New products shake up the charter market

Jan 22, 2017 - 8:30 PM

A handful of innovative business models—including so-called private airlines, membership programs, and shuttle flights (aka per-seat charter)—are offering new ways to fly. Driving the trend is a conviction among neo providers and their investors that technology can improve fleet utilization, dropping costs while preserving profits, and spurring increased use of private air travel.

Common denominators exist among the various types of programs, but there are enough differences among providers and overlaps among categories to keep things mildly confusing for business jet travelers. For example, per-seat shuttle flights offered by membership-based charter providers and the so-called private airlines are basically the same product, though they’re marketed differently. Meanwhile, private airlines are often referred to as membership-based access models, though at least one is open to any traveler.

To help you sort things out, here’s a guide to some of these new charter products (see PDF).