Surf Air, JetClass and JetSmarter are expanding their European private jet footprint and may be joined by Wheels Up and others

 

Surf Air is adding Sion in Switzerland to its current schedule from London City Airport to Zurich. The service will be twice per week in each direction and represents what so far has been a somewhat zigzagging path since its launch last Summer between seasonal destinations and expectations for expansion on key business routes. 

 

Flights to the Swiss ski resort depart London City Airport at noon on Fridays and 1 pm on Sundays. Return flights are scheduled 3:30 pm Fridays and 4:30 pm Sundays. Surf Air operates roundtrips from LCY to Zurich on Monday through Friday. During the summer Surf Air operated flights from London to Nice and Ibiza. It currently uses the Embraer Phenom 300 with plans to expand with the Pilatus PC-12 used by its California based sister.

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Surf Air in Europe sells both seats and memberships that enable an unlimited number of flights on a monthly basis. It also makes its aircraft available for full charter when not being used for its scheduled flights. Last year it expanded into Texas with the acquisition of RISE. Surf Air has its own dedicated fleet of aircraft, and in Europe, its aircraft are operated by Flairjet, also known as Flexjet Ltd. and a sign of owner Directional Aviation’s wishes to increase its footprint in Europe.

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Current Surf Air Memberships in Europe include All-You-Can-Fly for 2,550 GBP per month for the first three months rising 3,150 GBP in the fourth month which gives access to all European and U.S. routes. For 1,750 GBP per month, members can fly any Europe routes under 600 km. The Escapes Membership offers a rate of 1,300 GBP per seat on “leisure flights.”

 

While Flexjet has already stated its plans to have a bigger presence, it is widely expected Wheels Up will launch a European product possibly this year. The jet card provider offers a pay as you go membership program starting at $17,500 per year as well as prepaid individual and corporate programs.

 

Another new entrant, JetClass is trying a model with no membership requirements, selling individual seats on scheduled, chartered private jets with fares ranging from $400 to $900 one-way. The Vienna based broker announced seven new routes earlier this week.

 

JetSmarter (below), which has membership offers ranging from approximately $10,000 to $50,000 offers scheduled shuttles members can reserve by the seat. Depending on the length of flight and membership level, there are additional charges. JetSmarter shuttles include several European capitals plus flights to Dubai and New York from London.

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In all cases, the hybrid offerings mean you fly on a set schedule with other people you don’t know. The key selling point is that you use private aviation terminal facilities meaning instead of showing up at the airport one to two hours before departure, you only need to be there 15 minutes prior to departure. You also save time at the other end meaning for short-haul travel users can cut total travel time in half.

About the Author Doug Gollan

I am Founder and Editor of Private Jet Card Comparisons, the only independent buyer's guide to jet card membership programs, and DG Amazing Experiences, a weekly luxury travel e-newsletter for private jet owners. I am also a contributor to Forbes.com