Founder of Air Advantage, Andrew Douglas and Marketing Manager, Gillian Johnston answer our questions on why private aviation is a logical step for the time-pressed air traveller.
What catalysed the creation of the Air Advantage’s spin-off, Pretium Jet Charter?
Andrew Douglas, CEO of Air Advantage: “We weren’t happy with the way the aviation industry was working. I have a military background and precision, making an effort and not accepting lower standards are all mantras that I have worked with. So as I moved into this sector, initially as a pilot, I was unhappy that the industry wasn’t what I expected. And so Air Advantage was founded. Working as a consultancy and aircraft acquisition company first, we were then asked by our clients to arrange the charters and from this, Air Advantage grew and took on more private clients and businesses.”
How would you explain efficiencies and price points, lower than scheduled carriers to clients considering private aviation?
Andrew Douglas: “We are constantly explaining how using a private aircraft saves so much time and effort and how this is related back to your personal time or the business. Our private clients are well versed in understanding that a private flight can be the difference between a trip going ahead or not. Schedules, that are simply not feasible by the airlines, are simplistic when private aviation is used. It’s the same for our business clients. When you actually get a company to look at all the hidden costs of a trip, plus the cost of employees wasted and unproductive time, it’s far more than the ‘cheap’ ticket they think they have spent.
“So, when we quote for a business aircraft, companies are surprised at how small the difference can be. And when you realise that for the same cost you can bring extra team members on the trip it really can work out more cost effective. Plus, the aircraft becomes your meeting room on the trip out and your team feel valued as they are flying in a better way. The benefits really do add up to a competitive advantage.”
Surely then, flying privately is the ultimate luxury?
Gillian Johnston, Marketing Manager for At Pretium: “Not really, It’s all about time. Our clients are trying to maximise their opportunities to spend time with the children, grab an opportunity for a short weekend break or catch up with friends in other countries. You can make a flight as luxurious as you wish, or you can grab a group of friends and team up to share the costs. We have golfing groups who know that sharing a private jet is easier than paying for the extra charges on scheduled airlines. You only pay once for the aircraft, so bringing golf clubs and other luggage isn’t charged”
So, could At Pretium be called ‘disruptors’ in this industry?
Gillian Johnston: “We prefer ‘smoothers’, as everything we do is designed to make the customer experience as simple as possible. We are also developing an app that will help us make the customer journey even simpler, but really, we are people, who love to talk with our clients about their trips and how we can help. We can’t send you back in time, but when the family want to see you or you have that urgent meeting, then we can get you back in time. Owning your aircraft is the closest you come to owning a TARDIS!”
Founded in 2011, at Pretium Jet Charter is a new company that embodies the best service and value that their clients expect. Their mission is to provide worldwide air charter at its finest.
Discover more at www.atpretium.com