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By Laura Walkinshaw | March 11 2014
Private jet travel that costs the same as business class? The co-founders of Jet Partner, the first private jet empty leg specialist search platform, talk to Elite Traveler about how their service saves time and money.
Private jet travel. It’s wonderful, isn’t it? You turn up at the airport 15 minutes before your scheduled take-off, meet your pilots, enjoy caviar – or whatever else takes your fancy – while you’re in the air and before you know it, you’ve arrived on time and in style.
Now, thanks to private jet empty leg specialist Jet Partner, flying privately has just got a little easier – and cost-effective, with lower prices opening up the private jet market to even more users.
After creating what they call a ‘no brainer’, Jet Partner co-founders Anthony Rivolta and Patricio Zunino are aiming to revolutionize the lives of seasoned jet users with their online booking website, which allows customers to search for empty leg flights available with chartered companies all over the world on one platform – for the first time ever.
Despite there being more than 30% of around 135,000 private jet flights flying empty each month, and these empty legs being sold by various chartered companies at discounted prices, being able to find flights that suit your travel requirements easily has been a challenge – until now.
With Jet Partner’s innovative platform, customers can search for an available flight to thousands of destinations across the world and see a guide price of how much it will cost in just two clicks. Typically empty leg flights cost up to 50% less than a usual private jet flight.
The idea came about after years of Rivolta and Zunino, who have more than four decades of combined experience in the aviation industry, trying to find empty leg flights for their clients at discounted prices.
“We ourselves spent the last 15 years struggling to find those flights because our clients would come to us and say, ‘I’m coming back this week, can you find me an empty leg? Any chance of a special price?’,” says Rivolta. “They all want to save money and they all want to fly privately.”
Rivolta talks about how an empty leg flight he recently booked one of his clients on from Dussledorf to Palma Majorca ended up being 50% less than it would have been had the flight been booked through a chartered airline company.
“When I gave him the price, he wrote back saying ‘book it’,” he says. “It’s not rocket science because these guys know it’s a good deal.”
The ‘flexible dates’ feature on the website is key to customers getting a good deal, adds Rivolta. “It’s surprising how flexible [our customers] suddenly become when you tell them, Tuesday is £10,000 or I can do Wednesday morning for £5,000.
“People who make a lot of money don’t like to waste it, so they’re always looking for ways they can do things for less.”
Zunino adds: “Now they’re really interested because of the pricing. A typical corporation that is paying for five or six first class tickets can now take eight passengers for the same price or even less. When they see the price, they say, ‘ok, let me rearrange my schedule’.”
Another benefit of using the website is its ‘jet partnering’ feature, which will create a new discounted flight when two customers request mutually opposing empty legs.
“Let’s say London to Paris was a route you flew frequently and you had that as your preferred route,” explains Rivolta. “If someone goes on and selects Paris to London it will notify you, so it’s encouraging clients to put their empty legs on the system.”
When it comes to choosing the size of the jet and selecting on-board extras such as caviar and vintage champagne, the options are vast.
State-of-the-art models such as the Gulfstream G650, the Global 6000 and the Cessna Citation XL are just a few of the jets available when booking through JetPartner.net, while on-board customers can enjoy vintage champagne or anything else they like catering wise, and even request air hostesses.
“There is no one we’ve spoken to who has said this isn’t going to work because it’s so simple and so logical,” says Rivolta. “It’s literally a ‘no brainer’ for all involved. The owner gets more money, the operator looks good and they make more money, and the client saves a load of money too.”
To read about online writer Laura Walkinshaw’s private jet experience, click here.
Private jet travel to Reims, France, an on-board caviar tasting and a very exclusive champagne lunch at the Dom Pérignon house? Yes, it must have been my lucky day.
It all started at dedicated business aviation airport Farnborough, located near to the city of London, where I arrived at 9am. Soon after, I met the pilot and co-pilot of Cessna Citation XL jet, and by 9.15am me and my companions had boarded and were awaiting take-off.
The inside of the jet was very impressive; comfy seats, plenty of space, and by the time a selection of caviar from Novikov Restaurant had been brought out, I had almost forgotten I was in the air.
I was impressed by the quality of the two caviars I tasted on-board: Novikov Selected Caviar (125g, £400) and Hybrid Caviar (120g, £300). With its minimal salt content, the Selected Caviar had a light, creamy flavor, while the Hybrid Caviar differed with its rich and earthy tones. Both are available exclusively through the Novikov Restaurant.
Following a very smooth landing at Vatry Airport, near Chalons, an hour later, we continued our journey to the Dom Pérignon house, located in Reims, where we were met by Vincent Chaperon, winemaker at Dom Pérignon. Built in 1803, the house is so exclusive that it is invite-only.
In a beautiful dining room, my companions and I sat down to a three-course lunch prepared by two Michelin star chef Pascal Tingaud, Dom Pérignon’s chef de cuisine. Each course was paired a glass of Dom Pérignon champagne, chosen by Chaperon.
To start, we enjoyed Chef Tingaud’s delightful Saint-Jacques cresson et caviar – scallops in a watercress sauce and caviar from South-West France. Paired with a glass of Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 1996, the dish perfectly accompanies the fresh and vibrant champagne, which has hints of smokiness.
Next, we tucked into the Michelin star chef’s second course, the delicious Poularde demi-deuil et frites – truffled braised chicken served with chips, paired with Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 1990 en magnum. With a deeper flavor, this champagne is my favorite of all.
Our meal finishes with Soufflé fruit de la passion – passion fruit soufflé – enjoyed alongside a glass of Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 1976, which works faultlessly when paired with the acidity of the passion fruit.
The day ends with a tour of Dom Perignon’s impressive cellars before our flight to London beckons. I’m hoping I’ll be invited back soon.