Private-jet travel is booming right now, in the time of COVID, when privacy is the new luxury.
It comes as no surprise that right now during COVID-19, that people want to social-distance more and more. And so, it means that travelers are seeking privacy as the new luxury. One of the best ways to get it? Forgetting about going commercial and flying in a private jet instead.
“During COVID, there were 1.4 Million new private jet flyers, globally, in the industry,” says RJ LaSasso, the founder and CEO of Jet The World, a boutique private-aviation company. He told me, “Travelers got fed up with commercial flights and cancellations, so they switched to private aircraft. And once you taste flying private, you don’t stop,” he told me. “You can drive your car to the tarmac, get on the plane, wheels up and you’re gone. Private-jet travel is booming right now.”
“Last night, a hip-hop artist needed an aircraft in 35 minutes to get him from Atlanta to New York, and I’m guessing it was for a performance. We got the job done.”
This February, in time with Valentine’s Day last week, Jet The World also saw “a huge uptick in private-jet travel,” he added. “People have gotten their vaccinations, and they’re letting their guard down and traveling to see loved ones. Now the market is on fire.”
RJ LaSasso, founder of Jet The World, has witnessed a huge uptick in private-jet travel during … [+]
Mr. LaSasso knows what he is talking about. He founded Jet The World in 2009, and it’s a family-run business dedicated to luxury, privacy and personal service.
According to Mr. LaSasso, his Jet The World private-jet aviation fees cost 20% less than the competition. “We work on smaller margins,” he told me. “With us there are no hidden costs — a fuel surcharge or late fee or landing fee — and everything is included. You know exactly what you are paying for.”
For example, for a trip from New York City to Miami, whereas the competition might charge you $15,000 each way, Jet The World keeps the tally at about $10,000 or $11,000. “Everything is included,” he added, noting that Jet The World’s brokers answer the phone 24/7.
How does it work? You can do on-demand charter or you can opt for a Jet Card Membership (with no annual membership fee) when you buy a block of hours. It’s about $150,000 to start and it includes 25 hours from wheels up to wheels down. This membership is good for light jets such as a Hawker 400XP or a Lear 35, to name a few. Mr. LaSasso said this type of membership is a smart selection for families of six to eight passengers, who may wish to travel from New York to Miami, for instance.
Also offered for example is a mid-sized jet membership – for, say, a Hawker 800XP, or a Citation Excel. This mid-sized membership starts at $189,000 for 25 hours from wheels up to wheels down. “Our specialty is the super mid-size is $200,000 – a Citation10 or Challenger350. Heavy aircraft is about $280,000 and those include Gulfstream 450, Challenger 604. We also have an ultra-long-range program for the really rich, that includes Global6000, a Gulfstream 650 or Falcon 7X. It starts at $380,000 for 25 hours.”
He noted to me that private-jet aviation is especially useful for medical transports, casket transports, sports travel and family travel. “It’s a no-brainer if you have the funds to do it.”
“We represent the buyer or seller in the transaction end, if you want to purchase a plane, to get the best rate when you sell it, or buy it and get the most for your money. We can provide the pilots, anything associated with aircraft ownership and a way to offset the costs by putting the aircraft through a charter so other people can use their aircraft.”
Indeed, Mr. La Sasso started his company after he was traveling through Italy and broke his leg. Unable to pay for a private-jet, he had to endure hours of agony on a commercial flight – and he was determined to find a better way.
He added that 95% of Jet The World’s planes are pet-friendly – yes, even for the Rapper who came aboard with his own monkey dressed in a tuxedo.
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Debbi K. Kickham is former Editor of Robb Report Magazine – “The Millionaire’s Magazine” – and has covered the luxury marketplace extensively, writing about everything
Debbi K. Kickham is former Editor of Robb Report Magazine – “The Millionaire’s Magazine” – and has covered the luxury marketplace extensively, writing about everything from Asprey to Zegna. In addition, she has been a professional luxury travel journalist for the past 25 years, criss-crossing the globe everywhere from Boston to Bora Bora. Debbi covers the hotel and hospitality industry, luxury cruising, spas, style, beauty and wellness, airlines, travel tips, and much more, and has also written a bestselling travel and beauty book called The Globetrotter’s Get-Gorgeous Guide, www.gorgeousGlobetrotter.com. It was featured in such diverse publications as USA Today, CBS This Morning, Shape Magazine and PeterGreenberg.com. A professional communicator, Debbi also co-authored the Boston Globe best-selling book, Off The Wall Marketing Ideas, which teaches you everything you never learned at Harvard Business School. Debbi writes for national and international magazines, newspapers, and websites around the world. She travels the world in her Canfora of Capri sandals, with her beauty-packed carry-on luggage, her Jet Set Candy travel charm bracelet, and her satin pillowcase, and has never met an overwater bungalow she didn’t like. However, her favorite place to visit is inside her husband Bill’s hug. You can email Debbi at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @SATWgal. Her FB page is The Globetrotter’s Get-Gorgeous Guide.