When you think of private jets, you think of the super rich, music stars, film stars and Simon Cowell.
They are the ultimate status symbol that says you have arrived. Since the sixties private air travel has grown and grown and in 2007 private jet travel was even getting priority over military aircrafts at RAF Northolt, and during this summer there were almost 30 private jet landings a day in Ibiza.
Unless you are one of the mega rich you most probably will never ever own one.
By mega rich, we are talking about the likes of Topshop boss Sir Philip Green who owns a Gulfstream G550, or Jay Z who was given his £25 million Bombardier Challenger 850 as a Father’s Day present from his oh so generous wife Beyonce!
Oh and I almost forgot who did she have advising her, none other then private jet veteran John Travolta.
Sir Philip Green’s G550
These types of planes are nothing to be sniffed at. However they get bigger, much bigger. Russian Oligarchs and Sultan’s are just not contempt with such planes as a G550 anymore.
Take Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich, who flies around in a Boeing 767 with rumours of a bigger one on the way.
Roman Abramovich’s Boeing 767
Until now private jet travel has been reserved to the select few, and even some of the mega wealthy refuse to buy jets due to there depreciation and running costs. There is even a slightly vulgar saying that relates to this, which is no doubt passed around in the beach bars of St Tropez “if it flies, floats or f**ks, rent it”. For the money savvy elite, buying is just not an option and renting is the smart way forward.
Companies such as NetJets and VistaJets offer a pay-as-you-go service. This pay-as-you-go service can be anything from £3,000 to £8,000 per hour. This might be a lot to the average person, however to the regular rich, these types of prices, dare I say it, are affordable. Private jet charter is a growing business. For example the European business is up 9 percent on the year, also one of NetJets investors is the nearly always right investor Warren Buffet! Enough said.
The Investor, Warren Buffett
The average private jet flight from London normally takes off from RAF Northolt or Biggin Hill, Luton and Cranfield. The most popular destinations are the likes of Sardinia, Ibiza and St Tropez.
Passengers can arrive ten minuets before take off, pass through the relaxed and polite passport control, and take as much liquids and sharp knifes as they desire. This is the real speedy boarding.
The other advantage to privet jet travel is speed, and in a world where time is money this is an important factor. It is possible to leave the office and end up in your villa or tax exile in under three hours.
Social networking is playing it’s part too, with Twitter concierge services like @PrivateJetLady, who say they can have you in the air within hours.
One thing is for clear, private air travel has never been this accessible or cheap and it looks like this trend is not going to stop anytime soon.
So when you are booking your next summer holiday, have a little think, for sometimes as little as £500 extra per person you can join the club.
Top Tips to being invited back
When boarding the jet let the host sit down first, they are paying so they get first dibs on seat choice.
Don’t get scared, small planes are no more dangerous than big planes and your host will certainly not enjoy the fact you are panicking.
PRIVATE jets……… keep whatever happens in the air private, whether it is cocaine with a super DJ or if you join the Private Mile high club.
Don’t panic when the pilot gets up to serve you champagne, this is normal private jet practice.
Don’t pretend to your host you fly private all the time, remember he/she does, and they won’t be impressed.