Elite Traveler – ET Insider – January 23, 2007
ET Insider – January 23, 2007
Elite Traveler Insider –
January 23, 2007
Elite Traveler Insider
By Douglas D. Gollan, President and Editor-in-Chief, Elite Traveler Magazine
“We have many elite clients. We distribute Hamptons, Yachts and a few others. Everyone goes straight for Elite Traveler magazine. It’s that popular” Lauren Denicolis — Long Island Jet Center, Long Island, NY
1. First Very Light Jet Delivered as Private Jet Industry Booms…
Bring together the world’s richest man — Bill Gates — and the savviest airline chief of the past 30 years, and you have an interesting business combination. In this combination, it is the private jet industry where the Microsoft Chairman has been a key backer of Eclipse Aviation, a pioneer in very light jets. Robert Crandall served for nearly two decades as Chairman and CEO of American Airlines. Under Crandall, American invented the frequent flyer program, super saver advance purchase fares, the two-tier labor structure that helped fuel American’s rapid expansion, and many other innovations that became the business foundations of post-deregulation commercial aviation. He is now the chairman of Pogo, a company that plans to use a fleet of VLJs to create an air-taxi service that will likely siphon off more frustrated commercial airline travelers to the ease of private jet travel. According to Brazilian manufacturer Embraer, which is launching its own VLJ, over 11,000 of these planes will be delivered in the next decade!
Well, January 4th marked the Independence Day for even more commercial airlines passengers as Jet-Alliance, a shared ownership company in Westlake Village, California, received delivery of the first Eclipse 500 very light jet (VLJ) in a ceremony held at the Eclipse Aviation Headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“This is a momentous event in aviation history,” says Randall Sanada, Chairman of Jet-Alliance. “It also means that, for business or pleasure, our clients have twenty-four hour access to our jets, 365 days a year, and will not have to wait in long airport lines. They can simply board one of the Jet-Alliance jets waiting for them and take off, without the hassles of commercial flights.”
Eclipse Aviation designed the six-seat Eclipse 500 to fly at speeds of 400+ mph to more than 10,000 U.S. airports, saving time and substituting the need for busy executives to fly commercially. Range depends on weight, including passengers and baggage but with a full payload, the aircraft is designed optimally for flights of under 1,000 miles.
These flights also tend to be the worst time/value ratio for commercial flyers who have to arrive at airports one or more hours in advance and have to wait 30 minutes or more for baggage at the other end.
“All of our people, including Shaquille O’Neal, Bo Derek, Maria Shriver and Reba McIntire love the book. We put them on all of the private jets. Great book!” Tammye Johnson — FBO AvCenter, Louisville, KY
2. Large Companies Forecast 70% Increase in Private Jet Use…
If high fare business travel is the bread and butter of commercial airlines, those carriers who are skimping on service should take note: The National Business Travel Association (NBTA), which represents Fortune 500 and other large multinational companies, says private jet travel by their member companies will increase substantially.
Fifty-six percent of travel managers said that use of private jets for their executives would increase compared to 33 percent in 2004 and 27 percent in 2002.
At the same time, for those who aren’t flying on the corporate jet, a new tracking system aims to put a stop to the unwieldy behavior of business travelers who breach corporate travel policy.
The Employee Travel Monitoring System (ETMS), launched at the end of last year, claims to catch those who break policy, according to a report in the UK’s Telegraph newspaper.
One traveler in ten is guilty of booking trips outside mandated channels and using airlines and hotels of their own choice, according to a survey by the institute.
The system is advertised as a tool to dictate travel policy to employees. As soon as a journey is booked through a corporate travel agent, ETMS automatically e-mails the traveler a copy of the company’s travel policy.
“If a member of staff then chooses to make travel arrangements outside this policy and something happens to that person, the company can show they complied with their duty of care obligations,” said Matthew Judge, technical director, the Anvil Group. The question of duty of care is currently a grey and thorny area for businesses.
Of course, Elite Traveler will be with those lucky top executives who fly privately via our BPA audited distribution to private jets worldwide in over 90 countries!
“Women have complimented the jewelry. The following companies keep Elite Traveler in their aircrafts — Net Jets, Charter Communications, Lockheed Martin, US Dept. of Treasury.” Anah Joffroy — Signature Flight Support, Englewood, CO
3. Hola, Private Jet Travelers Love Mexico…
Bombardier Flexjet reports nearly 20 percent of its fractional share owners use their jets to fly to and from Mexico, with the numbers growing by double digits annually since 2003. In Mexico, the favorite destinations according to Bombardier are Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta for leisure and Mexico City for business.
“I’ve had to increase my copies because the magazine goes so fast. I try to keep one for myself when I can. The pictures inside are so breath-taking.”
Donna Reed ÿ YYJ-FBO Services, Canada
When the Fur Flies, Some Lucky Dogs…
A recent piece in The New York Times by Joe Sharkey noted that the sharp growth in travel by private jet has enabled many well-off people to take along the family pet without a second thought.
It relayed the story of Beth Shak and her husband who for four years have had a share in a private jet through NetJets, the largest fractional-share operator. If she were to fly commercially, “I don’t know what I would do, because my little teacup Yorkie runs around the plane,” she said. On the private jet, “they have dog treats and a pet-friendly stewardess,” Ms. Shak said, adding that she favors pet-friendly five-star hotels like the Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons.
“One of my best friends flew commercially from Newark to Las Vegas in first class, and it was a nightmare,” she said. “They confiscated the food at security, and the dog was whimpering unmercifully in the little cage and they scolded her for that.”
Flying pets commercially has become so common that NetJets started a program, PennVet, with the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine to provide 24-hour telephone consultations and referrals.
Of course, flying pets don’t always ride with their owners. An official from Jet Aviation recently told us of a jet owner who flew his dog solo from the U.S. to Europe to reunite with the family!
“Fascinating, they always want to buy something they see. The products offered and destinations are just what my customers are looking for!” Mary Bullock Bagosy — Galaxy Aviation, Orlando, FL
5. Two Million Dollars. In London, Stand in Line – The Back…
The separation of the merely well off and the super rich continues with real estate in London, as yet another example shows how being a middle class millionaire doesn’t mean that much any more.
According to The Times of London, homeowners and those struggling to get on the housing ladder are finding that in London a new gulf is opening between themselves and the super-rich, as exclusive neighborhoods such as Belgravia, Mayfair and Chelsea become increasingly detached from the rest of the market.
New research by estate agency Knight Frank shows that house prices are shooting up most quickly in areas that are already the most expensive in Britain, thanks largely to an influx of foreign buyers. In Belgravia, where prices of flats can exceed $6,000 per square foot, prices rose by a staggering 34.5% last year, while in Chelsea they shot up by 33.8%. Compare those figures with not-so-chic West Kensington and Bloomsbury, where prices rose by 18.4% and 17.2% respectively.
“A clear relationship between price and performance has emerged: the more expensive the property, the larger the demand and supply imbalance and consequently the higher the rate of price growth,” says Liam Bailey, Knight Frank’s head of residential research.
Bailey says that the normal ripple effect, whereby strong demand spills over to adjacent areas, does not apply in central London’s “super-prime market” ($ 8 million plus properties). “Buyers in the super-prime market will not compromise by looking at a neighboring location — they will simply add another $2 million to their bid,” he says.
“If you are a successful UK resident with a couple of million to spend, you might be considered wealthy in Surrey or even Wimbledon. But in Belgravia and, increasingly, Chelsea, forget it. You are competing with the über-wealthy, who will pay anything to stay in the best addresses.”
So who are these ultra-rich buyers? Wealthy foreign purchasers were responsible for 60% of all super-prime London sales last year. Most came from Europe (especially Russia, Italy and France), America and the Middle East, attracted by London’s status as a global financial center, its comparatively benign tax regime, world-class leisure and retail facilities, high-quality residential provision and the draw of a British education. Demand from UK buyers is driven primarily by the City’s bonuses.
“There is now a tier of truly exceptional properties that is attracting the unfettered global super-buyer,” says Peter Young, director of the John D Wood & Co estate agency.
Projects currently under construction in super-prime areas include One Hyde Park (which will have services from the adjacent Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park) and Montrose Place, while Grosvenor Crescent, the Lots Road power station and Chelsea Barracks represent some of the main development opportunities. The prerequisites for a super-prime home usually include 3,500sq ft — 8,000sq ft of living space, striking views and a location within half a mile of Sloane Street’s designer shops.
“I’ve seen a lot of people reading Elite Traveler; they love the magazine they can’t believe our FBO gives it away for free” Carol Hammonds — Hammonds Air Service, Houma, LA
6. In the Valley of the Sun, Private Jets Takeoff…
As commercial airline flyers line up at the snaking security lines at Phoenix Sky Harbour Airport, a few miles away at Scottsdale Airport the private jets are lining up and the line is growing longer.
Scottsdale Air Center General Manager Tommy Walker said his company normally sees about a 30- to 40-percent jump beginning with for the Barret-Jackson car auction.
In fact, so many jets arrive that the airport closes certain taxi lanes and converts them to overflow jet parking areas.
“We call that our Barrett-Jackson weekend plan,” Scottsdale Airport Assistant Director Chris Read said.
And winter jet traffic here is nearly double what it is in the summer. In January 2006, Scottsdale Airport had 4,630 jet takeoffs and landings (about 150 per day), compared with 2,368 in July (70 per day). Total private jet flights rose by 4,300 movements in the past year and Reid said that there are lots of new faces as more people have begun to use private jets because of the hassle of commercial travel.
Of course private jet passengers will find Elite Traveler on all their flights out of Scottsdale.