Adam Twidell, PrivateFly’s CEO comments: “Since Sunday, we have seen a noticeable increase in enquiries for routes into UK airports, due to the delays and cancellations caused by the adverse weather. Many are from passengers who don’t usually use private aviation and who are looking to make alternative flight arrangements at very short notice.
“Of course if airports are closed, then it's not safe for private jets to use them either. But just as in heavy snow and other unforeseen weather conditions, the flexibility of private jet charter is a huge advantage in foggy weather. A private jet charter flight plan allows for last minute changes of plan, finding gaps in the fog and rerouting the flight accordingly, sometimes even en route.
"For example, yesterday morning we flew a group of 35 from a London corporate finance firm back from Amsterdam, who were trying to return to the UK for an important meeting in Oxfordshire on Monday afternoon. The aircraft took off, heading for London Oxford Airport, which we knew would possibly reopen during the flight. In the end visibility there was still too poor, so the aircraft diverted at short notice, to land at Exeter Airport instead, which was less affected by the weather. We had arranged for cars to be waiting at the airport for a speedy ground transfer, so they could still make the meeting on time. This type of agility is just not possible for airline flights.
"Airline disruption is an opportunity for the private aviation industry to showcase our flexibility and speed of response, to a new audience. The cost can also be more affordable than many people expect, especially for groups travelling together. For the Amsterdam to Exeter flight, we flew them in a private 50-seater Embraer EMB-145 regional airliner, which cost £11,145 in total - less than £320 per person for the group of 35."