When the mad scramble to beat quarantine in the UK began I wondered what I would do in the same situation. Could I call up a private jet to get home quickly? This was one of the questions I put to Mark Zaiger Operations Manager at Charter-A a Private Jet Charter Company. This was our conversation in full:
Has the removal of Spain, Austria, France and Croatia brought extra business? And, how easy it is to hire a private jet to get back to the UK?
Mark: The removal of these countries produced a spike of people wanting to rush back to the UK to avoid the quarantine. But this spike is caused mainly by people who would not normally fly on private jets. It is not a tangible economic benefit to the private jet industry as most of these enquiries are made out of being desperate to avoid the quarantine with no idea of costs. Passengers we have already taken to these counties know that quarantine may be an issue. But these measures have had a negative impact on passengers who would normally travel.
It’s still easy to charter a private jet with us, we navigate this constantly changing landscape and have the outreach that gives us up to date and more importantly the local knowledge required. But, obtaining the clearances is much slower and passengers should allow for this when booking their jets.
I understand you have experienced a big increase in demand from would-be holidaymakers. What is the motivation behind this and are they booking for 2020 or 2021?
Mark: Passengers don’t see private jets as a way of circumventing restrictions. We always follow rules and guidelines laid down and will obtain permits in the correct way, keeping us within the law and our passengers safe is always the primary concern. The overall motivator is travelling safely as large commercial carriers cannot offer the same level of distancing as you can on a private jet. Some people are trying to get away now but many people are already looking forward to 2021, reporting a general loss of faith in commercial aviation.
Do you operate a flexible booking policy regarding COVID-19 travel restrictions?
Mark: Yes of course, if we don’t fly we don’t charge, we monitor and report potential issues to the client. This may not be the policy of all private jet companies. This pandemic will end so we took the decision at the start to treat people how we would wish to be treated.
How much would it cost a family of four to fly to the Algarve for a two-week holiday on a private jet?
Mark: A private jet to carry 4 passengers to the Algarve would cost around £20,000 inclusive of all charges from London Biggin Hill for example on one of our Citation Jet 2+ private jets. These are the most popular light business jets in service today see.
Can a solo traveller join a group of passengers that have already booked with you?
Mark: No, chartering a private jet is just that. It is private. Jets are chartered by people who do not want to share their aircraft for obvious reasons. This can also have an impact on aircraft and business insurance related to carriage so passengers that try to do this should be aware it may leave a passenger in a compromising position.
What is the most unusual cargo you have been asked to carry?
Mark: So many more dogs of every shape size and breed are going on holiday with their owners because they can sit in the cabin on our private jets. I don’t know why it has become so popular but we do love to carry dogs.
Thank you Mark. Perhaps you could let me know if ever you need someone to fly with an unaccompanied dog.
Would you rent a private jet for your next trip? Let us know down below!