2011 is supposed to be the year of private jet recovery.
The days of GM causing a furor over corporate jets are over, and to prove it, XOJET and HeliFlite put together a press demonstration to show how anyone can arrange helicopter or jet service — that is, anyone with a few thousand dollars to burn.
HeliFlite is a New York based helicopter service offering charters, fractional ownership and helicopter management that can pick you up from any helipad at any building in the city. If you’re using one of the public pads, the one at W 30th is the only one open 24 hours. A helicopter flight is all about convenience, but it takes a lot to keep them in the air. Two pilots, constant maintenance, fuel, it all adds up — figure around 7-grand for a one-way flight to the Hamptons or $2,000 to Teterboro airport.
XOJET is changing the face of private jet flight by offering charter flights, as opposed to fractional ownership. It costs $19,000 for a flight from NY to L.A. in a plane that holds nine passengers. There are also discounts applied based on membership and how much money you keep in your private account.
Owned by TPG, a private equity firm that specialises in distressed companies, the jet company expanded its fleet during the recession and added features like wi-fi to every plane. Management says their numbers were way up last year and they expect to do even better in 2011.
Thanks to a press boondoggle put together and paid for by XOJET, we flew from E 34th St. to Teterboro in the Bell 430, and from there up and around the city in a Challenger 300. Picture leather seats, hardwood veneers and relative quiet. No headsets, microphones or security check required.
Disclaimer: In addition to the flying time, XOJET gave us a ridiculous gift pack including an iPad, which the BI office is keeping. If all this was a bribe, it worked. We now love XOJET!