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.
Look out Forbes and AFR, here’s Airly’s submission of JetList – the top 10 celebrities who own their own private jet.
Airly’s inaugural JetList
The JetList ranks private jets owned by celebs ordered by price at the time of purchase.
10. Tom Cruise – Gulfstream GIV ($36m)
We like this entry for the fact it’s a little old school. Mr Cruise’s 1998 Gulfstream is still a beautiful jet in its own right. Combined with his classic P-51 Mustang you can tell Maverick loves the nostalgia of aviation.
9. Jay Z – Challenger 850 ($40m)
Beyonce reportedly paid $40m USD in 2012 for the Challenger as a Father’s Day present. What a present!
The 850 is the largest of the Challenger range, seating up to 19 passengers with some of the seats converting to beds for longer flights. The jet also features two bathrooms in the cabin.
8. Jackie Chan – Embraer Legacy 650 & 500 ($50m)
It’s no secret that Jackie Chan is an avid Embraer fan. He purchased his Legacy 650 for $30m USD in 2012. In 2016, Chan added a brand new Legacy 500 to take care of shorter trips for $20m USD.
We’re yet to see Jackie buy into the new Embraer Praetor range, so watch this space.
7. Jim Carrey – Gulfstream V ($59m)
One of the greatest comedians is the proud owner of this Gulfstream V purchased for $59m USD.
Carrey makes his 1998 jet available for rent when he’s not using it, for around $8,000 an hour.
6. Oprah Winfrey – Gulfstream 650 ($70m)
Ms Winfrey joins other celebrities who have upgraded their jets to the latest and greatest.
Oprah’s previous aircraft was a Bombardier Global Express XRS, showing no loyalty towards her jet manufacturer.
5. Kylie Jenner – Bombardier Global 7500 ($72m)
This is a perfect ‘top-shelf’ purchase in the Global 7500. The pink-branded jet is capable of flying 14,260km non-stop.
Reaching a three-comma status via her makeup brand, ‘Sky Ky’ was just one of Ms Jenner’s big ticket items during a spending spree in 2020.
4. Donald Trump – Boeing 757 ($100m)
Purchased from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2011 the ‘T-bird’ has become an iconic jet in the sky’s.
Normally a jet liner, the Boeing 757 was refurbished to accommodate 43 passengers with bathrooms featuring 24 carat gold fixtures!
As we researched on our JetList, we were surprised to see the Microsfoft founder owns a single Global Express ($40m).
However, after further digging, we learned that Mr Gates and his foundation also own 2 x Gulfstream 650ER private jets, valued at $70m USD each. The Bill & Melinder Gates Foundation also owns 2 x Challenger 350’s via NetJets, and other smaller aircraft.
2. Mark Cuban – Various ($280m+)
The popular internet billionaire broke records in 1999 paying $40m USD for his Gulfstream V. It was the largest internet transaction at the time!
Since then Cuban has also added two Boeing Business Jets to his hangar. One of which is used by his NBA team, the Dallas Mavericks, and the other his Boeing 767 which he also makes available to charter.
1. John Travolta – Various
Taking our inaugural number one place is John Travolta and his fleet of jets. When you can land your jet in the backyard and park it out the front of your mansion, it’s hard to not give him top billing.
It’s difficult to get a combined value of his fleet. With a vintage Boeing 707, Challenger 601 and EA500 being just 3 of his 6-11 aircraft.
The changes come along with price increases to the entire network. These were necessary to help combat rising costs, less-predictable demand and to help activate more private jet flights in a shared environment.
Fly to Adelaide by private jet
As a result of the changes we have included Adelaide and Cooma as new destinations.
Adelaide will be accessible from Melbourne and Sydney airports.
Cooma will be a seasonal option from Sydney perfect for Winter.
To take advantage of these changes you need to be part of Airly’s SHARED program.
First of all download and register the Airly private jet app. Then you can apply for membership.
Winter is coming and the snow resorts are preparing for a bumper 2021 snow season.
Members tend to stay at Rockpool Lodge at Thredbo but there are other great accommodation options at both Thredbo and Perisher.
The best way to get to the NSW snow fields is to fly by private jet to Cooma and your member care team will be able to facilitate a seamless transfer to the resort. A 4 seat light jet to Cooma starts from $10,120* including a single night stay.
NSW Far South Coast
Towns such as Merimbula, Tathra (pictured), Bermagui and Narooma can provide a more quaint escape compared to Byron Bay.
Accommodation is plentiful with our pick being Coast Resort in Merimbula.
The far south coast can be accessed via Moruya or Merimbula Airports with prices starting from $10,120* for a 4 seat light jet including a single night stay.
Port Fairy is a quiet village on the Great Ocean Road with stunning Air BnB’s, beautiful beaches, a historic port and growing food and arts scene.
It’s a little left field, but we find Port Fairy an incredible spot to recharge.
Port Fairy can be accessed via Warrnambool Airport with a 4 seat light jet priced from $7,500*.
Much like the NSW snow fields, the Victorian snow fields should also see a bumper year with travellers staying local this snow season.
Our members prefer to stay at Zirkys Mount Hotham. A 4 seat light jet would be priced from $5,000* same-day return or stay as long as you like from $8,950*.
No cargo is more precious than your beloved furry cat or pooch.
Often we’re asked about the process of pets flying on private aircraft. Is it allowed? Does it cost extra? How does it work?
Today, we’ll answer all your questions.
Can I take my pet on a private jet?
In short, most of the time you can take your pet with you when flying private. It is, however, subject to the owner’s approval.
Some owners are more than happy to take pets while others will want to know the breed and additional information about the pet.
Does it cost extra?
Additional fees for cleaning may apply but comes down to the operator. Said fees will be set out clearly on your private jet quote.
How does it work?
You’ve probably realised that owners and operators vary their procedures. In saying that, you’ll generally arrive at the FBO (private jet lounge) with your pet in a secure portable carrier (cage).
Once onboard the aircraft, depending on the owner, you may be able to let your pet out of the portable carrier placing a blanket on your lap or on the floor/seat where he or she is sitting just incase of a midair toilet stop.
How do I book?
Airly is Australia’s fastest growing aviation company with 8,000 users, over 1,000 Lite members and over 200 SHARED program members.
Australia’s fastest growing aviation company, Airly, has announced plans to resume offering members seats on private flights to Byron Bay and Mt Hotham just in time for the July school holidays.
Airly members can opt into an existing flight or initiate a new one on a luxury private jet via the Airly app. The innovative on-demand service, which requires arrival only 15 minutes prior to departure, makes flying private convenient and affordable.
The cost of the seats on the member-only flights from Sydney and Melbourne are comparable to business class.
With the commercial airlines still only planning to be at 40 per cent pre-pandemic capacity by the end of July, and only 46 Sydney to Melbourne flights a week for the foreseeable future, interest in Airly has grown significantly since COVID-19. App-usage is up by 80% and membership has more than doubled since Airly’s popular Sydney / Melbourne flights resumed in May.
“Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a surge in business travellers using our service to get their businesses moving now that restrictions are easing. With limited local options from the commercial airlines, and no way to holiday overseas, we expect domestic travellers looking to make the most of the upcoming winter break will make up the next wave,” explained Luke Hampshire, Airly’s Co-founder.
“For holiday makers, Airly creates the opportunity to travel in style for very little additional cost compared to flying business class with the commercial airlines. The more members fly with Airly, the more flights become available. Our innovative membership-based approach creates a network effect,” added Luke.
As borders reopen more shared flight opportunities will be offered including the Gold Coast from both Sydney and Melbourne.
While the travel industry has taken a massive hit from the coronavirus pandemic, the number of people using Aussie private jet startup Airly has risen.
Airly, which launched in 2016, is an app-based service where members can book flights on a private jet – either by opting-in to an existing flight, or initiating a new one.
Co-founder Luke Hampshire told Business Insider Australia the service had been busy during the fourth quarter of 2019 until the bushfires hit and travel started declining. Then the coronavirus pandemic struck, initially causing a decline in usage.
But, in recent months, that has changed. Hampshire said usage on the app is up 80%, with the company doubling its membership numbers over the last three months.
Hampshire said flights over the past two weeks have been above average with June “looking very busy”.
“We’re in one of the best positions globally from the COVID perspective,” Hampshire said. “We’re very nimble. We’re able to move quickly, we see the demand, we see the interest [and] we can apply that model to what’s required. Whereas the airlines are slow-moving. They have a lot of assets, they have a lot of moving parts that take time to scale up.”
How Airly works
Hampshire describes Airly as a service that merges the perks of private travel with the predictability of commercial flights. “The big goal has always been how can we make private [flights] accessible and affordable to more sophisticated travellers,” he said.
Airly doesn’t require users to pay ongoing membership fees.
“We don’t want people paying for not using us,” Hampshire said. “So basically we can get members in now with no ongoing fees, let them check the app out, let them initiate a flight risk-free, get them on board and get them flying.” It was a decision the company made once the coronavirus pandemic set in, as a new way to provide value for its members.
Once you download the app and apply for membership, you get to either opt in for an existing flight or initiate a flight.
“What happens is that it sends out a notification to all the other members that the flight’s been initiated,” Hampshire explained. “The big difference for us is that you’re not paying for the whole jet, you’re just paying for what you need. And then we rely on other members to get on board, get involved and to book as well.”
Cost-wise, a flight from Melbourne to Sydney or Sydney to the Gold Coast flight costs $1295 a seat each way.
Most of Airly’s customers are business owners
Airly isn’t a scheduled operation. The company had considered it as a business model in the past but never went ahead with it.
“What we feel is the best option is to let our members decide when they need to go,” he said. “Ironically, they tend to be at similar times, which is helpful. It means you can get more than one group of members on a round trip.”
“Members who didn’t know each other prior to the flight actually become strong connections by the end of the flight,” Hampshire added.
Most of Airly’s current customer base are business owners. “Essential travel hasn’t stopped,” Hampshire said.
He explained that there was a period of time during the start of the pandemic when everyone was isolating – something Airly was advocating for as well. No one was flying through March and part of April before travellers started returning, especially business owners who have to travel to each of their business locations.
“It’s quite a contrast to everyone expecting work from home and Zoom to take over,” Hampshire said. “We’re still seeing those business owners needing to get from A to B.”
As a charter flight company, Airly is capable of doing global flights, including repatriation trips all the way from Europe. However, the company’s core focus is its shared flights – mainly from Sydney to Melbourne.
While Airly can provide charter flights for one-off destinations, its shared flights aim to capture the most popular routes. They do seasonal flights to destinations like Byron Bay and the Sunshine Coast, as well as options later in June for the snow season.
The company considers itself a supplementary service rather than a competitor to commercial airlines
Airly has coronavirus preventative measures in place
Airly uses the Embraer range of aircraft – a four-seat option called a Phenom 100 and the eight-seater Phenom 300. Hampshire said having these planes provides consistency for passengers because “we don’t want to be throwing 10 different aircraft at members.”
“They’re the perfect jet for us,” Hampshire said. “They’re capable of carrying a lot of luggage, they’re extremely economical, they’re the most carbon efficient jet available in Australia and it’s just a very comfortable ride for your one to two to three-hour flights.”
Hampshire also went through the measures Airly is taking to prevent coronavirus on flights.
Each passenger is required to provide a 14-day travel history before the flight. On the day of the flight, there are temperature checks at the door, and passengers are encouraged to use hand sanitiser. On shared flights, you’ll be required to use face masks, especially when there’s more than one group of members boarding.
While Airly had under 100 members for “a long period of time” through 2019, it now has more than 180 members. It wants to become the first point of call for people looking for a flight.
“The big goal now is to aggressively expand with our investors and keep increasing flights and as borders open we get Australia moving,” Hampshire said. “Right now it’s business travellers [and] we can’t wait until we can start moving leisure travellers around again.”