Private Jet Services in 2017: A Year in Review
There were horrifying floods and hurricanes, a man operating and illegal private jet services brokerage, and a baseball hero who crashed the plane he was flying and died. There was incredible demand, perhaps more than ever, for private jet flights. New planes and new technology making it easier to find the best and best-priced jet charter flights. And in the middle of it all, in 2017, was us—a charter broker company that had just celebrated a 10th anniversary and a renewed commitment to focusing on safety above all else, especially as new kids with less expertise entered the field. With just a few days left in 2017, Stratos Jet Charters reflects on the private aviation events that stood out this year.
1. Private Jet Services for Emergency Flights
It was nothing short of chaotic. As turbulent winds peeled across the Caribbean Sea, tearing apart communities in Puerto Rico and Antigua before heading toward Florida, families called frantically asking for help to get their loved ones out of the path of Maria and Irma. Airports quickly began to run out of both planes and fuel. We were as determined as ever. We pulled in aircraft from distant states—Kansas and Kentucky, to name a few. We called on operators we’ve known for years and scheduled flights at local airports just before they closed. We found fuel. If we were ‘scrambling,’ our clients didn’t know it. In the end, it was a trying but rewarding time, and we realized this was an incredible opportunity to make use of our networks and our knowledge to coordinate emergency flights and get people to safety. Here is just one of the post-storm reviews that captures the chaos and gratitude of that time:
We decided at the last minute to escape from Florida as hurricane Irma was bearing down on us, and Stratos came through for us. Despite our first choice airport running out of fuel, they managed to get some at another and we got out with about 1 hour to spare. It was a hectic time, with everyone else scrambling to escape, but Stratos made the whole experience simple and efficient for us. We will definitely fly with them another time, preferable when we’re not all stressed about a hurricane aimed right at us! — Hobie L.
Post-storm, it was unfortunate to later hear about the experiences of other people who used less-experienced private jet services for emergency evacuations, and did not have a good experience. We hope Florida and the Caribbean never sees another Irma or Maria, but if we do, we look forward to doing what we do best to support emergency evacuations. Learn more about how Stratos worked to evacuate families during Irma and Maria.
2. Private Jet Rental Demand Soared in 2017
It was one of the surprises of 2017 for the business aviation and private jet services industry, to be sure. Private jet rental bookings were on the rise. And not just that, but the bigger the better. In fact, we began to see operators become selective about the trips the accepted because there was so much demand. Some of the private jet services trends we saw this year included:
- Increase in requests for Gulfstream and comparable large aircraft, and more demand for mid and super mid-size aircraft
- Optimism in the business community fuelling demand, and by a vast cross-section of industries and organizations, not necessarily Fortune 500 communities at all
- Friday and Sunday the busiest travel days, pointing to people commuting at the end and beginning of the work week
- At Stratos in particular, more new clients year over year, and a strong mix of new and repeat clients booking trips as well as an increase in revenue
- Operators became so selective about bookings that two-hour daily minimums had become standard again
3. Stunning New Private Jets
If 2017 was anything in private aviation, it was the year a number of stars took the skies. Here’s a list of the newly released aircraft we and our clients were most excited about:
- Gulfstream G500
- Bombardier Global 7000
- Pilatus PC-24
- Embraer Phenom 300E
- Cessna Citation Longitude
4. Crashes & Criminals
Did you hear about the Fort Lauderdale man accused of operating an illegal charter air-carrier service and falsifying certification records? According to an article in the Sun Sentinel, in December Robert Charles Brady was charged with 56 counts of wire fraud, filing false records and operating an aircraft without an airman’s certificate” as owner of Beach Aviation. At Stratos, it was a reminder of why we always confirm the insurance and Part 135 Certificate of our vendors, and it’s why we’re always running operator reports and checks for every single flight. Because we’re obsessed with safety, we also have our own in-house vendor approval program. 2017 was also the year a cherished baseball player—Roy Halladay—died when the plane he was piloting crashed in the Gulf of Mexico. We know it had people—many who don’t use private jet services—wondering, How safe are private jets anyway? Because we uphold the industry’s highest safety standards, we took this opportunity to discuss the steps we as brokers take to increase your margin of safety and help ensure you arrive safely at your destination. Auditing vendors and crews, as in the above case, is just one of four of the most important steps.
5. Owning a Jet & Needing a Private Jet Business for Management
In 2017, more and more organizations saw the value in stepping from private jet rental bookings to outright ownership for their own use and for income-generating activity. But then organizations take on the task of managing their aircraft and its flights. Stratos saw an opportunity, and began to guide clients through the process of placing it in service, identifying reputable air carriers to manage the plane, negotiating contacts for appropriate management responsibilities and making recommendations that will help mitigate risks and maximize revenue. Visit our Stratos Jet Management Services page to learn more.
6. We rolled out a new website!
It’s functional. It’s intuitive. And it’s got more of what our clients need, including a handy pricing tool. What this does is give you a reliable and instant estimate of average market value for private jet charter services to your destination. PLUS, we can then analyze the market and find aircraft with similar positioning needs and bring the price down further. We’re excited to give our clients the chance to use our pricing tool and experience the fun of getting a lower price tag. In 2018, will you look for a private jet services broker that offers the industry’s highest standards in safety and service? Turn to the charter brokers individuals and organizations have trusted for more than a decade, Stratos Jet Charters. Call 888-593-9066!