Culture / Travel

Private Jet Guru Takes Us Inside the True World of Luxury in the Clouds

Getting to Know Jetcraft’s Chris Hollingsworth

BY // 12.18.19

For many, owning a jet has become the Holy Grail. Forget follower numbers. It’s tail number that counts.

For more than 50 years, Jetcraft has offered unique services in business aviation, providing aircraft sales, marketing, and ownership strategies for their customers and support for clients all over the world. We chatted with Chris Hollingsworth, sales director of Jetcraft’s leadership group in Dallas, whose territory includes Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Louisiana and — of course — Texas.

Here’s a glimpse into Hollingsworth’s jet-setting luxury world:

A brief history of Jetcraft.

Jetcraft is the global leader in business aircraft sales and acquisitions. The company was founded in 1962, making it one of the oldest aircraft transaction specialists in the world. We’ve facilitated hundreds of aircraft transactions during our existence, and more than 650 in the last 10 years alone.

Since 2008, Jetcraft has grown from a primarily U.S.-based organization to an expanding international corporation, with offices in more than 20 countries. I first heard about Jetcraft when I was in college and had already started my career in aviation working at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. I joined the company about 10 years ago, and in that time have lived and worked in Raleigh, North Carolina, Zurich and London before moving to Dallas.

A typical day.

I know it’s a cliché, but there really is no such thing as a typical day in the private-jet business. The only thing that’s typical is that I have a lot of interaction with my clients, whether over the phone, via email, or in person. It’s incredibly important for us to truly understand our customers’ needs, so we can advise them on the aircraft that best suits them, as well as supporting them throughout their ownership journey.

This also means I do a lot of traveling. An aircraft they’re interested in buying could be based anywhere in the world.

The most challenging aspect of your profession.

With the advent of the Internet, private jet buyers can find a plethora of information about our industry online, ranging from aircraft values to performance statistics. However, as an aircraft’s previous usage, interior design and even maintenance history can affect its performance and price, every aircraft is unique — which means the information they find can be incorrect or misleading.

Jetcraft’s decades of experience, combined with our global footprint, means we can access up-to-the-minute insight into markets and aircraft across the world, ensuring our clients are always properly informed.

If you could choose any plane, to fly anywhere in the world, what would you choose?

I think the next frontier in this century is going to be private space travel, so I’d love to hitch a ride on whatever aircraft is heading into outer space! I can’t think of anything more exciting than seeing Earth from that perspective.

The perfect Saturday.

Any Saturday that involves spending time outdoors is perfect in my eyes. It doesn’t matter whether it’s playing soccer or fly fishing — getting some fresh air is always the best way to relax after a busy week. Alongside that, I always like to spend time with family, cooking up a special meal for us to enjoy together at home. There’s nothing better than reconnecting over the dinner table and taking life a little slower on the weekends.

Charities and community outreach.

This year, I’m involved with the Crystal Charity Ball. The children’s charities that the Crystal Charity Ball Committee supports every year are all dedicated to giving children hope for a healthier, more productive future, and I’m proud to be part of such a considerate community.

New aircraft amenities changing the aviation game.

There’s a new auto-land feature by Garmin, which allows aircraft to land by themselves. It self-activates when there has been a prolonged period of no pilot activity, helping to make general aviation even safer. I’m also extremely impressed by the ever-increasing range capabilities of business aircraft today. Customers in Dallas can fly nonstop to Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai.

What’s inspiring you right now.

My two sons: One who is two years old and the other two months old. Becoming a father gives you a whole new perspective on life. And, of course, my wife is a constant source of inspiration — she does so much for our family.

Hollingsworth wouldn't be a successful business man without his family.
Hollingsworth wouldn’t be a successful business man without his family.

Favorite aviation movie.

I have to say Top Gun. While there are some aviation inaccuracies in the movie that make me laugh out loud, I never forget the exhilarating feeling it gave me as a kid. I still get excited during those first iconic five minutes.

Top Gun Tom Cruise
Hollingsworth sells planes for a living, so its only fitting one of his favorite flicks is Top Gun.

If you weren’t in your current profession…

I’d probably spend all day outdoors as a fly-fishing guide in the mountains of North Carolina.

Dallas restaurants you can’t live without.

When we moved to Dallas, Nick & Sam’s was the first steak restaurant we went to, and to this day we have not found a steak that beats theirs… but Bob’s Steak & Chop House is certainly giving them a run for their money. Nobu for sushi and Asian cuisine is hard to beat.

There’s a restaurant up the street from our house by the name of Feedstore BBQ, and while their brisket is good, their ribs are hands down the best I have found thus far in Texas. We’re still searching for an Indian restaurant that comes close to what we were accustomed to in London — suggestions are welcome.

Old Lighthouse Club - Quivira Los Cabos

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