Private jet travel is no longer reserved for pop stars and the super rich as a new companies such as NetJets or VistaJets offer pay-as-you-go options with their private fleets, costing anything from £3,000-£8,000 an hour. These private fleets may well be the future for business aviaton.
European private jet business is up nine per cent on last year, and it is easy to see why the option is so popular among the ‘regular’ rich — the bankers and entrepreneurs — for whom first class is just not swanky enough.
In June this year the world’s first corporate aviation showroom for business jet aircraft’ opened on Hyde Park Corner. ‘The Jet Business’ is owned by Steve Varsano from New York. He chose London, he says, because ‘anybody who can afford a jet comes to London’.
Private jet travel remains popular for all those who feel that first class is not classy enough. By going private jet you can expect to be fast tracked through customs and immigration control, and take as many sharp knives and bottled liquids on board as they desire. Once on the aircraft, flights are usually shorter as business aircraft are often faster than their commercial counterparts.
During this summer’s peak season there were more than 30 private jet landings a day on Ibiza and it is here that the new democratization of private jet travel is most evident. Every weekend at Ibiza Airport you will see banks of jets (four- to seven-seat Citations mainly), each bearing the livery of a different superstar DJ or nightclub.
‘Ten years ago the idea of a DJ demanding a private jet was considered outrageous, but in the past decade it’s almost become an industry standard,’ says Pacha resident DJ Pete Tong. ‘Erick Morillo started it all.’
So despite the economic downturn being suffered across the world, perhaps business aviation still has a rosy future.