The chance to fly on a private jet may seem confined to the rich and famous, but there is a way for you to enjoy ‘empty legs’ at significantly better value – all you need is a group of friends, a chosen destination and a reputable private jet operator to help you on your way.
Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, chief executive of the UK’s leading private jet charter operator Luxaviation UK, discusses the opportunities that can be had with empty legs and how to bag the best deal.
What are empty legs?
Empty legs, or empty sectors as they are also known, are one-way flights when the jet is repositioning with no passengers on board. Private jets are often flown for one-way journeys only, so a sports professional may need to play in a week-long tournament overseas, or a businessperson could be flying to a two-day conference.
In many cases, we, as the private jet operator, need to fly the aircraft back home or to the next customer. Due to the bespoke nature of private jet charter, it is often difficult to sell this leg to a new customer for its full value. Therefore, these empty leg journeys are sold at a significantly discounted price, depending on the route.
How much does an empty leg cost?
The price of an empty leg varies according to the type of aircraft, how many passengers will be on board, how far the aircraft will have to fly, time of day and other factors. Typically, though, you can save around 50% off regular charter rates, sometimes creeping up to 60%.
To have the biggest saving, you need to make sure every seat is filled because the whole plane is chartered, so price per head drops as seats fill up. If you can afford to be more flexible with your schedule, are prepared to book last minute and travel as a group, it can be a way to experience a private jet flight for a price you might pay for a commercial flight.
Do you still get the same level of service on an ‘empty leg’ flight?
You are required to be flexible in order to book an empty leg – for example, if the first leg of the flight does not happen for whatever reason, the return journey (which would be your empty leg) will be cancelled. However, there should never be a compromise on the type of experience to be had on a private jet. Onboard you can expect the highest standard of service and exquisite catering. At Luxaviation UK no request is too much – our catering team can source anything, from ingredients and meals from your favourite restaurant to your ideal bottle of wine.
What are the benefits of flying on a private jet?
There are many benefits to flying privately – there’s no need to arrive hours before your flight, no queuing for check-in or the security desk, and no restrictions on hand luggage to name a few!
Empty legs are a great way for people to experience a private jet flight, enabling you to save time on your journey and arrive at your chosen destination feeling relaxed and refreshed.
Also, empty legs are very flexible – just because the empty leg is destined for Malaga for example, you do have the option to choose an alternative destination so long as it is en route – you could stop off at Paris, Toulouse or Madrid.
What type of aircraft could I fly in?
At Luxaviation UK, we have a wide-ranging fleet from an Embraer Legacy 600/650 and Phenom 300 to a Cessna Citation XLS, with options for between six and 13 passengers. The newest aircraft in our fleet, the Bombardier Global 6000, is suitable for up to 15 passengers and is the longest-range jet Luxaviation UK has available for charter. The Global 6000 is capable of covering more than 6,000 nautical miles, so can fly from London to the United States, Caribbean and South America. As part of the Luxaviation Group, we have access to more than 260 jets and helicopters worldwide.
How do I find an empty leg?
You can call any charter operator to find one, or look online – we have a dedicated section on our website with all the current empty legs listed: luxaviationuk.com/emptysectors. You will also find our team telling our followers about the latest empty legs on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.