Inside the XOJET Preferred Partner Network
By Tracy Chaplin, XOJET Vice President of Procurement
I’m often asked about the XOJET Preferred Partner Network—the most common question being “How does my company become a Preferred Partner?” In this blog post, I’ll try to answer that and several other frequently asked questions.
Why is there an XOJET Preferred Partner Network?
XOJET wants to be your travel consultant regardless of how you want to fly. While we operate one of the world’s largest and newest fleet of Challenger 300, Citation X and Hawker 800XP jets, we know that sometimes another aircraft might better suit the particular flight you’re planning, such as very short hop or international travel. However, many of our clients prefer to work with just one travel partner.
That’s why we developed the XOJET Preferred Partner Network. We’ve selected a carefully vetted group of partners who all meet our exacting safety, comfort, and customer satisfaction standards, so we can offer you the closest thing to an XOJET experience without being on one of our jets.
As of today, we have close to 1,000 tail numbers in our Preferred Partner Network, so we can find a private jet for just about any trip you want to take.
How does XOJET find partners?
We find partners in a number of ways. Often they’re companies with which our sales team have previously worked, or referrals from our customers. Sometimes partners approach us at an event like a National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) regional or national conference.
In addition, if a prospective customer chooses to fly with another provider, we always explore the reasons behind their decision. Sometimes, we discover that if we had a certain type of aircraft in a specific area, we could have helped our customer, so we’ll look for somebody to provide that service for us. We always want to say yes to our customers and meet their needs, so the bigger the network, the more likely we are to be able to service our customers in the XOJET way.
How does XOJET qualify partners?
We start with industry accreditation, such as ARG/US or Wyvern. The ARG/US CHEQ (Charter Evaluation and Qualification) program is the industry standard for charter operators, buyers and passengers around the world. They find, collect, and vet information on charter operators (including XOJET) from around the world. Then they use a proprietary algorithm to rate companies based on their safety record.
Wyvern offers the Pilot & Aircraft Safety Survey (PASS) system. The PASS report confirms that a company is a certificated charter operator; the aircraft being chartered is on an air carrier certificate; the aircraft has current insurance; that each crewmember’s medical and license information is current; and that each crewmember’s experience meets accepted industry averages.
As of today, ARG/US has 318 operators who meet the requirements of an ARG/US Gold Rating. There are 20 Gold-Plus-rated operators who meet the requirements of a Gold rating and have passed an audit within the past 24 months or are currently IS-BAO Stage 1 registered. There are 100 Platinum-rated providers (including XOJET), who meet all of the Gold rating requirements and have passed the ARG/US audit to Platinum standards.
We prefer to work with operators who pass at the Platinum rating, since that’s the XOJET standard. Beyond that, we look for operators who offer aircraft in great condition with all the important amenities (such as free WiFi and entertainment systems) in regions where we need that kind of aircraft, at the price we need.
Partners go through the certification process with XOJET ever year. They also need to keep their documents and documentation up to date, provide excellent feedback to XOJET, and maintain their status with ARG/US or Wyvern.
How does the XOJET Preferred Partner Network work?
On our side, we do a lot of work to keep an approved list of providers and tail numbers. We’re constantly managing all of their documents through our database. One of the big advantages for customers is that our partners provide us with a daily list of their dead legs—where an aircraft needs to return to its base—which allows us to offer one-way flights to our customers without the expense of keeping a jet on the ground or flying it back home empty.
For the customer, it’s simple. When you call your XOJET private aviation consultant, he or she will offer you several options for the flight—some of which may be on our Preferred Partner Network—before we quote and finalize the flight arrangements.
Once you’re booked, there shouldn’t be any noticeable difference for you whether you’re flying on our fleet or off. Our goal is to keep everything at the same level of comfort and ease as if you were flying on an XOJET aircraft. Our partners know that they are an extension of us, so they embrace our brand standards. Often we’ll oversee flights on our partner network with even greater attention to make sure it goes smoothly.
The key to remember is that private jet charter is more than just the price. You want people trained to navigate through the entire flight, including all of the little details, instead of just quoting you a price per hour. Because those price-per-hour quotes usually have several add-on costs that can really drive up the price!
At XOJET, we always look out for the customer’s best interests. We’ll only quote you missions where we can deliver the right flight at the right price with our levels of safety and experience. We’ll never put you on anything we wouldn’t fly on ourselves.