Skyjet Offers Tips for Planning 2005 Leisure Travel
Bombardier Skyjet, the premier service for booking private business jets and a unit of Bombardier Aerospace, reported that the 2004 holiday season reached a seven-year high both in the volume of trips and revenue.
Bombardier Skyjet, which pioneered the mega-broker segment of the business aviation industry in 1997 and launched the first real-time booking engine for private business jets, continued to experience significant growth in volume and market share in 2004, capped by a holiday travel season from Thanksgiving through New Year’s that outpaced the previous year by 42 percent in trip volume and double the revenue.
According to Bombardier Skyjet General Manager Alexandre Monnier, the continued tremendous success of the company’s jet card, offering blocks of 25, 50 or 100 flight hours, contributed to its overall performance during the holiday season, but he pointed out that on-demand charter business jet trips also were strong during the period as well.
“The continued boom in private jet travel through the holiday season didn’t come at the expense of the commercial airline industry,” said Mr. Monnier, noting that airline holiday traffic finally returned to pre-September 11 levels in 2004. “More consumers made the decision to fly during the 2004 holiday season, both privately and commercially,” said Mr. Monnier. “The difference is that increased airline traffic translates to headaches for consumers – crowded airports, packed flights and in some cases missed connections and cancelled flights,” he said. “In contrast, private jet travel even during peak periods remains a pleasant and convenient experience for travelers.”
Mr. Monnier said during Thanksgiving, the entire North American private jet fleet is almost fully utilized, and the fleet is heavily booked during the period from Christmas through New Year’s Day. As the fleet continues to expand, new private jet customers are taking up that additional capacity, which is yet another indication that growth in private jet travel is going to continue at a strong pace.
ips for Booking Private Jet Leisure Trips in 2005
Given that demand for weekend leisure trips is expected to be strong in 2005, Mr. Monnier advises consumers to book with as much advance notice as possible.
“Private jet travelers who are accustomed to being able to get a jet at the last minute may find availability will be a little tighter this year, especially during three-day weekends,” he said. “Because Bombardier Skyjet uses a carefully screened network of quality operators, we don’t fly customers on inferior aircraft or with unproven operators. Consumers should book with sufficient time to make sure they will enjoy a quality travel experience.”
Destinations that are particularly popular include the major U.S. ski destinations, South Florida and the Caribbean. Some of the trends Skyjet has seen include an increase in trips to Nassau and Paradise Island in the Bahamas, and ski trips to Jackson Hole, Wyo., and the Montana ski areas, in addition to the traditional Colorado favorites, Aspen and Vail. But wherever the destination, the message to private jet travelers is to book early, according to Mr. Monnier.
Additional leisure travel tips from the pros at Bombardier Skyjet include the following:
Baggage – First-time charter customers are often surprised to find that baggage space is limited on light jets, and ski trips and golf trips present a particular challenge. Depending on the size of jet and number of people traveling, consumers may find it necessary to ship equipment ahead of time.
Weather – As with any travel to northern destinations in winter months, ski area travel presents special challenges, not the least of which is the possibility of poor weather conditions. Just as weather affects commercial airline travel, it can interfere with private jet travel. Travelers should be prepared to be flexible if weather interferes with their plans.
Night travel – Airfields that serve ski areas, located in mountainous terrain, often have specific conditions that apply. Some airports allow night landings but not night takeoffs. Some do not allow any night operations (after sunset) at all, so your travel schedule has to be planned accordingly.
Island hopping – Many travelers assume they can fly from island to island on a privately chartered business jet, but many islands do not have sufficient runway lengths to accommodate jet landings. An experienced company can assist you in planning your travel. Also, remember that some islands are international destinations whereas others are U.S. territories. International flights, as with commercial airline travel, require clearing customs and filing advance paperwork.
Landing slots – Some popular ski area airports, along with metro airport locations for special events such as the Super Bowl, require a pre-arranged time slot for private jet trips. This means travelers have less flexibility than they normally would as their jet must make its time slot within a few minutes. When landing slots apply, private jet travelers need to make sure they depart on schedule.
About Bombardier Skyjet
Founded in 1997 and acquired by Bombardier Aerospace in 2000, Bombardier Skyjet offers the Skyjet Card for frequent private jet travelers. The Skyjet Card offers customers a choice of 25, 50 or 100 flight hours in a preferred size of aircraft, and guaranteed availability with a 12-hour advanced reservation. By charging a simple hourly rate for each hour flown, the Skyjet Card eliminates the deadhead costs associated with one-way jet travel and takes the confusion out of charter jet pricing. Bombardier Skyjet is the only jet card provider offering the option of earning credit toward whole or fractional aircraft ownership. In addition, the Learjet Card and the Challenger Card offer customers the opportunity to specify the Bombardier Learjet 31/31A, Bombardier Learjet 60 or Bombardier Challenger 604 as their aircraft of choice. Bombardier Skyjet also offers on-demand charter business jets through its quality network of operators. For more information or to book a trip, customers can call 1-888-2-SKYJET or visit www.skyjet.com.
A world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from regional aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, Bombardier Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2004 were $15.5 billion US and its shares are traded on the Toronto and Frankfurt stock exchanges (BBD and BBDd.F). News and information are available at www.bombardier.com.
Bombardier Skyjet, Learjet and Challenger are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.