The future: VTOL, vertical take-off and landing aircraft

Date: 22 Jun 2016


Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly, talks about the trends in the aircraft industry that will soon see VTOL aircrafts capable of taking off and landing with no runway needed, opening up new routes and reducing travel times.

Why is chartering becoming increasingly popular?

Although owning an aircraft gives you freedom and flexibility, financially it’s rarely worth considering for someone who flies less than 100 hours per year. There are over 7,000 aircraft available for charter worldwide, including large luxury jets.

Tell us about all-you-can-fly private jet service for a fixed monthly fee.

These business models fulfil a different, and more limited, need. For customers who fly on the same route each time, they can be an attractive alternative to an airline ticket. But if your meeting overruns, the aircraft won’t wait for you and, of course, you will be sharing the cabin with other travellers, which many people don’t like. Most customers choose private aviation because it has the flexibility of having their own itinerary, using smaller airports and taking multi-leg flights in a day.

How much money do clients spend on jets?

The purchase price of an aircraft goes from $400K for a small second-hand jet with several thousand miles on the clock to $65m for a new Gulfstream G650, to $100M+ for a large, customised VIP airliner conversion, such as a Boeing Business Jet. Then there’s annual maintenance, crew, management, insurance and other running costs. In comparison, chartering prices range from ¬£3,800 a day to charter a small jet from London to Paris and back to ¬£200-¬£300K+ for a long range flight such as London to Las Vegas, in a large, luxury VIP aircraft.

What features do jets have?

The largest VIP airliners have customisable interior options, with several separate rooms or zones in the cabin. These are like a five-star hotel suite in the sky with interior features such as luxury bathrooms with showers, master bedroom suites, a boardroom and a dining room.
Small and medium sized jets have very comfortable cabins, with ergonomic seats that recline with some into flat beds. All will have the latest in communications and entertainment technology. On most medium jets upwards, there is a galley and bar area for cabin crew to prepare food and drinks.

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