the journal here. And, if you would like to see a particular business aviation topic covered in our next edition, please email Mike Stones. Meanwhile, happy reading.

Above: At Neste’s Rotterdam refinery,  Editor-in-chief and co-founder Alasdair Whyte asked: what’s in the pipeline for SAF?

Below: Don and Mike Dwyer explain how they built the private jet brokerage and consultancy Guardian Jet.