When it comes to booking a summer holiday, most travellers would opt for the cheapest flights available. But the good news is private jet owners are trying to get holiday-makers to think about travel in a different way, more like presenting a luxurious holiday travel experience. From apps that let you book jets to depart within 15 mins, to reduced journeys that would otherwise be empty, travelling like a VIP is far from cheap, but it can offer amazing value if you can fill a plane with friends and family.
The first way to beat the system and end up with private jet places that can be cheaper than commercial flights is through ’empty leg’ deals. According to Sergey Petrossov, founder of app JetSmarter, 30 per cent of private jets travel empty – they are on their way to pick a client up or are returning to base after dropping them off. These are one-way flights that are sold cheaper than the normal price because the operator is repositioning the aircraft. Guests can bag a discounted ride in the comfort of a leather-seated jet, sipping champagne, and avoiding all the usual airport hassle of check-in, security and hundreds of other fliers on your flight.
Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, chief executive, London Executive Aviation said: ‘Private jets are often flown for one-way journeys only, so a sports professional may need to play in a week-long tournament overseas, or a business person could be flying to a two-day conference. The price of these ’empty leg’ journeys are sold at a significantly discounted price, dependent largely on the route. ‘They are a great way to experience a private jet flight, and all the time-saving benefits that it brings.’
Some private jet companies, such as London Executive Aviation’s (LEA), advertise these vacancies on their websites. The only thing passengers have to bear in mind is the aircrafts are chartered as a whole, so gather some of your friends so you can all take advantage of the enviable holiday arrival. Blue Star Jets is launching an app which is set to make jet travel as easy as Uber. Their mission is ‘any jet, any time, any place’ and seeks to make jets more accessible for customers. The mobile service will allow passengers to hail a preferred form of transportation, be it turbo prop, helicopter, private jet or air ambulance to and from any airport in the world. Fliers will be able to take to the skies in as little as four hours, thanks to a 24-hour live support team who are tasked with confirming flights within 15 minutes. According to a statement from Blue Star announcing the app’s launch, bookings are attributed in equal parts to business, family/leisure, and entertainment travel.