A wealth fund managing director from a London-based office had to get to Milan for an urgent client meeting. As scheduled airline availability was nil, he searched online and compared all charter options before booking his trip within 2 hours of enquiry. He flew from Luton at 0730hrs on Monday morning, straight to Milan Linate - a dedicated private jet airfield, which was also a much closer airfield to his destination. He was originally due to come back the same day, but has now decided to stay overnight, to then bring his client back by private jet.
He commented: At a time of travel chaos, when I had to book my travel at very short notice, this was simply a breeze to organise. I've also had the flexibility to change my timings, and be able to look after my client by bringing him back tomorrow on the jet. In terms of business efficiency and time saving, this has undoubtedly been an extremely successful decision, at a very busy time of the year. Being stranded in Europe or not making this meeting was simply not an option.
In another case, a Hedge fund manager - flying from USA back to Zurich via London - was diverted to East Midlands airport on Sunday evening. No direct flights are available from East Midlands to Zurich, so he went to the help desk at the airport, and was directed to their private jet online booking platform on the airport website.
He was able to find availability and book a private jet within the hour. However, shortly afterwards East Midlands was then not able to accept any more private aviation departures, so a quick taxi ride to Doncaster Airport, meant he could meet the aircraft there (which flew in from Jersey, unaffected by the snow conditions) and was straight on his way by 2000 hrs on Sunday, direct to Zurich.
In the midst of snow-related flight cancellations in Europe, private jets are now surging their bookings with quick alternative plans providing succour to stranded but wealthy passengers, especially in the week leading up to Christmas when many company executives stranded in Europe were eager to return home.
Even during the Ireland's ash cloud that disrupted flights across europe, private jets witnessed more business with their easy-to-change flight destinations and providing stranded airline passengers to reach nearby destinations. During the travel chaos situations such as the ash cloud, private jet hire has become a viable and efficient means of business travel, ensuring flexibility to change timings, use closer airports, and work around airport openings and closures at very short notice, said Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly.com.
Private jets are highly flexible and we have been able to re-route customers while the aircraft are flying, to stay one step ahead of airport closures and disruption. In the last 48 hours, we have seen echoes of the ash cloud crisis, with a surge of bookings, he explained.
We have many business customers, for whom missing meetings or spending time stranded at airports is simply not an option. By tapping into a global network over 7000 aircraft, we can quickly assess availability of aircraft, and find the best price and aircraft suitability for clients, he said in a statement.