2020 and 2021 have seen a large number of interstate relocations. And thanks to border restrictions the reduction in commercial flights have seen four legged family members get left behind.
We continue to hear heartbreaking stories of furry family members being stranded due to hotel quarantine requirements or the huge backlog experienced by animal transport providers.
So we’re in the process of enabling your pets to also be included into the SHARED and ACCESS program free of charge.
What does this mean?
It means you can now use your SHARED or ACCESS membership to transport your pet without the need for you to be on the aircraft.
How will this work?
Simply advise your member care team that it will be your pet travelling, and we’ll guide you through the process.
Airly will also send your dog or cat a luxury gift after the flight.
When can I book?
You can book using your SHARED or ACCESS membership now!
WE WANT TO HELP
If you, or someone you know, is currently separated from their dog or cat please contact us and we’ll work to put some flights together using our SHARED platform to help reunite family’s with their best friend.
If you’re not familiar with ACCESS, this product allows you to book from a streamlined fleet of jets for an all-inclusive fixed hourly occupied rate. That means members don’t pay empty positioning fees, overnight fees or lounge fees.
If you’re on the jet for one hour, you pay for that hour. Everything is included!
And best of all, unlike the SHARED program, flights are confirmed on booking – and you have the entire jet to yourself and your guests.
But one of the most impressive facets of the program is our cancellation and change terms.
We ask for 72 hours notice if your schedule changes if possible. But if your plan changes last minute we won’t charge any cancellation or change fees (so long as we haven’t already positioned to pick you up).
And if lockdowns or border closures get in the way there’s no penalty, ever.
A private jet product that is simple to understand, easy to predict, accessible to more at a far more palatable price point?
July is a big month for private space travel. Yesterday, Sir Richard Branson traveled into space, to “evaluate the customer spaceflight experience” aboard Virgin Galactic‘s VSS Unity. In nine days, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will travel into space aboard his commercial space travel company’s, Blue Origin, first flight.
Both flights offer slightly different experiences, with one being a spaceplane and the other a pure rocket. They are similar in that they herald in a new era of space travel where private citizens can be space tourists, or as the companies market the trip, astronauts. Historically, the coveted astronaut title and experience has been exclusive to government entities (cosmonauts – Russia, taikonauts – China). Which is why, although Virgin’s VSS Unity and Blue Origin’s New Shepard may be simply seen as incremental spacecraft developments, they represent a larger shift in our planet’s spacefaring capabilities.
Virgin Galactic’s maiden flight involved a ‘mothership,’ named VMS Eve, conventionally taking off from Spaceport America in New Mexico, with VSS Unity mated beneath. Just below 50,000 feet VMS Eve released VSS Unity which ignited its hybrid rocket engine for 60 seconds, accelerating to Mach 3.1 in order to reach its maximum altitude, or apogee, of 86 kilometres (nominally the company aims for 90 kilometres).
While transitioning through apogee, the vessel’s six passengers may unstrap and experience micro gravity for a few minutes before settling in for a unique deceleration involving folding wings, and a human-guided descent and landing back at Spaceport America about thirty minutes after take off.
Blue Origin’s trip is a vastly different experience. New Shepard is a fully autonomous rocket (i.e. no pilots), launching vertically from Blue Origin’s site in Texas like a conventional spaceflight for a 150-second rocket burn. When the fuel is expended the motor and fuel stage separate from the crew capsule, which continues to an apogee of just over 100 kilometres. Up to six passengers enjoy lie-flat seating with an almost panoramic view during their brief ten-minute journey. On descent, a parachute system brings the capsule back to land.
The two companies have both gone to lengths to validate that their trip is legitimately “spaceflight,” rather than simply high altitude. Blue Origin defines this as the internationally recognised Kármán line, 100 kilometres above Earth’s mean sea level. Virgin Galactic, however, use NASA’s and the US Air Force’s 80 kilometres above sea level as the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space. Regardless, at either vessel’s apogee, there are no aerodynamic forces, and passengers and pilots alike are for all intents and purposes in space.
Whether a space tourist has earned the title of ‘astronaut’ is a matter of opinion. Technically, they have met an altitude criteria, but culturally, historically, and from a competency perspective a space tourist is not a professional astronaut. A space tourist will, however, need to have reasonable wealth to travel aboard either company’s offering. A ticket aboard Virgin Galactic’s flagship costs USD250,000, and Blue Origin’s experience is similarly priced, although not known exactly. As both systems mature costs may reduce.
What about Elon?
As an encore to July, September will see the launch of SpaceX’s Inspiration4, a proven Crew Dragon vehicle, for the world’s first all-civilian space ‘mission.’ Although SpaceX’s founder, Elon Musk, won’t be aboard – the experience has been paid for by Jared Isaacman, a successful entrepreneur and founder of Draken International, who has assembled a crew of three others, their backgrounds and ambitions reflecting the “mission pillars” of Hope, Generosity, and Prosperity (along with his of Leadership).
At a soon-to-be announced launch date (~September), Inspiration4 will launch into low earth orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket, from NASA’s historic launchpad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. Over three days the vessel will remain in orbit, with no specific mission but tourism.
The cost of the entire mission, going by SpaceX’s public list price, is upwards of USD62m – although the details have been kept private. All crew members will undergo reasonably extensive commercial astronaut training through SpaceX, including orbital mechanics, operating in microgravity and zero gravity environments, stress testing, emergency preparedness training, mission simulations, and learning about the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft systems.
Airly, Australia’s fastest growing private aviation company, announces that it has entered into an agreement to acquire EmptyJets, a private jet empty leg booking platform.
Founded in 2003, EmptyJets was the first company in the country to provide members with a unique opportunity to fly on a private jet at a fraction of the cost. EmptyJets’ leading position in the empty leg space will be complimented by Airly’s membership success and product simplicity.
Luke Hampshire, CEO of Airly.com says: “EmptyJets was the first in the country to challenge accessibility and affordability in the private aviation industry. We have always been inspired by them and perhaps considered ourselves healthy competitors a few years ago. But as we transitioned into innovative membership products we felt the need to feed the empty capacity being generated by us into a reputable independent platform. We cannot wait to add our touches to the EmptyJets product and continue its success into the future.”
What does that mean for EmptyJets members? EmptyJets will continue to operate as its own entity. We are planning technology improvements as will as simplifying how members consume our product including the membership structure.
Will anything change at Airly? Over the next few months we will transfer the empty leg facets of the business over to EmptyJets. Airly will then focus on premium private jet charter solutions along with its SHARED and ACCESS Programs.
More importantly, members will gain access to exclusive Airly generated empty legs that cannot be found on any other platform. Airly’s operations team are also engaging with every possible operator in the country to ensure we can build a reputable supply of empty legs to cover every budget.
Lee Teirney, Airly’s VP of Membership will assume the General Manager role of EmptyJets and lead it into an exciting phase of rejuvenation.
The former team of EmptyJets have showed an enormous appreciation of their members’ loyalty and cannot wait to see what lies ahead.
We look forward to bringing a touch of Airly to the EmptyJets brand, but most importantly provide the best possible value to the EmptyJets membership.
Australia’s Whitsunday Islands, a collection of 74 tropical islands off the coast of Queensland, is less well known and less travelled than the Caribbean, but arguably more natural and unspoiled.
Iconic with its crystalline Whitehaven Beach, turquoise water, Heart Reef, calm seas, and hilly archipelago, the winter dry season offers respite from the cold south-east with an average daily temperature of 24 degrees Celsius, and clear skies.
Throughout the islands, visitors are spoiled for choice in terms of activities and options. These include self-directed sailing around the chains, guided sailing tours and island transfers, island hopping via seaplane, or simply relaxing the premium accommodation and cuisine available at the luxury and boutique resorts.
Hamilton Island is the largest and most central of the islands, and the most convenient way to enter the Whitsunday Islands by air. The island’s airport, known as Great Barrier Reef Airport, handles regular scheduled flights by major domestic airlines from major eastern cities, and is a full service airport capable of all manner of private and business aircraft.
Alternatively, Whitsunday Coast Airport (also referred to as Proserpine Airport) is a thirty minute drive from the town of Airlie Beach, the mainland gateway to the Whitsundays and often likened to a tropical version of Queenstown, New Zealand. Again, Proserpine Airport is a major domestic airport, handling a range of scheduled services and suitable for private and business jet aircraft.
What to do
From arrival by air, visitors are spoiled for choice in terms of how to enjoy the islands. Options include self-directed sailing around the chains, guided sailing tours and island transfers, island hopping via seaplane, or simply relaxing the premium accommodation and cuisine available at the luxury and boutique resorts.
Where to stay
Qualia and Elysian Retreat are two of the finest resorts in the islands.
Opened in 2007, Qualia, on the northernmost part of Hamilton Island, has won numerous awards and accolades for its luxurious service and exquisite cuisine. The name means “a collection of deeper sensory experiences” and the private resorts strives to blend nature and luxury in a seamless, memorable way. As one would expect, guests have a range of options available to them during their stay – from spa treatments, reef exploring, sightseeing, island hikes, or simply enjoying the resort.
The resort hosts its own helipad, allowing direct helicopter transfers from either Hamilton Island’s airport or Proserpine. Alternatively, guests can sail to Qualia, or take swift VIP road transfers from Hamilton Island airport.
Elysian Retreat is the most secluded island retreat in the Whitsundays, tucked away on Long Island, home of the Molle Island National Park. Elysian. An eco retreat and the first solar powered resort on the Great Barrier Reef, Elysian is positioned on a private cove with a rocky beach, surrounded by rainforest, with no other habitats on the island. The resort caters to only a handful of guests at any time, and offers a locally sourced custom menu, personalised organic spa treatments, and local guided adventures or the facilities to simply enjoy the island tranquility.
Getting to Elysian is via scenic helicopter transfer from Proserpine, Hamilton Island, or Airlie Beach.
Another quintessential Whitsundays resort is Hayman Island, the most northerly of the Whitsunday Islands, and a private island famous for its luxury resort – now named the InterContinental Hayman Island Resort. Although the island’s first resort was opened in the 1950s, the resort was significantly renovated and upgraded in 2011. These improvements gave Hayman Island a botanical garden as well as private villas to complement the main resort and premium facilities.
Getting to and from the island is again part of the Whitsundays experience, with the resort offering private charter helicopter, seaplane, or aboard a luxury powered yacht.
Late winter hosts the Hamilton Island Race Week, one of Australia’s largest offshore regattas featuring a range of racing, super, and sports yachts competing on the tropical waters. While the Whitsundays are wonderful to visit any time of year, for sporting excitement and an opportunity to see high performance race crews and their nautical equipment competing, Race Week is one of the best opportunities worldwide.
How to book
Airly simplifies private jet charter via transparent pricing and innovative products to make flying private more accessible.
Reach out to the Airly Member Care team here or via WhatsApp for your next trip and experience the difference for yourself.
The price of a private jet to the Whitsundays does vary depending on your departure point and how long you’ll stay.
Private jet brokers don’t own aircraft and simply sit in between you and the private jet operator.
It’s no secret that there’s been a considerable uptick in private jet charter in Australia. Customers new and existing are making the most of increased availability of jets.
For new customers, it can be quite exciting to book your first private jet charter. The feeling of finally ‘making it’, or giving in to the utility and benefits of flying private.
While some private jet brokers have closed down during the pandemic, others are making the most of this uptick. However they can get a little greedy when it comes to pricing your trip. Let us explain.
How do private jet brokers price a charter?
When you provide your itinerary to the broker, they’ll try to get some further information from you such as preferred cabin size, budget and any other requirements outside of the normal to help make a decision on what operator to approach.
Operators will provide the broker with a price to facilitate your trip. The broker will then add a margin (5-20%) and present you with some options.
All of the process so far is very common, ethical and standard practice.
But what if you only fly one way, or the jet returns empty back to its home base during your stay at the destination? Empty capacity is then generated, in which brokers will then attempt to sell the newly created ‘empty leg’. This is when some brokers get a little greedy.
Should the broker sell the empty leg, they’ll keep all that revenue for themselves. There’s a fair chance you’ll have no idea about it. So what’s the problem with that?
You are paying full price for that empty leg to be created and sold. The broker has added their fee to your price (their profit), and are now making thousands of dollars on top of that thanks to you. We call it the double dip. So what can you do about it?
Negotiate a revenue share deal with brokers
In the name of fairness, you should ask your broker if any empty legs are attached to your flight. If that answer is yes, ask for a share of that empty leg revenue. There is no reason for the broker to not work out a deal to make everyone happy.
If they say no, it may be time to thank them for their efforts and find a more transparent company to work with.
How does Airly share empty leg revenue?
In the past few months we have credited or refunded tens of thousands of dollars back to our charter customers from the sale of empty legs, or combining their itinerary with another customer’s saving on empty positioning fees.
When pricing your flight, we will advise if empty flights are going to be marketed, and how much of a potential refund you will receive on the successful sale of said empty flight. We refund or credit at least 80% of empty leg revenue back to you.
Here’s some recent examples.
On the 17th of April we refunded or credited a total of $9,100 to two separate customers by selling their attached empty legs on a one-way trip.
On the 2nd of May we were able to sell three empty legs attached to a one-way charter. A total of $10,000 was credited to the customer’s next flight.
On the 8th of May we combined two itineraries onto the one jet saving both of our customers $4,000 each.
On the 11th of May we combined two itineraries onto the one jet saving both of our customers $3,000 each.
In summary, a good private jet broker can help guide you through the confusing world that is private aviation. But in order to find a good broker you need to keep them honest.
“Wheels up” is a phrase used in aviationto describe the transition from take off landing gear down configuration, to airborne configuration with landing gear, or wheels, retracted. It’s a phrase that evokes progress, speed, and of being on a journey.
Thus, it’s fitting for a pioneer in business and private aviation to be named as such. Wheels Up was founded in 2013 by three New York-based founders. Their founding goal was, and still is, to reinvent private flying through a “revolutionary new business model that delivers the safest, most consistent, and highest -quality aviation solution.” This article explores what that means to members and travellers, the pioneering journey that Wheels Up continues to track, and the company’s leadership in shaping an industry.
“You can’t fail, you pivot.”
Wheels Up is a leader in private aviation. And, the brand and legacy it forges only makes sense by looking at its founder, Mr. Kenny Dichter. A successful entrepreneur and businessman, Kenny Dichter made his first millions in 1998 through the sale of his college-founded Alphabet City Sports Records, a label focused on songs often heard in sports stadiums and arenas. In 2001, Dichter co-founded Marquis Jets, the world’s first fractional card private jet program. By 2007, the business was turning over USD700 million per year with 3,500 customers, selling private jet access in 25-hour allotments. That same year, Dichter predicted that Marquis Jets would grow into a billion-dollar business within three years.
In 2010, Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary company, NetJets, acquired Marquis Jet. Marquis Jets’ innovative, accessible, and flexible ‘jet card’ model bolstered NetJets’ fractional ownership business model. Within two years, NetJets proceeded to place the largest aircraft order in private history, for up to 275 Bombardier aircraft, valued at over USD17.6 billion.
“Rule Number One: Never lose money.
Rule Number Two: Never forget rule one.”
– Warren Buffett
Although the 2010 sales terms of NetJets’ acquisition of Marquis Jet weren’t disclosed, it’s probable that Dichter’s 2007 prediction was realised, with NetJets reporting significant sales increase that year. Today, both Marquis Jets and NetJets continue to operate, with the latter the clear private jet fractional ownership industry leader.
After selling Dichter took a ‘break,’ founding the highly regarded and cult-like Tequila Avión. Pernot Ricard, the premium liquor portfolio company, increased its ownership of the esteemed tequila brand to a majority holding over a few years.
In 2013, Dichter along with two co-founders, returned to aviation entrepreneurship with the launch of Wheels Up. The co-founders simultaneously announced their management team along with a USD1.4 billion order for 105 Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprop aircraft. In disrupting and creating new markets, Wheels Up’s business model was premised on a membership / on-demand business model, servicing non-hub commercial services.
Since founding, Wheels Up has gone from strength to strength in under a decade. Within a year of launch the company had over 1,000 members and close to 40 aircraft (King Airs and Cessna Citation jets), and by 2019 the company had over 5,500 memberships (individual and corporate) and owned nearly 100 aircraft.
Importantly, Wheels Up continues to succeed through challenging the industry’s norms through Dichter’s entrepreneurial attitude, manifested in business model adjustments. Although founded on an entirely new premise of membership-based flying access, in 2018 Wheels Up announced a new flight sharing membership offering, Wheels Up Connect. The goal of Connect was to “democratize private flying” by further reducing the unit cost to access the benefits, efficiencies, and economics of business jet aviation. Despite Wheels Up closing 2020 with 10,995 active members and USD690 million in revenue at the end of 2020, they estimate that “90% of people who can afford to fly privately don’t,” or more than a million people in the US, and forecast their 2021 annual revenue to grow to USD912m
The last several years have seen Wheels Up manoeuvering to capitalise on this untapped blue ocean of private aviation travellers. In 2019, the same year that Wheels Up announced their goal of 16,000 active members by 2021, the company started a strategic acquisition spree to bolster their charter operations and membership management platform. Acquisitions included included the Travel Management Company (TMC Jets); Avianis, a B2B communication platform for operators and brokers; Gama Aviation Signature, the largest Part 135 charter operators in the USA; and Mountain Aviation, the largest Cessna Citation X fleet charter operator in the United States.
The underlying logic behind Wheels Up aggressive growth is simple – the company needs aircraft (supply) to meet the untapped private aviation demand. Dichter told Forbes earlier this year that the company will continue to serve the wholesale market and supply the growing demand for members. To fund this exponential trajectory, Dichter has executed what appears to be an astute two-stage plan.
The first stage saw Delta Private Jets, Delta Air Lines’ private aviation subsidiary, merge into Wheels Up and bringing Delta’s 70 aircraft into Wheels Up’s fold in 2020. This merger saw Delta Airlines take a majority stake in Wheels Up, and granted them a board seat.
The second stage of strategic funding is a shrewd twist on Dichter’s previously reported preference to pursue an initial public offering (IPO). In February, the company announced a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger with Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corporation. By merging with a SPAC, Wheels Up is expecting to achieve an “enterprise value of about USD2.1 billion,” and cash proceeds of USD790 million, without negotiating the traditional IPO process.
The winner is…
Having a successful, proven, serial entrepreneur in Kenny Dichter, who is clearly passionate about general and private aviation, and recognises its unrealised potential, is an incredible opportunity for the industry. Travellers benefits through new and more accessible means of transport, at improved value; while the aviation industry benefits from positive disruption, bringing about improvements and progress.
Wheels Up are an industry leader, and Kenny Dichter an incredible change agent.
Swap the dazzling city sights of Sydney for the soaring mountain peaks of Thredbo with the ultimate VIP fly-in, fly-out private jet ski experience – perfect for snow-lovers seeking a luxurious way to hit the slopes in style.
Departing Sydney on select dates through July and August 2021, this incredible opportunity allows you to spend more time shredding and carving your way down the mountain instead of weaving your way through traffic.
Board a private jet with eight luxurious leather seats (max. six guests) and fast-track your way straight to the slopes.
Enjoy a light breakfast onboard your 35-minute flight as you soar above the magnificent Snowy Mountains to reach Cooma Airport. Upon arrival, be greeted by a private chauffeur, who will transport you to the centre of Thredbo.
Head straight to the Kosciuszko Express or Merritts Gondola, where pre-arranged lift tickets await. Spend the day racing down the mountain and getting your fix of adrenaline before your afternoon return flight to Sydney, with light snacks served onboard.
This experience is really worth calling in sick for.