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.
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.
“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.
With ongoing border instability we’ll be launching new seasonal routes in the future including Sydney – Cooma, Melbourne – Mount Hotham and Brisbane – Hamilton Island.
The perks of the SHARED program are best described by Lee Teirney, one of our first SHARED members, who loved the concept so much he joined the team in 2020 as VP of Membership and Experience.
As an Airly member having access to shared flights meant that I could have the convenience of flying private for a fraction of the cost, and non of the hassle of a crowded Airport. Also having the opportunity to meet a wide range of like minded people.
Lee Teirney – SHARED member and now VP Membership & Experience
We’re thrilled to be working on a new product that will completely revolutionise private jet charter. The introduction of this new product will also have benefits for members on the SHARED program as well.
After facilitating 11 flights in 2020 we want to see more members initiating flights, and most importantly, activate at least 4 SHARED flights per month.
To learn more about our SHARED program click here.
Embraer recently turned heads partnering up with Porsche in providing an extremely limited edition duet of their world-leading Phenom 300E private jet with Porsche’s 911 Turbo S.
There are only 10 of these ‘sets’ available at a price starting fro $11m USD taking over 12 months from order to delivery.
It’s all about a “seamless transition” of road to sky, says Boris Apenbrink, the director of Porsche’s internal Exclusive Manufaktur department, during a video call to Executive Traveller about the collaboration.
“The jet is meant to be piloted by the owner himself, and we also wanted the car that was the most fun to drive itself.”
“This is about making dreams come true for our customers,” he continues. And yes, it’s a bit of stunt marketing in the process.
Neither party’s are saying whether this will be the first and final collaboration, so we wonder if the best is yet to come?
Aussie private jet business Airly has teamed up with travel company Luxury Escapes to offer travellers another way to fly.
Through the partnership, Luxury Escapes has new private return charter experiences for up to four people, with destinations including the Whitsundays and the Gold Coast.
Luxury Escapes head of strategic partnerships Darran Kiel told Business Insider Australia via email the partnership came about because of the connection between what both companies offer – luxury private jets and luxury accommodation.
“At Luxury Escapes we have always really loved the Airly business model and have been in conversations with them for a while on how we could provide that next level of experience for our customers,” he said.
“The main objective for us was to find a way to start the holiday experience early for our customers. With the Airly partnership, the holiday starts as soon as they leave their home. We are thrilled to have been able to work with their team and incorporate this experience into our holiday packages.”