Directional Aviation has launched FXAIR, the newest member of its family of private jet travel providers, which will specialize in premium charter on-demand. The launch was originally planned for later in 2020, but was brought forward with the rebounding demand for private aviation.
“We pride ourselves on anticipating the needs of flyers and moving swiftly to present them with ideal options once they are ready to act,” said Kenn Ricci, Principal of Directional Aviation. “Increasingly, we are finding that individuals and businesses appreciate the on-demand charter model for the flexibility it affords them, but they desire access to a more consistent network of premium aircraft. With the addition of FXAIR to our family of flight providers and operators, we meet that need and can say that, no matter how people prefer to fly, we have a solution for them.”
Headquartered in New York City, FXAIR is led by aviation industry veteran Gregg Slow, who will serve as FXAIR President. He has held senior positions at other private jet travel firms including XOJET and NetJets. Most recently, he served as President of the Americas at PrivateFly, Directional’s international on-demand charter provider.
“Having spent my entire career in private jet travel, I believe FXAIR fills a genuine need in the market that is not currently being addressed by other providers,” said Slow. “As more businesses, individuals and families choose to fly privately, especially in today’s COVID-19 world, there is a new requirement for a refined and reliable charter experience that exceeds what often is available in the traditional charter market setting.”
FXAIR provides access to selectively procured premium aircraft, including second generation Flexjet aircraft, maintained and flown by Flexjet, which will only be available for charter through FXAIR. This collection of super-mid cabin, large cabin and ultra-long range aircraft includes twelve Bombardier Challenger 300's and five Global Express'. In refering to them as "second generation", FXAIR means they are recently retired Flexjet planes that are no longer servicing flights for fractional Flexjet Owners.
In addition, FXAIR will access a network of more than 1,200 individually curated premium aircraft from some of the industry’s most respected and safe flight providers. All aircraft operators within the FXAIR network also will have to meet strict COVID-19 precautions to ensure passenger safety.
Overall, FXAIR offers on demand charter across the full range of private jets, from light cabin, mid cabin, super-mid cabin, large cabin and ultra-long range aircraft. In the light cabin category, its aircraft network includes the Nextant 400XTi, which is remanufactured by Nextant Aerospace, another Directional company.
FXAIR also offers a membership program, called the Aviator Account, with additional features. Activating an Aviator Account requires an initial purchase of $100,000 or more. Members receive complimentary standard catering and domestic Wi-Fi access, plus, no-cost deicing and complimentary upgrades when available. They can also fly coast to coast in the US on a super-mid cabin aircraft for a flat rate of $31,900 when booked a week or more in advance. The funds in the account never expire and account balances are refundable at any time.
“Charter is the most common form of private jet travel, yet I’ve heard even frequent charter clients express disappointment with the aircraft offered, inconsistency not only of available aircraft types but also their condition and unexpected, hidden fees,” said Slow. “Incorporating such anecdotal information, actual travel data and the industry expertise of all of the Directional Aviation organizations, we created FXAIR to not only to meet but also exceed the expectations of those who value a premium private jet travel experience and prefer the flexibility afforded to them by on-demand charter.”
Directional Aviation owns a collection of aircraft access solutions across a continuum of service levels including PrivateFly (global open market charter brokerage); FXAIR (premium charter on demand); Sentient Jet (jet card offerings at fixed, all-inclusive hourly rates); and Flexjet (fractional ownership within its fleet of Red Label aircraft).
Added Ricci, “We hear that the rest of the charter industry is trying to ‘democratize’ private jets. We see it very differently. We see clients who appreciate the ‘private’ in ‘private aviation’ and aren’t willing to compromise on quality or safety. Once charter clients fly with FXAIR, they won’t want to go back – especially with the innovative enhancements we plan to implement in the future.”
Private Aviation Industry Sees New Fliers and a “V”-Shaped Recovery
Research compiled and analyzed by McKinsey & Co. showed that there are a large number of people who can afford to fly privately but do not. Approximately 90% of individuals with a net worth of $10 million or greater do not fly privately, leaving a large untapped market and FXAIR as a potential gateway for them to access premium private jet travel.
A combination of factors have also made private aviation appealing to more travelers than ever before, including: Traveler concerns about sharing closed spaces with others during the COVID-19 pandemic; airline service cutbacks; reduced commercial flight frequencies; and airline route changes that do not meet traveler needs. These factors, when combined with private aviation’s traditional benefits, are attracting more of this untapped market to private jet travel, offering enormous potential for FXAIR to play a meaningful role in the growth of the industry.
“Launching a premium charter company in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic really demonstrates the strength of the Directional Aviation family of brands, as well as our leadership’s belief that the time to act is right now,” said Andrew Collins, CEO of FXAIR. “Originally, the plan was to introduce FXAIR in the fourth quarter of this year. When the pandemic began, we talked with our clients, providers and partners, and it became clear that there was a pressing need for us to accelerate our launch. We are ready to serve clients throughout this unique summer, the holiday season and beyond.”