Jet Off in 20 minutes? – The practicalities of chartering a private jet

It was once only A-list celebrities and government officials that organised Private Jet Hire for travel to meetings or an all important film festival. However this type of aviation has become increasingly popular and with such benefits as a 20 minute check in, a considerable baggage allowance and flight time to suit it’s easy to see why.

Private Jet

As soon as prospective passengers learn that hiring a private jet can be a cost effective way to travel, the next question is usually “Is it safe?” Quite often air charter brokers or agents spend time explaining that small jets are just as safe as large airline carriers and that all aircraft undergo exactly the same stringent tests regardless of their size. Working aboard a Business Jet Charter flight is regarded as a career rung above the major airlines; therefore the crew are usually very experienced and have many hours on their licenses.

Another safety measure that passengers often opt for is to book their journey through an air charter broker. Brokers keep ahead of the latest airline news and operator blacklists. Essentially they are the eyes and ears of their customers ensuring that all maintenance documents are checked prior to each and every flight.

Once the safety fears are put to rest, many business travellers can get very excited about the potential for, well, doing business. High flyers often despair of time lost in the air which they could be having confidential conversations with associates. Even when opting for business class on an airline, the check in and baggage pick up waiting time can have even the calmest CEO stamping on the floor. Most airports have a separate terminal for passengers travelling on private jets (called Fixed Base Operators or FBO’s in the USA) where customers check in and adhere to the safety procedures. Passengers only need to check in twenty minutes before departure and arrival formalities may only take between five and ten minutes. When time really is money, this is a massive saving on the usual airline procedures.

Choosing an aircraft can be a daunting task due to the amount of operators in the market today. There are various types of Aircraft Charter jets available for both short and long haul journeys and passengers can now travel as far as Singapore (13 hours) on a private jet. Accepting a fuel stop on a long haul journey can keep the price down but it is best to gain advice from an aircraft broker on the practicalities of this.

It is important to look at the position of the aircraft and how far they are situated from the start or finish points of the flight. This is a critical cost factor as the operator may charge a premium for the time taken to return the aircraft to its origin. Other factors to consider are: baggage allowance especially for skis and golf clubs; restroom facilities; catering requirements and the sleeping capacity available for long haul flights.

Often air travel can be stressful and time consuming which is why many people are now choosing to hire private jets. Even if money is not a concern, hiring rather than buying is still the most acceptable means of executive air travel as there are no large upfront costs and fast depreciation rate.

However passengers should consult an air or Cargo Charter broker. This will mean translation of industry jargon and will ensure that they get the flight at a good price. Brokers will have a discount system of between 5% to 20% and access to the latest deals and the occasional “empty leg” flights where the customer only pays for a one way ticket. Most importantly they will have experience of different operators and will ask the right questions about all the service and operational standards of every flight that they recommend. So with the ease of a broker on side twinned with the other benefits it is easy to see why this way of travel is no longer solely for the super-rich and famous.

Gulfstream G650 Completes First Flight

Gulfstream Aerospace announced that its newest business jet and the flagship of its fleet, the ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G650, successfully completed its first flight.

The G650 took off from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport on Wednesday. Because the test pilots were alerted to a slight vibration in a landing-gear door, they curtailed the testing regimen as a precautionary measure. The aircraft landed 12 minutes later.

The aircraft achieved an altitude of 6,600 feet and a speed of 170 knots. Flight controls and characteristics performed as expected. Under its own power, the G650 rolled out of the Savannah manufacturing facility on Sept. 29, 2009. It remains on schedule for type certification by 2011, followed by entry-into-service in 2012.

Gulfstream G650 First Flight

The G650 offers the longest range at the fastest speed in its class. Powered by Rolls-Royce BR725 engines, the business jet is capable of traveling 7,000 nautical miles at 0.85 Mach and has a maximum operating speed of 0.925 Mach. Its 7,000-nautical-mile range means the G650 can fly nonstop from Dubai to Chicago. With an initial cruise altitude of 41,000 feet at 0.85 Mach, the G650 can climb to a maximum altitude of 51,000 feet and avoid traffic and inclement weather.

With its all-new aerodynamically optimized wing, the G650 can meet the latest takeoff certification requirements. At maximum takeoff weight, the aircraft can depart from a 6,000-foot runway.

Gulfstream G650 Business Jet

Passenger comfort is one of the G650’s main attributes. The aircraft features the largest purpose-built business-jet cabin, which leaves room for larger galleys and lavatories, and increased storage. The jet, which seats 11-18 passengers, also has 16 Gulfstream-signature oval windows that measure 28 by 20.5 inches.

The G650 provides the most productive cabin environment. A cabin altitude of 4,850 feet at FL510 and 3,300 feet at FL410 reduces fatigue, increases mental alertness and enhances productivity. A quieter cabin allows for a better environment for conversation or relaxation.

The aircraft comes with the new Gulfstream Cabin Essentialâ„¢ package, so a single-point failure will not result in the loss of functionality. That means a toilet always flushes; water is always available; and an entertainment source always works.

Additionally, the G650 features the PlaneViewâ„¢ II cockpit, the most advanced flight deck in business aviation, and an Advanced Health and Trend Monitoring System (AHTMS) to support aircraft maintenance planning and enhance availability.

Source: Gulfstream
Photos: Gulfstream

Embraer Delivers First Lineage 1000 Jet

Embraer delivered the first Lineage 1000 executive jet, yesterday, in São José dos Campos, Brazil, to HE Aamer Abdul Jalil Al Fahim, of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The aircraft, to be managed on behalf of the owner by Prestige Jet, also of Abu Dhabi, will have its first public exhibition at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE), May 12-14, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Embraer Lineage 1000 Executive Jet - Managed by Prestige Jet - Abu Dhabi

In Embraer’s portfolio of six executive jets, the Lineage 1000 is the largest aircraft. Configured to accommodate up to 19 people in a total cabin volume of 4,085 cubic feet (115.7 cubic meters), the jet’s flexible interior offers five distinct privacy zones, as many as three lavatories, and an available stand-up shower. There is a wide variety of cabin configurations to fit all travelers’ needs, with plentiful room for work, rest and meetings. The airplane was launched three years ago, at EBACE.

Embraer Lineage 1000 Luxury Cabin Interior

Prestige Jet was formed in 2007, operating out of Abu Dhabi International Airport, and has quickly established itself as one of the foremost providers of top-of-range executive flight services from and to the Middle East Region. The range of services offered by Prestige Jet extends also to charter brokerage travel and aircraft sales, acquisition, and management.

Source & Photos: Embraer

BAA Hong Kong receives first A318 Elite

BAA Jet Management Ltd of Hong Kong has taken delivery of its first managed Airbus aircraft, an A318 Elite, becoming the first to operate the type in the Asian region.

The Airbus A318 Elite – the first to be registered in the People’s Republic of China – is now based at Shenzen and is available for VVIP charter.

BAA Jet Management Airbus A318 Elite“This Airbus A318 Elite is the first in Asia to offer customers something that they cannot get with other high-end business jets – much greater comfort, space and ease of movement around the cabin,” says BAA Managing Director Ricky Leung. “And with seating for 18 passengers in our A318 Elite, we can also carry larger business groups and families than any other corporate jet currently available for VVIP charter in the region today,” he adds.

The Airbus A318 Elite is the newest member of the Airbus ACJ Family and offers the widest and tallest cabin of any business jet in its class, as well as all the benefits of a modern and elegant design.

“Asia has long been an important market for Airbus – it’s where we won our first airliner sale outside Europe – so it’s great to see BAA becoming our first operator in the region for our modern A318 Elite corporate jet,” comments Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers, John Leahy. “The longer you fly, the more important your comfort becomes, so the A318 Elite really does have a lot to offer,” he adds.

Airbus A318 Elite Cabin Interior

The A318 Elite is the most affordable aircraft in the Airbus ACJ Family, and features a cabin created in co-operation with Lufthansa Technik. Its interior comprises several different seating zones in a spaciously large living area, as well as a very practical and private office that converts into a bedroom, complete with ensuite bathroom.

Part of the world’s most modern airliner family, the A318 Elite features a robust airframe and systems, proven in millions of hours of airline service as a member of A320 Family, from which it is derived.

The Airbus ACJ Family has many corporate jet “firsts” to its credit. These include being the first with fly-by-wire controls, the first with centralised maintenance for faster and more efficient trouble-shooting, the first to offer Category 3B autoland, and the first to make extensive use of weight-saving carbonfibre. Airbus ACJ Family has more than 100 firm orders to its credit, and is now flying on every continent, including Antarctica, highlighting its versatility.

BAA is one of the leading aviation companies in Asia, offering a complete range of business jet services, including charter, aircraft management, flight support and aircraft sales and acquisitions. It will also manage three Airbus ACJs and two A350 Prestiges.

Source: Airbus
Photos: Airbus

Comlux orders additional Airbus A320 Prestige

Airbus S.A.S. LogoComlux Aviation, the VIP charter division of Comlux The Aviation Group, has ordered a second A320 for its VVIP operation, consolidating its role as the largest operator of the Airbus ACJ Family.

The new Airbus A320 will help to meet demand from the important Middle East market, and complements an A318 Elite and an ACJ that are already operated on VVIP charters by Comlux. Comlux has now placed orders for a total of nine aircraft, comprising four A318 Elites, two Airbus ACJs, two A320 Prestiges and one A330-200 Prestige.

“We were one of the first to recognise the need for even more space and comfort than traditional business jets, and because the Airbus ACJ Family has the widest and tallest cabin in its class, we can offer a lot more than other charter companies,” says the Head of Comlux Aviation’s VVIP Charter Division Ettore Rodaro . “The outstanding reliability of our Airbus ACJ Family is another plus that our customers appreciate, and we can also offer them a lot of experience in managing their VIP Airbus aircraft,” he adds.

“Comlux Aviation has built a well deserved reputation for top-class service, and we like to think that the Airbus ACJ Family cabin’s elegant ambiance, spaciousness and ease of movement has been a contributory factor,” says Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers, John Leahy. “We have a great product in the Airbus ACJ Family, and as operators such as Comlux make it more and more visible to customers, demand will continue to grow,” he adds.

Comlux Aviation has operated its first Airbus ACJ for several years, and last year became the first to put the A318 Elite into service, flying it an impressive 1,200 hours in its first year of service. It has three Air Operator Certificates (AOCs) from the airworthiness authorities in Malta (EASA), Switzerland and Kazakhstan, allowing it to best serve its customers in different regions.

In addition to the widest cabin in its class, Airbus’ ACJ Family also provides a very quiet environment, making it especially attractive to high-end travellers – particularly on long flights when a lot of time is spent in the aircraft.

Source: Airbus

Boeing Completes First BBJ 3

Boeing recently completed work on the first BBJ 3 (Boeing Business Jet). The BBJ 3 is a new, larger business jet based on the Boeing Next-Generation 737-900ER (Extended Range). The BBJ 3 has 1,120 square feet (104 square meters) of floor space, and provides 35 percent more interior space and 89 percent more luggage space than the BBJ 2. The BBJ 3’s range is between 5,435 nmi (10,066 km) and 4,725 nmi (8,751 km) depending on the number of passengers flown.

First BBJ3 Completed

The airplane is now at DeCrane Aircraft in Georgetown, Del., where it will receive its long-range auxiliary fuel system and a Head-up Display. The fuel system, new for the model, will undergo a two-month certification process at DeCrane. The airplane’s final stop is at a completion center of the owner’s choosing, where it will receive a custom interior. The un-named customer will receive the completed airplane in 2009.
All BBJs are equipped with Blended Winglets (wing tip extensions), which reduce community noise, lower emissions and increase the airplane’s range.

The BBJ program focuses on features that help owners fly safely, efficiently, reliably and comfortably. Boeing currently is delivering BBJs with lower cabin altitude and Future Air Navigation System technology. Lower cabin altitude allows the cabin pressurization control system to regulate the cabin environment to equal a maximum cabin altitude of 6,500 feet so that passengers travel in greater comfort. Future Air Navigation System (FANS) streamlines communication between flight crews and air traffic controllers. FANS adds another layer of safety and efficiency to the global air transportation system, and allows BBJ owners to take more direct routes, shortening flight times and saving fuel.

See for more information.

Source: Boeing
Photo Credit: Boeing

MAZ Aviation commits to six Airbus A350 XWB Prestiges

Airbus S.A.S. LogoMAZ Aviation has placed a commitment for six Airbus A350 XWB Prestiges to serve its customers, in what is the first deal for the type in the Middle East. The deal is also the largest single deal ever for Airbus corporate jetliners, and comprises one A350-800 and five A350-900s.

All six Airbus A350 XWBs will feature VIP cabins, and be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. The choice of cabin outfitters has yet to be announced.

The Airbus A350 XWB Prestige is the world’s newest airliner and, in its VIP version, offers unmatched widebody space and comfort – as well as the range to fly non-stop to the world. It has the widest cabin, greatest floorspace and longest range of any aircraft in its class.

“The kind of private customer that buys a VIP widebody wants the very best, and that’s exactly what they get with the Airbus A350 XWB Prestige,” says MAZ Aviation Chairman Mohammed Al Zeer. “With more cabin space, more range and a more modern design, the Airbus A350 XWB is the VIP widebody of the future.”

The Airbus A350 XWB features an advanced and efficient aerodynamic design, more than 50 per cent of its airframe is made of weight-saving carbonfibre composites, and has all of the new features customers expect in a new design from an innovative company such as Airbus.

Source: Airbus

Jetalliance Group orders more Airbus ACJ family aircraft

The Jetalliance Group of Vienna has placed a repeat order for one Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) and two A318 Elites, adding to the orders that it has previously placed for the family.

Like its other aircraft the new Airbus ACJ will feature a VIP cabin and be powered by CFM International CFM56-5 engines.

Jetalliance Group is one of the world’s leading business-jet enterprises, offering a unique turn-key solution for business jet customers. With Jetalliance, the customer can purchase, finance, operate and maintain his aircraft. The daughter company, Jetalliance Flugbetrieb GmbH is operating a fleet of 35 aircraft with an average age of only three years – one of the youngest in Europe. It operates under JAR OPS 1 in Europe, but is also FAA part 129 certificated, allowing it to fly commercially in the USA and Canada.

Airbus’s ACJ Family comprises the A318 Elite, ACJ and A320 Prestige.

Source: Airbus

New orders for Airbus ACJ and Airbus A350 XWB Prestige

Airbus announced that an Asian customer has placed a firm order for an Airbus A350 XWB Prestige, in what is the second commitment for the newest member of the Airbus corporate jetliner family (building on an earlier commitment from another customer that was announced during the Dubai airshow).

The A350-900 will feature a luxurious VIP interior, and will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. The choice of cabin-outfitter has yet to be announced.

BAA Jet Management of Hong Kong has been chosen to manage the A350 XWB Prestige, the VIP version of the A350 XWB, on behalf of the customer, and will base the aircraft in Hong Kong.

Besides this A350 XWB firm order, Airbus also announced, that a new Asian customer has placed a firm order for an Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ).

The aircraft will feature a luxurious VIP interior, and will be powered by CFM International CFM56-5B7/P engines. The choice of cabin-outfitter has yet to be announced.

The aircraft will also be managed by BAA Jet Management and based in Hong Kong.

Source: Airbus

C-Jet orders Airbus ACJ

C Jet Limited, the aviation company of a private individual based in Hong Kong, has placed a firm order for an Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ), becoming a new customer.

C Jet Ltd’s Airbus ACJ will feature a luxurious interior based on the Prestige cabin-concept, which features a lounge, dining area, private office, bedroom and ensuite bathroom with shower. It will be powered by CFM International CFM56-5B7/P engines. The choice of cabin-outfitter has yet to be made.

BAA Jet Management Ltd of Hong Kong, which has already placed orders for an Airbus ACJ and an A318 Elite, will manage and operate the aircraft on behalf of C Jet Limited. This will be BAA Jet Management’s second Airbus ACJ under management. BAA Jet Management Ltd will also manage an A318 Elite.

“With its larger and more comfortable cabin, as well as a more modern design, the Airbus ACJ Family is the natural choice for companies and individuals that want to trade up from traditional top-of-the-line business jets,” says BAA Jet Management Ltd Vice Chairman Jay Shaw. “This is an important market opportunity, on which Airbus and BAA Jet Management Ltd are well placed to capitalise,” he adds.

Airbus’ ACJ Family, which recently passed the milestone of 100 sales, is increasingly popular in China and has a strong presence in Asia-Pacific.

“The Airbus ACJ is just a great aircraft to do business in, as more and more forward-thinking customers such as C Jet Ltd and BAA Jet Management Ltd are recognising,” comments Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers John Leahy. “And with the Airbus ACJ Family now flying on every continent, including Antarctica, they have to be one of the most popular corporate jets in the world,” he adds.

Sales of the ACJ Family, which comprises the A318 Elite, the Airbus ACJ and the A320 Prestige, have blossomed in the last few years, driven by an increasing awareness among top-of-the-line customers of their benefits – such as larger, more spacious, more comfortable cabins, an inherently modern design and greater value.

Source: Airbus