Be part of the growing trend in private-hiring of aircaft. The private hiring of an aircraft would have long been considered the domain of the super-rich but that is no longer the case. More and more ‘ordinary’ people are seeing the sense and affordability of this option as it becomes much more accessible.
Time is of the essence!
Over the past 20 years or so security issues at airports, and indeed the increasing number of passengers, has meant that the whole experience has become extremely slow and aggravating. In many cases now you are asked to arrive at the airport up to three hours in advance which means that even a short haul flight to Europe can take the best part of a day. You could even be forgiven for thinking that this is just for economy flights. The truth, however, is that even when flying business or first class there is no differentiation when it comes to the security queues!
Private aircraft hire is a real alternative
Now, however, there is an affordable alternative open to many more people, the private hiring of aircraft. More often than not flying in this way means using smaller regional airports which are much less crowded and as such you can pretty much drive onto the tarmac and be in the air in ten minutes. Not only does that give the traveller much greater flexibility but if we start to put a price on our time it starts to look much more affordable.
Dry hiring the plane makes it even more economical
The term dry hiring strictly means that the plane will be provided without any crew or fuel and the customer has the responsibility of arranging all of this during the period of the hire. Hiring an aircraft in this way is just as safe but it is definitely cheaper because no Air Operators Certificate is required. When the hirer is responsible for the fuel it also encourages him or her, and indeed ‘their pilot’, to use fuel much more judiciously. They may decide to use very small airfields where the cost of fuel is lower in contrast to a wet hire where the pilot will make the refuelling decision based on convenience rather than cost!
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has made private aircraft hire even more accessible
In 2017 the EASA approved the use of single engine turboprop planes in all of its member states. These aircraft are much more agile and smaller and thus require a much shorter runway. What this has meant is that suddenly many hundreds of very small local airfields, that up to now have been underused and struggling, are now very much more accessible and in demand. This in turn has made the time efficiency of private hiring so much the greater – the more local the airfield the less time the passenger has to spend getting to it and indeed the closer to the actual destination they can land!
Add to this the fact that the landing fees for an aircraft at these small airfields (and when it comes to it the parking charges as well) are so much lower and possibly even the fuel costs and one has to ask why more people are not turning to private dry hiring of an aircraft as a very viable alternative to conventional air travel!
I graduated from the University of Warwick with a BSc Hons in Mathematics & Statistics. Since leaving university I have become Founder and Director of FlexiFly.co.uk.
While studying I played an active role in the family nursing home business, The Graham Care Group, and have continued as a Graduate Trainee alongside my work with FlexiFly, being involved with all areas of the business.
For some years I have been actively involved in international motorsport and achieved numerous awards as co-driver to a European Rally Champion (my dad!). It was these experiences of weekends in Europe that partly inspired us about how we could make air travel more flexible and convenient. The calibre of competitors we met on events have given us insight into the potential our alternative to traditional aircraft charter has.