The private jet industry has seen rapid growth as of late with a seemingly limitless number of ways to fly. Between the plethora of private jet charters, operators, and brokers, it's nearly impossible to keep track of all the possibilities. Throw in the options for fractional ownership or the ability to book a single seat on a shared plane, and the private jet opportunities get even more overwhelming. So, we've sifted through the options for you. Here, what you need to know about the best operators in the game right now.
Launch Date: 1964
Services: Primarily fractional ownership, though they also offer jet card programs.
NetJets consistently stays at the forefront of business and leisure travel by offering new partnerships with other travel leaders, like high-end hotels, luxury yacht companies, and the like. As of 2019, NetJets owns and operates 750 aircrafts and flies more than 127 million nautical miles a year to 5,000 worldwide destinations.
Launch Date: 2013
Service: Membership-based, they have three private membership options, one for business-only travelers.
Wheels Up founder Kenny Dichter was a cofounder of Marquis Jet, which gave rise to the jet card. Wheels Up jets can be requested through their app 24-hours ahead of your departure. Wheels Up has a 90 aircraft members-only fleet featuring some of the most exclusive private jets, including King Air 350i and the Citation Excel/XLS, both of which seat eight passengers.
Launch Date: 2006
Service: Primarily membership plans, though there’s also an option to pay-as-you-go.
While the company has its own planes, it will also charter jets to suit their members' needs. Catering to global business travelers, XO has instant digital booking and flexible cancellation policies for members. In addition to private charters, XO members can also try a “shared charter” or “fly by the seat”—the former lets the member who charters the plane offer up seats to offset their costs, the latter lets members book a seat on someone else’s charter.
Delta Private Jets
Launch Date: 1984
Services: Jet cards, on-demand charters, and pay-as-you-go Corporate Solutions.
Delta Private Jets has the force of one of the largest commercial airlines at its back—they can even transport commercial fliers to their final destination in a business jet. The fact that they’re a Delta subsidiary is a huge standout feature—Delta Private Jets maintains status as “the only private jet company affiliated with a major commercial airline.” Certain jet card members automatically get SkyMiles Diamond Medallion Status, and jet cardholders can use their card for private or commercial flights.
Launch Date: 2004
Services: Membership-based plans.
The European-based private jet company flies from 1,900 airports around the globe. They own 70 Challenger and Global jets and boast the “largest privately-owned Bombardier fleet in the world.” Direct members can book through the VistaJet app while Program members get a subscription plan tailored to the flight hours they need.
Launch Date: 1995
Services: Fractional ownership, leasing, jet cards.
Flexjet operates four private terminals—one in New York, two in Florida, and a forthcoming Arizona terminal—open exclusively to Flexjet passengers. Their distinctive service is defined by Flexjet Red Label, which offers the highest level of personalized service. With Red Label, customers have access to one manager they can reach out to for any booking need. Each aircraft has one crew that passengers will get to know as they establish their aircraft preference. Flexjet’s LXi Cabin Collection is an exclusive symbol of their Red Label service—the collection features Gulfstream, Bombardier, and Embraers with custom-designed interiors.
Launch Date: 1999
Services: Jet card programs or aircraft management services.
Jet Linx has private terminals in 18 U.S. cities, from Atlanta and Dallas to Denver and Detroit, each with its own service team. They pride themselves on being a “personal jet company,” in that they tailor their luxury operation to your exact needs. They cater to your locale when possible; you’ll often find that if you frequent the same hangar, you’ll get to know the local high-end jet, pilot, and flight team over the course of your membership.