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Private Air Travel: A Guide

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From air travel oyster cards to chartering your own

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Meet the people who can get you home in a hurry, says Caroline Phillips. Read on for the lowdown on private air travel.

Private Air Travel: The Services To Know

GULFSTREAM, GET ME HOME

Want to be able to get home when the government suddenly does a U-turn on travel advice? Simon Burrows is the man whose name is spoken of in hallowed tones by the jetocracy (the private jet-buying UHNWI’s). You can spend $10 million for a 12-seater or $75 million (everyone always quotes in dollars when selling jets) for the flagship Gulfstream G700 or a Bombardier Global 7500. Yes, it’ll have beds, showers, two bathrooms, a lounge area and Michelin-star catering aboard. Plus acres of leg room —these days 14-seaters are flying with just four or six socially-distanced passengers. But it’ll also have that all-important Hepa Air Filter belting out peppermint-clean fresh air, and a Covid-no-go pristinely sterilised environment. And, amazingly, it’ll take you London to Australia without stopping to fuel. Oh, and there’s no queueing, you’ll get pre-approved passport clearance and your car will purr up to drop you at the steps of your plane. You can also get customs clearance aboard, and have the latest WiFi capacity for your Zoom and Teams calls and to follow the markets or changes in quarantine rules. Busy public airports, someone’s knees in your back, and McDonald’s will be a thing of the past. burrowsaerospace.com

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PUT IT ON A CARD

If you don’t want to splash out on a jet and you’re after a sort of Oyster Card for the air, you can get a PrivateFly Jet Card membership from Private Jet. You pay a fixed €5,900 an hour for the Light Jet card through to €11,700 for the Heavy Jet card, with a minimum 25-hour commitment. Just wave your card for 24-hour access to their family fleet and other premium aircraft operator suppliers. Perfect for frequent flyers. privatefly.com

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CHECK OUT A CHARTER

If you feel antsy about buying without trying, go to the charter market first to see what you like. Or if one-off treats are more your thing, (and why not, with Christmas looming?) check out aircraft charter broker, Air Charter Service. Don’t know where to go in these uncertain times? Stick a pin in a map or, better, sign up for their daily email that guides you on the latest global travel restrictions. Right now, they’ll book you a private aircraft for your weekend in Nice. Or anyone for essential travel to Amsterdam and back to London for just £4,500-£5,500 for a four-seater very light jet? Who needs to be dealing with commercial flights being cancelled with an offer like that, eh? aircharterservice.com

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