In the past you would have been correct in assuming that hiring a private aircraft was beyond the means of most people but over the past couple of years the market has changed significantly and these changes have meant that more and more people can and should consider it as an alternative to travelling on commercial planes.
Why is it getting cheaper?
The market changed in 2017 when EASA (The European Aviation Safety Agency) approved the use single engine turbo prop planes. These aircraft are smaller and more agile and as a result they can operate from much smaller, regional and even local airfields. But why does this make a difference I hear you ask? Well not only are the landing fees at these airfields much less than their larger counterparts but often the cost of refuelling the aircraft is cheaper as well.
And the convenience!
As well as being more cost effective, the ability of single engine turbo prop aircraft to utilise these air fields makes private hiring even more convenient because a large number of very local airstrips, that are closer both to your home and your ultimate destination, come into play. Imagine less time travelling to and from the airport at both ends of your journey!
Dry hiring your aircraft can also cut the cost dramatically
Dry hiring an aircraft means that it will be provided by the owner without any fuel or indeed crew and as a result you the customer has to arrange and pay for both of these during the period of hire. You will have full operational control of the aircraft affording you full control over the way the flight is conducted. This provides you with a huge amount of flexibility and control so you never have to worry about missing your flights should your plans change for whatever reason.
But is dry hiring risky?
Just because the owner of the plane isn’t required to provide fuel and crew does not mean that this form of hire is unsafe in any way. The aircraft still has to be totally air worthy, properly maintained and adequately insured. But dry hiring does mean that the owner of the aircraft does not have to hold an Air Operators Certificate under which the Civil Aviation Authority allows the aircraft to be used for commercial purposes. This is a further considerable cost saving for the owner and, thus by extension, the hirer!
Fuel economies are also possible!
Because you are in total control of the flight, dry hiring also allows you, in conjunction with your pilot, to manage your fuel usage more economically. As a team you can manage the speed and altitude at which you are flying and also the mixture of the fuel which can increase the revolutions per minute of the propeller, thus gaining more mileage.
So there is an alternative to commercial flying!
So it would seem that if you are looking for a cost effective way to take a business trip or perhaps a holiday with the family, dry hiring and single engine turbo prop plane is definitely the way forward.
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.