Published on : Sunday, February 2, 2014
Making things even easier for regular fliers on Monday 3 February, the UK private aviation industry finally opens its doors to the public, who will then be able to search, track and directly reserve private jet travel via an online consolidation site, Returnjet.
Over two thirds of the UK’s private jet fleet have registered to the world’s first ever system enabling end users to connect and book directly with the plane operators.
Operators expect the system to lower the cost of private jet travel by broadening their customer base, maximizing positioning opportunities and empty legs (where private jets fly empty en route to pick ups).
The launch follows a 18 month development by Returnjet Limited in consultation with BBGA members (British Business and General Aviation Association – the official body for UK operators).
It has been designed to ‘lift the lid’ off an industry sometimes perceived as serving just the super rich, by consolidating route movements and availability into one easy search, guaranteeing the public best prices without brokerage.
Peter Turner, Chairman of operator, Executive Aviation Services, reflects the industry’s support: “Returnjet are putting customer service into the hands of the people best placed to do it – the operator of the aircraft.”
The move is also welcomed by private airport operators. Robert Walters, Director, London Biggin Hill, explains: “The Returnjet model will help entice new users who have not yet experienced the time saving and business benefits of a business jet, and specialist Business Aviation airports such as Biggin Hill support that role as their primary function.
“By coupling customer travel needs directly with actual jet flight patterns, users will be able to utilise business jets in an efficient way that compliments the existing formats within the industry.”
Returnjet is essentially a ‘dating site.’ Its complexity is in its ability to interpret operators’ live data feeds to match operator’s real time and future jet positions and availability, thereby enabling it to effectively ‘hail a jet’ to suit the customer’s travel requirements via one easy to use search engine. It then simply pushes the customer enquiry to the operator of the appropriate jet to book directly. To date, there is no such facility of its kind worldwide. Search results yield:
· Estimated prices (to +/- 10%) of jets best positioned and sized for search criteria
· Empty Legs (often bargains, where a jet is relocating or returning empty)
· Flexi Legs (the system identifies opportunities to incorporate empty flights wherever possible to meet customer requirements)
· Shred Legs (where a jet can be relisted with spare capacity for possible sharing)