Planet 9 has taken delivery of its latest ultra-long-range business jet. The Bombardier Global Express, a managed aircraft, is available for charter from Southampton Airport in the UK, under the company’s Part 135 AOC. The delivery was made as the Van Nuys, California-based private charter operator and aircraft management company celebrated its third anniversary on 22 June.
With a second Gulfstream GIV-SP coming online later in July 2021, Planet 9 will have added five managed charter aircraft during the first half of 2021.
“It has been a very interesting year, full of operational challenges, but the global pandemic gave us the chance to shine and demonstrate that when time matters, business aviation can deliver,” said Matt Walter, co-founder and director of business development at Planet 9. “Our people are our biggest asset. We retained all 75 of them during the disruptions.”
The latest Global Express seats up to 13 passengers for daytime flying and has five beds, sleeping six in night-time configuration. It has a range of 5,830 nautical miles (10,797km), up to 12 hours’ flying time. The cabin features a galley for food and drink preparation, two bathrooms and Gogo wireless inflight internet.
The company also marked its anniversary with an enhanced website and logo. Planet 9 has built its business in the ultra-long-range market. Walter and his cofounder, director of operations James Seagrim, attribute the company’s success to growth in its aircraft management business these past 24 months. “Owners have come to us when they haven’t had such a good experience before, or, because of the pandemic, they’re flying less and want to put their aircraft up for charter,” said Seagrim.
Planet 9 has seen its business return to within 10% of pre-pandemic levels. The company said US and Caribbean travel is especially strong; the Bahamas and Mexico have been the biggest hotspots, as popular summer destinations in their own right, but also serving as gateways for Europeans.
The company was expecting good demand for flights from the USA to Europe as countries loosen their entry requirements for fully vaccinated travellers. This will benefit a relatively new sector of clientele – the film industry. “Film studios are travelling again to film new productions in Europe,” said Walter. “There is a desire to fly actors and crew safely and securely on optimum itineraries.”