Major companies around the world have long chartered aircraft to operate corporate shuttles. The shuttles typically operate on a schedule, many times between company locations where there is a lack of nonstop airline flights.
Types of aircraft used vary from traditional private jets to regional airliners converted into an executive cabin. Some companies have even operated these types of shuttles on transoceanic routes.
However, corporate shuttles are now front and center, as companies look at alternatives to flights airlines, have recently cut, or as their duty of care efforts to cut possible COVID-19 Coronavirus exposure for employees.
Air Partner, which also sells more traditional on-demand charter and jet cards, said it has seen a significant increase in requests for corporate shuttles.
Its corporate air shuttles allow companies to arrange private flights on a regularly scheduled basis for their employees between any city pairs. These shuttles offer convenience, particularly at a time like now, when commercial airlines are cutting some of their regularly scheduled flights. Additionally, private corporate shuttles provide a way to minimize exposure to large group gatherings such as crowded commercial terminals.
“In the midst of a situation like the coronavirus outbreak, corporate shuttles are cost-effective, critical solutions to mitigate the impact on corporations and government agencies, helping keep their businesses running as smoothly as possible,” said Air Partner’s CEO Mark Briffa. “
He added, “With 24/7 support from dedicated account managers around the world, we’re able to work hand-in-hand with organizations to customize a flight experience and schedule, so their teams can continue essential work and meetings without delay or worry, even in times of crisis.”
The shuttle program can be especially cost-effective for groups when there aren’t any non-stop flights offered by scheduled service, very infrequent flights or flights that require a connection.
With chartering private aircraft for employees and executives, corporate shuttles can fly in and out of smaller regional airports that are closer to a company’s business epicenter, thus making business more efficient, leading to increased productivity, confidentiality and time savings which ultimately are of great value to the corporate bottom line.
Often the group can board the aircraft from a private terminal, reducing the potential exposure found in commercial airport terminals.
While JetSuite is known for its on-demand charter and jet cards, sister JSX operates scheduled shuttles in the Western U.S. They save time by using private aviation facilities and customers buy seats one by one online, just like booking an airline.
JSX flights used Embraer 135s and 145s, formerly used by regional airlines, but configured with fewer seats – 30 – and more legroom – 36 inches, similar to domestic first class.
An executive with the company said the airplanes have a range of 1,200 nautical miles. On-demand shuttle pricing starts at $250 per seat/per hour, so similar to the cost of a commercial one-way fare.
Cocktails, drinks, and snacks onboard are included in the pricing. For smaller groups, the company can also use the Phenom 100s and 300s from its JetSuite fleet. Hourly rates are as low as $4,775 per hour.