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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Jet Card holders may fly on aircraft certified under either (FAA) part 135 charter or part 91k fractional regulations. The aviation services company ARGUS released numbers for the largest part 135 charter operators and the largest fractional aircraft operators. Here’s a discussion of the largest card providers.

Part 135 Charter Aircraft Operators

The ARGUS numbers below show the ten largest part 135 charter operators in the USA in 2020. The data includes both the number of aircraft in their charter fleets and the total hours flown.

  Operator Hours Fleet Size
  Gama Aviation Signature 65,307 165
  XO Jet 50,392 56
  Executive Jet Management 37,348 132
  Jet Linx Aviation 29,664 104
  Mountain Aviation 27,661 148
  Delta Private Jets 26,510 58
  Exclusive Jets 24,579 60
  Solairus Aviation 20,968 78
  Jet Edge 19,277 59
  Travel Management Company 14,624 21


All of the top 10 offer a jet card or membership program directly and many also provide wholesale access to their fleets for jet cards sold by large charter brokers.

Wheels Up owns four of the top 10, Gama Aviation Signature, Mountain Aviation, Delta Private Jets and Travel Management Company, having acquired all four over the last couple of years. Gama Aviation Signature operates the Wheels Up owned and badged fleet of King Air turboprops and Citation Excel/XLS and X jets. Wheels Up members can use the owned fleet, as well as aircraft owned or managed by the other group companies.

XO is another company that has been on an acquisition spree over the last couple of years. It bought membership broker JetSmarter and also acquired a majority stake in light jet operator Red Wing Aviation Company, which comes in at number 16 on the ARGUS list of operators. XO members have access to the companies own branded super-mid aircraft and those of approved partners.

Executive Jet Management is the aircraft management arm of NetJets. The Ascend program provides fixed hourly rate, jet card access to the planes in their managed fleet.

Jet Linx Aviation is another aircraft management company that offers several jet card programs. The aircraft are operated and managed from 19 locations across the USA, and the company has 2,400 jet card members.
Exclusive Jets operates its own fleet of mainly Citation light, midsize, and super-mid jets. It offers two card programs, Fly Club and Exclusive Club.

Solairus Aviation manages over 180 aircraft from over 60 base locations. Some of these aircraft are not available for charter. The Altitude 25 membership program offers all-inclusive pricing and guaranteed availability to the Solairus managed charter fleet, along with access to the worldwide charter network of approved aircraft from approved third party operators.

Jet Edge Reserve members enjoy priority access to the Jet Edge fleet, and access to over 2,000+ aircraft options.

Part 91k Fractional Operators

The ARGUS numbers below show the largest part 91k fractional operators in the North America in 2020 based on total hours flown.

  Operator Hours
  NetJets 296,178
  Flexjet 134,481
  PlaneSense 31,150
  Airshare 11,835
  AirSprint 10,112
  Nicholas Air 8,824
  Northern Jet Management 4,691
  West Coast Aviation Services 3,939
  NetJets, Transportes 2,726


Among these fractional providers NetJets, Flexjet, Airshare, Nicholas Air and Northern Jet Management all offer jet card products.

Charter Brokers

The other group pf jet card providers are large charter brokers. Sentient Jet is the largest and is generally considered to have invented the jet card. Others include Air Partner and Magellan Jets. They each work with approved charter operators, including the operators above, to provide fixed hourly rate access.