Integration with Skyjet International Provides Seamless Travel Experience for U.S-based Skyjet Customers
Whether it's anticipating "head taxes" in Europe or counselling private jet travelers on the best places to clear customs in Asia, Bombardier Skyjet, the premier service for booking private business jets and a unit of Bombardier Aerospace, has the answers for its customers - no matter where in the world they want to fly.
Bombardier Skyjet, which pioneered the mega-broker segment of the business aviation industry in 1997 and launched the first real-time booking engine for private business jets, says its North American customers are benefiting from its integration with the services of Skyjet International, based in London.
Skyjet International provides jet membership programs and on-demand charter throughout Europe, Asia-Pacific and, now, the Middle East. In addition to its offices in London and Hong Kong, Skyjet International recently opened a new operation center in Dubai, U.A.E.
According to Bombardier Skyjet managing director Alexandre Monnier, the company's North American based Skyjet Card customers - who purchase a block of 25, 50 or 100 flight hours - enjoy international travel privileges unmatched by the competition.
"Our Skyjet Card members are now able to use their jet card hours for travel between points in Europe, Asia and the Middle East," said Mr. Monnier. "By using a simple conversion ratio, Skyjet Card members can use their hours for international travel with the same assurance of a flight on a quality aircraft and no deadhead charges," he explained. "And, both our on-demand customers and Skyjet Card members benefit from having Skyjet International offices on the ground in those regions, staffed by aviation professionals who know their markets, their operators and the available aircraft."
Mr. Monnier pointed out that Bombardier Skyjet uses a carefully screened network of quality operators, as does Bombardier Skyjet International. "We don't fly customers on inferior aircraft or with unproven operators. Our customers are assured of a quality travel experience," he concluded.
- Tips for Booking Private Jet Trips Abroad
Because there are additional procedures involved in international private jet travel, Mr. Monnier advises consumers to book with as much advance notice as possible.
"Private jet travelers in the United States are accustomed to being able to get a jet at the last minute - within hours of their departures - but international trips require some extra time and planning," said Mr. Monnier. "When traveling between two countries, the trip must be filed with customs, and procedures vary from country to country," he added.
For private flights to and from countries frequently traveled by U.S. visitors 72 hours is usually enough time for planning, but some countries require filing the trip more than three days before departure.
Obtaining landing clearance can take up to 10 working days in some countries.
Additional travel tips from the pros at Skyjet and Skyjet International include the following:
- Documents and Customs - Generally, the same rules apply for private flights as with any mode of international travel: travelers need a valid passport and any necessary visas; they must declare purchases; customs officials may search the aircraft. Failure to declare purchases can lead to delays, fines, cancellations and worse. Remember that even business items and equipment must be declared.
- Airport and FBO Facilities - Travelers accustomed to well-appointed private air terminals (called fixed base operators or FBOs) in the U.S. will discover some variance in such facilities abroad. The major centers of business in Europe have well-equipped facilities with passenger amenities, particularly in London, where outstanding private FBOs are located at Luton and Stansted airports as well as Heathrow. However, even in major European cities, some airports - such as Northolt in the U.K. - have special operating hours and slot restrictions.
In Asia, state-of-art FBOs can be found in Hong Kong and Singapore but, perhaps surprisingly, facilities are scarce in the business centers of Japan, where business aviation is still a developing industry. Private jet travelers generally have to shuttle to a main airport to clear customs alongside airline passengers. Landing slots and other limitations on business jets can also complicate travel in Japan. In the Middle East, modern facilities are located in Dubai, Jeddah, Riyadh and Kuwait.
- Surcharges and Fees - In the U.S., both airline and private jet travelers benefit from an infrastructure that is largely supported by general taxes, whereas Europe subscribes to a user-pay philosophy. This results in numerous extra charges above the typical U.S. ramp fees, landing fees and taxes - from passenger "head taxes" and shuttle charges to overflight fees and handling fees. When booking on-demand charters with Skyjet, quotes are inclusive of fees. Travelers who solicit more than one quote should check to make sure costs are inclusive.
- Traveling with Pets - Flying with pets requires that travelers provide a pet passport with the rest of your on-board documentation, and there are additional restrictions on flights with pets into certain countries. In the U.K. operators must have special clearance to fly into the country and often are only cleared to fly certain routes with pets.
About Bombardier Skyjet
Founded in 1997 and acquired by Bombardier Aerospace in 2000, Bombardier Skyjet offers the Skyjet Card for frequent private jet travelers. The Skyjet Card offers customers a choice of 25, 50 or 100 flight hours in a preferred size of aircraft, and guaranteed availability with a 12-hour advanced reservation. By charging a simple hourly rate for each hour flown, the Skyjet Card eliminates the deadhead costs associated with one-way jet travel and takes the confusion out of charter jet pricing. Bombardier Skyjet is the only jet card provider offering the option of earning credit toward whole or fractional aircraft ownership. In addition, the Learjet Card and the Challenger Card offer customers the opportunity to specify the Bombardier Learjet 31/31A, Bombardier Learjet 60 or Bombardier Challenger 604 as their aircraft of choice. Bombardier Skyjet also offers on-demand charter business jets through its quality network of operators. For more information or to book a trip, customers can call 1-888-2-SKYJET or visit www.skyjet.com.
A world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from regional aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, Bombardier Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2004 were $15.8 billion US and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). News and information are available at www.bombardier.com
Bombardier Skyjet, Skyjet International, Skyjet Card, Learjet and Challenger are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.