Private Jet Travel | More Transparency And More Accessibility
Time-saving and convenience of private aviation are the motivation of today’s private jet customer – the luxury and privacy of your aircraft are appealing and time is often the biggest luxury of all. While premium airline tickets can offer additional space and a luxury cabin experience, they can’t compete with versatility and flexibility of private jet travel. By making it more transparent and more accessible than ever before, technology took private jet travel to a new level. With new aircraft and business models bringing down the entry point price for private aviation, a short flight on a small jet can cost under €4000 (approx. $4240) for the whole aircraft, which very often surprises people.
To learn more about the world of private jet travel, we talked to Adam Twidell, CEO and co-founder of PrivateFly, a technology-driven booking service for private jets. Adam, after ten years as an RAF pilot and then flying private jets himself, saw the opportunity to use technology to transform the fragmented private jet market. As a result, its bespoke technology offers an online marketplace, linking private jet customers to 7,000+ private globally based aircraft, making it faster and easier than ever to arrange private jet travel. The platform gives an instant online price estimate, and clients can book online or via PrivateFly’s expert Flight Team, which is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
WHO AND HOW
PrivateFly clients include business executives, high net worth individuals, celebrities, sports stars, and special occasion travelers. To make the process of booking easy and smooth, PrivateFly is user-centered and has today’s private jet customer firmly in mind. Being offered such an extensive choice of aircraft, rapid delivery of a selection of aircraft and prices to fit clients itinerary and their needs were required, thus leading to greater transparency, cost-effectiveness and faster response times.
Not only people can fly private, but pets are also allowed to fly on one in five of PrivateFly’s flights and can remain in the cabin with the owners, so it’s a fairly common occurrence to have cats and dogs on board. They had had some more unusual animal flights, such as flying a much-loved family dog alone from London to Madrid to be reunited with her owner, as well as once flying a parrot from Manchester to London, when the trip was out of its flight range!
When it comes to choosing the right aircraft, small and medium sized jets are the most frequently used. The most popular for short flights within Europe and the US is the Citation Mustang, a 4-seater small jet ‘air taxi’. Also popular is the Citation XLS, an 8-seater medium jet, which can fly for up to 4 hours.
Regarding larger aircraft, Bombardier’s Global range, and Gulfstream’s long-range jets are the most desirable. The Gulfstream G650ER is the fastest civilian long range aircraft in the world, flying for up to 7,500 nautical miles at a maximum speed of 0.925 – just under the speed of sound.
Very conveniently, private aircraft can use ten times more airports than commercial airlines. The clients can design their itinerary, often using smaller airports that are less busy and thus flying closer to their home or destination, therefore making a huge difference and minimizing time away. For example, during the ski season, private aircraft can use airports such as Courchevel in France, Samedan Airport in St Moritz, or Telluride in Colorado, which are just minutes from the slopes, rather than two hours or more from the nearest airport used by airlines. The airport experience is also very different from airport experience offered by airlines. Clients use a private terminal, known as an FBO. There is no waiting around – you can usually arrive 15 minutes before take-off and some airports even allow you to drive up to the aircraft’s steps.
Most of PrivateFly’s clients are based in Europe or the USA. London and Paris are the most popular destinations year-round in Europe, but in the summer months, they also see a significant demand for leisure destinations such as Nice, Cannes, and Ibiza. In the US, New York, LA and Las Vegas are the most popular destinations. The Caribbean also sees a lot of demand between November and April.
The PrivateFly’s Flight Team handles each flight with exceptional VIP service, so every client’s needs on every flight are met in detail. The catering is arranged to order, including fine dining menus, specific wines, and even birthday cakes or a restaurant delivery (including sometimes a pizza!). If children or pets are flying, they’ll make sure clients have everything they need to feel comfortable and keep them entertained onboard.
“Most of our team are aviation-obsessed, so we love nothing more than getting up close and personal with aircraft. So time spent at the airport or onboard an aircraft is always a luxury for us! Exceeding our clients’ expectations is another definition of luxury for us. It’s a great feeling when you know that you’ve done that. “, said Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly.
On the other hand, PrivateFly has an increasingly loyal customer base. For frequent flyers, they offer a jet card program, which brings ultimate convenience, enhanced terms, and additional flight value.
Private Aviation’s appeal is becoming wider, and this is set to continue, with the entry point price being driven down by innovation in the industry. There is exciting potential for future demand growth, as clients continue to demand more transparency and efficiency, alongside VIP customer service.
Looking further ahead, aircraft innovations such as vertical take-off and supersonic flight have very exciting implications for private aviation, but we’ll have to wait a little longer for those!
“I’m a firm believer that anything is possible. In the early days of launching PrivateFly, I was told by many in the industry that ‘no-one will ever book a private jet online’. I’m happy to say that we have proved them wrong many, many times over!” said to us Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly.
The fact is that flying private it’s the ultimate in personalized travel, it’s very hard to go back to a commercial airline once you have experienced a private flight.