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Charter Jet Aircraft

Are private jet shuttle service providers the real deal or just false advertisement? Recently I ran across an article in Forbes with a title that highlighted the claim of a new shuttle service’s CEO: a shuttle service is better than a private jet… REALLY? I am apalled! How dare he? A fancy exterior paint job on an old 30 passenger Embraer ERJ 135 does not result in private jet status… nor does a red carpet unrolled in a hanger with some ropes compare to a high quality FBO; let’s keep it real! Perhaps the article would have been titled better if it read, “New shuttle service sells a pipe dream!”

The article went on to highlight the inconveniences, and in this day and age even dangers, sometimes associated with commercial air travel. I would have been okay if they would have claimed to be a hybrid between commercial and private; highlighting the more boutique service they provide, hangar departures, and prices comparable to airlines (since the service is comparable). I absolutely cannot accept that they compare themselves to private jet service. They are playing on the desires of people trying to keep up with the Jones’ all while misrepresenting the service they actually provide. Air Canada and SkyWest (Delta’s regional connection partner) operate Embraer 170/175. I believe United Express still contracts with a few regional airlines who operate a few Embraer 135/145. At any cost, these Embraer regional jets simply do not compare with a true private jet but don’t take our word for it; let’s compare visually…

This first photo is passenger seating in a private jet vs. their shuttle wanna be private jet:

private jet shuttle service airplane interior

Inside a private jet shuttle service airplane

Here we have a tray table vs. a table that you can actually work and eat on:

private jet interior

the inside of a real private jet is much different than those pretenders operating shuttle services on what they claim to be a private jet

Last but not least is their lounge versus the lounge inside an FBO like what you use when you REALLY fly private:

hangar versus FBO

the difference between boarding a private jet shuttle service and boarding from a private jet FBO is incredibly different

Obviously there is no comparison and it is completely absurd and disappointing that this man would attempt to devalue the true private jet experience just to sell the dream of flying private to unsuspecting travelers. This is simply false advertising and unethical to suggest it is better than flying private just because you, ultimately, get to take a regional jet that departs from a hangar at the same price you’d fly that same regional jet from a small airport. I hope those considering this option turn to Yelp! to read what other reviewers shared in regards to flights being four hours late or canceled entirely if they don’t sell enough seats. Do your homework and protect yourself from false/misleading nonsense.

Citation XWhy are people so surprised? Aren’t most gimmicky business models uncovered at some point?

Let’s see… we have had the jet cards and the fractional programs and, most recently, the Uber of private jets and yet none of them are doing particularly well – if they are doing at all!

Since when were businesses in business solely for the benefit of their patrons – with no regard for turning a profit? OK! We all know that doesn’t exist so why would anyone think these programs could possibly be such a great offering to you, the customer?

The bottom line is that we all have been taught, at some point – either in business or through advanced education, that great businesses are innovative. There is definitely truth to that; however, in a service industry that caters to particularly discerning customers, we find safety and customer service generally trump innovation. On-demand, private jet charter works for who it is intended to work for. It isn’t intended to work for everyone – plain and simple!

Often times, some hopeful (often with little or no aviation experience) comes up with a get rich idea, secures funding, and hires great sales people who convince customers why their program is so amazing by appealing to their ego and emotions. It is no wonder that, publicly traded, Avantair left 600+ fractional owners grounded due to funding issues. Now, just two weeks ago, FlexJet/Flight Options moved forward with an offer of voluntary separation packages as part of their transition to an on-demand charter business and now, yesterday, Blackjet abruptly ceased operations. What happens to all the customers who paid for memberships? I can only guess they sold them by emphasizing their ties to celebrities like Ashton Kutchner, Jay Z, and Will Smith. We really shouldn’t be surprised. Nonetheless, let us again explore why the various programs are eventually exposed and, ultimately, fail.

Fractional Programs

Let’s look at two scenarios. The first, a light jet program in a Nextant, costs about $325,000 for 50 hours. In addition to the primary pricing there are monthly management fees and a per-hour fee for each hour flown. For 50 hours, that runs about an additional $185,000. When you divide that by 50 hours you ultimately pay $10,200 per flight hour. If you are paying that rate with a charter company (for on-demand charter) for a comparable aircraft, you should really re-visit who you are doing business with. The all-in cost per hour for the Nextant, including all fees and taxes (except catering), should be about half of that.

Second scenario, a heavy jet (Gulfstream 550), is about $3 million for the same 50-hour per year program but based on 5 years (a total of 250 hours). Flying 50 hours each year, you end up paying an additional $416,000 per year for the management fees and per-hour charge (still not including fuel surcharges and federal taxes). That breaks down to roughly $21,984 per flight hour before taxes and fuel surcharges – HOW IS THAT SUCH A GREAT DEAL?

Jet Cards

One of the most well-known, and reputable, companies specializing in jet cards offers two programs based on your requirements for the newness of an aircraft (year 2000 or newer costs extra). For a 25 hour card we have the following standard (not the newer aircraft option) pricing structure:

  • Light Jets: $124,825 (or $4,993 per flight hour)
  • Mid-Sized Jets: 167,775 (or $6,711 per flight hour)
  • Super Mid-Sized Jets: 227,050 (or $9,082 per flight hour)
  • Heavy Jets: $285,825 (or $11,433 per flight hour)

While these prices include Federal Excise Taxes (currently at a rate of 7.5%), taxi time is billed at 12 minutes per leg (in addition to flight time). Bermuda, Caribbean and Mexico flights incur a 10% premium charge on the hourly rate. Catering, ground transportation, and international fees are billed separately, and peak travel days also incur a surcharge of 5%.

The ultimate result is that it is not a more cost-effective option than traditional charter and, in most-cases, their back office operations aren’t really much different, if at all, than a traditional charter operation. In fact, most jet card programs source supplemental lift from the exact same FAA Part 135 operators as any other charter company (management companies and brokers both). The bottom line is that you have to find the best option for who you choose to work with; a company who can meet your needs and provide exceptional service without regard for whether or not they are a big name brand and/or offering all the gimmicky programs that aren’t likely in your best interest anyhow.

The Uber of Private Jets

Really? This program was backed by well-known celebrities and originally founded by Uber co-founder and chairman Garret Camp – who pulled out after a previous service suspension; giving up his entire investment! The idea was to ultimately settle in as a per-seat cost model that charged an annual fee (in addition to the cost per seat). They aren’t the only company offering this service. It probably will take off eventually and will probably work for many; however, it isn’t the same as a true private jet experience and we simply aren’t interested in compromising quality in an effort to attract the masses.

Before we close, let us not neglect to address one of the primary selling points, as we know it, for most of these programs – the one-way pricing structure! In all fairness, there was a time (more than ten years ago) that the pricing of one-way flight itineraries was quite unattractive in traditional, on-demand, charter operations. That has evolved considerably. If you are working with someone who isn’t investing considerable effort into finding you one-way options when they are a more appropriate fit then you should really consider exploring alternate (or additional) service providers who will take your best interest into consideration. You really want a company who will match your needs to the most appropriate option for you; without regard only for what is most profitable for them.

When do empty legs and one-way opportunities become most practical? In most aircraft, a two hour per day flight hour minimum is imposed. If you are flying from San Francisco to Los Angeles for business, and plan to stay overnight, your itinerary spans two days. This would typically result in a minimum of four flight hours being charged but we know that the flight time from San Francisco to Los Angeles and back is not four hours. This scenario is indicative of when two one-way flights become most cost-effective. Considering these are both high-density city pairs, a charter coordinator who is taking your best interest into consideration, should invest the extra effort into matching your needs with appropriate availability within the industry. If they are only offering you a plane within their own fleet that results in the greatest revenue for their company, it may be time to shop around to see if they are truly the best company for you to give your business to.

Don’t forget to let any charter coordinator you work with know your preferences. Do you prefer newer aircraft? What are your requirements for newness? Year 2000 or newer? Year 2005 or newer? Are you partial to a particular model? Do you or someone in your party have special needs? Excessive luggage? Any company who is service oriented and committed to their customers, as we are, will most definitely go to extremes to please you; after all, private jets aren’t for everyone or else all these gimmicky fad companies wouldn’t keep dropping like flies!

Dassault Falcon 5X Exterior 1

Dassault Falcon 5X

The Falcon 5x is expected to be certified in 2017 and for those of us who are big fans of the Falcon jets… this is pretty exciting! The 5X is a large-cabin twinjet which is expected to up the ante for cabin comfort, aircraft performance and ease of maintaining.

The expectations surrounding the 5X have existed among rumors for years with Dassault finally giving head to the rumors in late 2013.

Here are some of the eye popping specifics:

  • Expected to cost around $45 million new
  • 8.86 feet fuselage diameter (larger than the 8X)
  • 6.5 feet interior height
  • 1,766 cubic feet volume
  • Seating for 12 passengers

Those figures show us that this 5X will actually be larger than the trijet 7X that we love so much!

How about operations and fuel efficiency you might ask? Well, how about 50% more fuel efficient and costing 30% less to operate that similar models available from competitors? Pretty impressive, right? Dassault didn’t just think of the passengers though… they are incorporating pilot seats that recline 130 degrees so that one crew member can rest while the other flies the aircraft. This bird also boasts a 5,200 nautical mile range (approximately 11.5 hours of flying) and can fly as fast as Mach 0.9 (approximately 600 mph).

Additional specifications:

Maximum Takeoff Weight

69,600 pounds

Cabin Length

38.7 feet

Cabin Height

6.5 feet

Cabin Width

8.5 feet

Cabin Volume

1,766 cubic feet

Baggage Volume

155 cubic feet

Service Ceiling

51,000 feet

Dassault Falcon 5X Interior 1

Dassault Falcon 5X Interior

All too frequently we associated San Diego with the beach, great sporting events, and awesome downtown entertainment and forget that they are also blessed with the beautiful Laguna Mountains!

San Diego Sunset Trail

San Diego Sunset Trail

Did you know that “The Golden State” was made the official state nickname for California in 1968? You probably do! California can be traced as having been where gold was discovered in 1848 and is often also associates with our golden poppies. But did you know that San Diego county is home of one of the original gold mines? Yes it is! Right in the city of Julian; where you can explore a guided adventure with Eagle Mining Company that will take you deeo into the mine tunnels to experience them from the viewpoint of the original miners of the 1870s. Wouldn’t it be fun to learn to pan for gold with the kids? Follow that up with a slice of Julian’s famous apple pie from Mom’s Pies and you’ll be in golden apple heaven!

Charter flights to San Diego

San Diego Private Jets

Mom’s Pies
2119 Main Street
Julian, CA 92036
(760) 765-2472
www.momspiesjulian.com
Mom's Apple Caramel Crumb Pie

Mom’s Apple Caramel Crumb Pie

San Diego couples together the best of city life with the historical mountains in the most beautiful scenery imaginable. A splendid place to visit!

Dusk settles on downtown San Diego with snow-covered Mt. Laguna in the distance

Dusk settles on downtown San Diego with snow-covered Mt. Laguna in the distance

Don’t miss the final segment in our San Diego feature tomorrow that highlights the pleasantly overwhelming fun, food and festivities just waiting for you in downtown San Diego!

 

Exquisite Air Charter is available to arrange a private jet to/from and destination worldwide. Contact us to day to learn more at (888) EAC-JETS or email us.

Worldwide airport destinations can be explored here.

 

If you are still interested in learning more, there are a couple of great website with local information that can also be explored.

Link to Old Town Website for additional information here

Link to Chamber of Commerce Travel Page here

Whether you are a local Southern California who wants to drive up for the weekend or a non-native looking for a great place to visit (with or without the kids) – San Diego is a great choice! The countless experiences that exist in the San Diego is just the icing on the cake to the beautiful scenery and gorgeous year ’round weather. San Diego is uniquely located between the Anza-Borrego Desert, the Pacific Ocean, and the Laguna Mountains; affording you the best of all worlds in one destination!

Scenic San Diego

Scenic San Diego

San Diego Ocean

Imagine… 70 miles of beaches! That figure suggests what many of us natives know to be true – plenty of beach for every mood: romantic, quaint, family-oriented, party, quiet meditation, and so much more! The island area of Coronado houses the famous, red-roofed, Coronado Hotel, sparkling (thanks to the mica mineral) beaches, and plenty of family-oriented and romantic activities such as kayaking, biking, gondola rides, shopping, and amazing food options.

Hotel del Coronado is a landmark that exudes grandeur and luxury and has been complimenting the beautiful beaches since 1888. Whether your visit is geared more toward the Spa Mimosa Mondays or the complimentary s’mores in the evening, the skating rink on the beach during the holidays, or… my personal favorite: the amazingly delicious Sunday brunch, there is no denying the warm and inviting aura provided by such an amazing landmark hotel. With that being said, don’t underestimate Hotel del Coronado‘s competition! Whether it is the casual splendor of Paradise Point or the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley that is so conveniently located just a little more than a mile from Qualcomm stadium.
I think I had the best chipotle chicken sandwich I have ever tasted delivered to my room at Paradise Point followed by walking out my rear French Doors to feed the birds before putting my feet in the beach water right outside my bungaloo in the bay that almost seemed like my own private beach. Did I mention the fire pits and lawn chairs on my back patio (on the beach). While Paradise point isn’t as fancy as the Hotel del Coronado, it is definitely a force to be reckoned with and I, personally, can’t wait until my next visit!

Check back tomorrow for my section on San Diego Mountains; followed by a post dedicated to downtown San Diego.

San Diego Airports

 Airport Information – Gillespie Field
 City: San Diego  State: California (CA)
 Airport Code: SEE  Alt Airport Code: KSEE
 Latitude: 32.82000000  Longitude: -116.97000122
 Runway Length: 5,341 ft  Runway Elevation: 387 ft
 Time Zone: Pacific  GMT Offset: -8
 Airport Information – Montgomery Field
 City: San Diego  State: California (CA)
 Airport Code: MYF  Alt Airport Code: KMYF
 Latitude: 32.81000000  Longitude: -117.12999725
 Runway Length: 4,577 ft  Runway Elevation: 427 ft
 Time Zone: Pacific  GMT Offset: -8
Airport Information – San Diego International Lindbergh Field
 City: San Diego  State: California (CA)
 Airport Code: SAN  Alt Airport Code: KSAN
 Latitude: 32.73000000  Longitude: -117.18000031
 Runway Length: 9,400 ft  Runway Elevation: 14 ft
 Time Zone: Pacific  GMT Offset: -8
Airport Information – Brown Field Municipal
 City: San Diego  State: California (CA)
 Airport Code: SDM  Alt Airport Code: KSDM
 Latitude: 32.57000000  Longitude: -116.98000336
 Runway Length: 7,999 ft  Runway Elevation: 526 ft
 Time Zone: Pacific  GMT Offset: -8

Boeing Business Jets Considers a Combi Configuration

boeing-combi-illustration

Illustration suggesting the design of the Boeing Combi variant of the 767 Tanker. The beauty of the Combi is its ability to carry a mixed load of passengers and cargo.

Your first question might very well be, “What is a Combi Configuration?” Well, it is a combination of cargo and passenger configurations. The Combi, as it has been nicknamed, is expected to cater to industrial, government, and heavy machinery type organizations who find themselves in a position of needing to transport equipment and a support team to a destination. While there may not be a large customer base for such a configuration, it is still something Boeing is looking to explore as a means of expanding revenue sources and keep up with Airbus (who is already offering a comparable option).

New configurations seem to be popular at Boeing. Not long ago, BBJ had two simple products; the BBJ and the BBJ2. Currently Boeing offers 11 products in their commercial line. With that said, of the 228 private jetliners Boeing has sold, 164 of those are the 737 based BBJ.

While talks exist and Boeing has even announced that it will study the potential need for the Combi, don’t expect to see any cargo type BBJ with passenger seating for, at least, a couple of years. Boeing has proclaimed that they will not push toward development until they secure a launch customer.

Any takers?

The First Gulfstream G500 Flight

gulfstream-g500-aerial flight

The all new Gulfstream G500 takes flight

Just seven months since we first saw the Gulfstream G500 roll out of their Savannah, GA headquarters the G500 flies for the first time. The flight took place on May 18th, 2015 and departed from the Savannah Hilton Head International airport and was piloted by Scott Martin and Kevin Claffy. Also along for the ride was flight-test engineer Bill Osborne.

The flight initiated with a climb to 10,500 feet and then the pilots took it to a speed of 194 knots; that’s approximately 223.25 mph. While that may seem quite fast it is a small percentage of the aircraft’s capabilities. In fact, the maximum operating speed of the Gulfstream G500 is Mach 0.925; that’s about 700 mph.

Notable Gulfstream G500 Specifications

 range

MAX RANGE

5,000 nm 9,260 km

passenger-outfitting

Typical Passenger Outfitting

Up to 18

sleeps

Sleeps

Up to 8

max-speed

Max Operating Speed (Mach)

0.925

 weight

Max Takeoff Weight

76,850 lbs 34,859 kg

 max-cruise-altitude

Max Cruise Altitude

51,000 ft 15,545 m

g500-aerial-5_1300_575_70

Gulfstream G500 In Flight

 

The up-and-coming Cessna Citation Latitude prototype has currently logged approximately 65 hours during 30 test flights. The first flight was February 18, 2014 and this twin-engine private jet aircraft has explored its full performance capabilities with logs showing it has reached a maximum speed of 440 knots with a ceiling of 45,000 feet.

Cessna Citation Latitude 1

Currently a second Latitude Private Jet is being prepared for flight in coming weeks.

This new twin-jet aircraft includes a new and larger fuselage. It has the wings, tail, and systems of the citation sovereign. Additionally, the new fuselage of the Latitude proudly includes the widest cabin of any Citation-made aircraft.

Cessna Citation Latitude 2

As for avionics the new Latitude features Garmin G 5000 avionics, an electronically operated door, and auto-throttle. Cessna expects FAA certification of the Latitude in next year (the second quarter of 2015). The new jet is expected to cost 14.9 million and is intended to fill the gap between the Citation XLS and Sovereign.

Exquisite Air Charter quote

Exquisite Air Charter Quotes

learjet 85

The up and coming Learjet 85 featured. This mid-sized jet is highly anticipated in the private jet charter world to be one of the most sought after charter aircraft.

 

After several set-backs resulting from flight test delays, weather delays, and other mishaps, the Lear 85 (the ALL COMPOSITE Lear 85) flies!!!

Interior Learjet 85

The Learjet 85 interior is sleek and glamorous. This aircraft is predicted to be one of the most sought after charter aircraft in the mid-sized class of private jets.

 

Currently, Bombardier is calling their Learjet 85 “Flight Test Vehicle One (FTV1)” and it successfully completed its first test flight on April 9th. The new, mid-sized, aircraft is an all-composite twin-engine jet. The aircraft lifted from Wichita Airport at 8:19 AM Central time. The test flight lasted approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. At the controls were Bombardier’s Flight Test Center chief flight-test pilot, Mr. Ed Grabman and his co-pilot was Jim Dwyer. Also on board was flight-test engineer Nick Weyers who monitored data during the flight. During the test flight they reached an altitude of 30,000 feet at a speed of 250 knots. Upon completion of the first test flight the crew reported that all controls were utilized and the test flight went as anticipated.

Interior Learjet 85 2

The galley of the lear 85 is sleek and modern – yet another reason this will be a highly popular private jet charter aircraft!

 

This is a superb accomplishment for the team. Performance was good! Considering that the test flight occurred four months behind schedule, the release date of the aircraft is now pending. It was originally set to release sometime around the middle of this; however, the certifying process has not yet begun and rumors say it can take as long as two years… our fingers are crossed that it won’t take quite so long and that the aircraft will hit the market at some point during 2015!

Cockpit Learjet 85

The sleek cockpit of the Lear 85 is equipped with all the latest and greatest avionics; destined to be a quite popular charter aircraft in the private jet charter industry.

 

View full aircraft specs at: http://www.flightglobal.com/assets/getasset.aspx?ItemID=31214

Lear 85 Composite

Lear 85 specs on the all-composite aircraft. The learjet 85 will be a modern all-composite private jet for aircraft charter upon its release.