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Empty Leg Flights Have Reshaped The Private Jet Experience

FELIPE REISCH

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Los Angeles private jet provider Exquisite Air Charter shares its vision on how heavily discounted one-way private jet flights have reduced costs for major players in the industry.

 

A new age of private aviation is in the making. Not only a record number of movements is registered every month, but also new players in the industry, with diverse business models, have joined the trend of serving a very unique group of customers. In fact, even this clientele has been evolving during the past three years, especially during the heavy stages of the pandemic, reshaped with a large influx of first-time private jet flyers.

It is estimated that roughly 40% of all business aviation movements are empty leg flights (EBAA data), which are discounted one-way re-positioning private jet flights. For example, if a plane was booked one-way from Miami to New York and must go back to Miami for its next flight, that return flight is an empty leg opportunity.

Furthermore, that hefty number of operations that are potentially flying empty has brought new business models to the industry, aiming to make the most out of that opportunity, mainly via marketplaces or quoting systems that showcase the flights in the market, although without an established rapport with the main operators. And the latter is key, not only regarding access to a wider array of empty leg flights, but also with certified operators in every country in the world.

Exquisite Air Charter, based in Los Angeles, is a private jet provider that has been offering empty leg charter flights since 2004, working with the top operators in the U.S. and the world. Although offered at a discounted rate, sometimes even half price, the opportunity still considers all the amenities of a private jet flight, which includes a 15-minute boarding process at a private jet lounge, and the possibility to fly with family or friends for no extra money.

Technology and the carbon footprint discussion

Empty leg flights are a big part of the business aviation industry and technology plays a huge role in reducing the empty seats on each flight. Exquisite Air Charter offers daily empty-leg options on its online quoting system, allowing clients to choose and plan their next reduced-priced private jet experience.

Nevertheless, one-ways are aircraft specific, so the best deals do not have flexibility in choosing an aircraft. Furthermore, variations from the route being offered might incur in additional flight time charges. While there are also strict cancellation policies (100% from the time of booking) and sometimes departure time restrictions, if the client can be flexible, empty legs are unique opportunities.

Also, as the carbon footprint discussion increases in the industry, empty legs, which ultimately reduce excess capacity for operators, will help minimize the carbon footprint by utilizing a flight that was supposed to operate completely empty.

In conclusion, empty leg flights are reshaping private aviation today by increasing access to a service that was once considered only for a few. Empty legs are the perfect option for the growing number of first-time flyers in the industry, allowing passengers to fly at a reduced price while not compromising the private jet experience, while also minimizing the industry’s carbon footprint.

About Exquisite Air Charter

Based in Los Angeles, Exquisite Air Charter is a boutique operation that builds long-term relationships and provides very personalized service to every customer. Exquisite Air Charter’s aviation knowledge and expertise facilitates relationships with executives at the most highly regarded operators in the world and those relationships assist us in providing top-notch service to our clients.