The summer is almost over, but there is still time for a last-minute break before the kids go back to school. If you are thinking about a short haul destination, why not think about dry hiring a private aircraft for this trip?
But surely only the very rich can afford to hire a private plane?
This is a popular misconception amongst travellers but in truth they are not always comparing like for like. Whilst on the surface travelling by a commercial airline might seem cheaper, when you add on all the hidden charges (like food on board, baggage charges and car parking), the differential starts to decline sharply! And this is before you take into account the time saving from not having to arrive hours in advance to face the queues at check in and security. Imagine being able to pretty much drive your car up to the plane and hop on? It starts to sound very appealing doesn’t it?
Parents with families suffer the most!
Any parent will tell you that travelling on a commercial flight with small or young children is the stuff of nightmares! The children become bored and fractious in the face of several hours of queueing and waiting for a flight that, at this time of year, may indeed be delayed. With a private hire there is very little waiting time at the airport and the flight is pretty much guaranteed to take off on time!
Transfers are also an issue
But, I hear you say, there are still the endless transfers from home to the airport and of course at your destination also. Again this is becoming less of a factor as other relatively recent changes in the law allow the use of single engine, turbo prop planes to be used. Unlike a jet, turbo prop aircraft can take off from much shorter runways and therefore smaller, more local airfields can be brought into play which may be significantly closer to your home and indeed your ultimate destination.
Dry hiring your aircraft can bring the costs down even more!
Another way of bringing the costs down even more is to ‘dry hire’ your turbo prop aircraft. In doing so you are taking responsibility for hiring a qualified pilot and also for the fuel for your journey! This may seem on the face of it to be a riskier way of doing things but nothing could be further from the truth. By dry hiring you are removing the need for an Air Operators Certificate which significantly cuts the costs. At the same time, having your own pilot, puts you in control of the speed the aircraft is flown at and where refuelling stops are made. This can save you even more money!
Private aircraft hire is coming of age!
The option of hiring a private plane is becoming ever more accessible to many more travellers as the pricing differential narrows. The time and hassle saving, as well as greater convenience, only serve to compound its attractiveness. There is still time this summer – why not give it a try?
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.