PRIVATEFLY CHARTS ITS MOST MEMORABLE FLIGHTS OF THE DECADE
As the private jet booking platform turns 10 this month, the company lifts the lid on its 10 most unforgettable (and surprising) journeys so far
Whilst flying by private jet is no longer just the domain of the rich and famous, there is no doubt it still creates an element of mystery and intrigue. PrivateFly, which this month celebrates its first decade, has revealed its 10 most memorable flights, since it launched in 2008.
Adam Twidell CEO and co-founder comments: “In private aviation every flight is different, and there’s a story behind each one – showing where and why people fly. We’ve enjoyed picking out some of the unforgettable flights over the past ten years, to give a fascinating (and often surprising) insight into private jet travel today.”
1) TAKING OFF WITH OUR FIRST FLIGHT
Months of hard work went into developing PrivateFly’s technology and operator supply chain. In 2008, they flew an energy research team from Edinburgh to Greenland, marking the first of many surprising journeys.
2) THE BIGGEST FLIGHT (VIA APP)
In 2013, using the PrivateFly iPhone app (launched in 2010 - the first app to offer Jet pricing and booking), a Saudi Arabian family office booked a multi-leg trip to Europe. With such demanding requirements, the best aircraft for the job was the Boeing Business Jet. The aircraft, a VIP conversion of a 737 airliner, is capable of nonstop flights of over 6,000 nautical miles. Fitted with an office, boardroom, lounge, master bedroom, and two bathrooms it allowed the clients to travel a great distance in ultimate space and luxury.
3) THE SURPRISE WEDDING FLIGHT
An unexpected surprise for a newlywed couple in the form of a post-wedding private jet flight from Stockholm to London was arranged in 2015. After working with a wedding supplier the jet was decorated with a ‘Just Married’ sign, as well as balloons and ribbons to mark the occasion. With champagne waiting onboard, the happy couple flew off on their honeymoon in ultimate style.
4) THE FILM CREW FLIGHT
A major broadcast team covering the solar eclipse to the Faroe Islands in the Arctic Circle needed a plane that would enable them to travel to this remote spot. The total eclipse was only visible on a narrow path across the Northern Atlantic. With commercial airline flights requiring two stops outbound, and needing almost 14 hours for the return journey – at a cost of around £1,300 per person, another solution was needed. By privately chartering an aircraft, they were able to fly direct from Manchester to Vagar, taking only two hours each way...at a price similar to the cost of airline tickets!
5) THE BITCOIN BOOKING
From Brussels to Nice - an ordinary sounding route, but with one important difference: In January 2014 it was the world’s first private flight to be paid for in bitcoin. After careful research PrivateFly added bitcoin to their payment options to make it easier and more efficient for customers on challenging timescales to get to where they needed.
6) THE ASH CLOUD EVACUATION
In April 2010 the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano left thousands of airline passengers stranded. Safety was the no.1 priority, but piston propellor aircraft were still able to fly (due to their air filters) from small airfields, when bigger airports were closed. The small, newly-formed, PrivateFly was inundated with flight requests. They met this challenge head-on, including rescuing a customer stuck in London, who’d travelled just for the day on business. In a PA31 Piper Chieftain aircraft from Lydd airfield in Kent, to Dublin Western airport (home of the Irish Air Force) she arrived safely at home in Dublin to take care of her very young baby.
7) THE 10 PETS ON ONE JET
Flying with pets is a normal request for a private aviation company. But it’s another matter to arrange a journey with two dogs, two cats, and six pet birds (four pigeons, a cockatiel and a finch) on board...oh and their owners! In 2017 the flight took off to relocate 10 animals and their owners to a new life in Alicante, Spain.
8) THE COLOUR-COORDINATED PRODUCT LAUNCH
When a major brand wants to make a statement, the customisation of a private jet can make all the difference. In March 2018, "millennial grey" took off in big way: A Gulfstream GIV completely outfitted in grey, from its leather seats to the pilot and crew uniforms, made one international sportswear brand's product launch unforgettable. PrivateFly was able to coordinate the perfect aircraft with film crews and executives to take this product launch to the next level.
9) THE FRESCA-ONLY FLIGHT
In 2012, one customer was desperate to have Fresca (a soft drink only available in the US) on board his flight from London to Geneva. With such short notice, an airline pilot friend was enlisted to help bring back the desired drink on his imminent flight from New York. Personally collected from the London airport, a case of Fresca travelled in style with a last minute taxi dash to a different airport before the client took off. Time was tight, but pilot friends in high places can make anything happen!
10) THE TIME-PRESSED TAKE-OFF
Short-notice ‘go-now’ flights are an everyday occurrence for PrivateFly, but in 2017 they were tested to break their all-time speed record. A client wanted to return to his home city of Dublin from Nice Cote d’Azur, after securing last minute tickets to an event. Requesting the flight at 14.18 hrs (GMT), and wanting to land before 17.00 hrs he was testing the limits of what was possible. But by identifying a suitable aircraft already in position, they had the client take off at 14.47, and land at 16.10 - earlier than expected!