Frankfurt Airport joins Private Jet service network

 - October 4, 2006, 11:58 AM

The Lufthansa Private Jet service, which allows passengers to book NetJets Europe aircraft for connections with the German airline’s scheduled services, now includes Frankfurt Airport. When the program began at the end of March it served only Munich.

Due to slot restrictions at Frankfurt Airport, the Private Jet connecting flights in and out of Frankfurt have to go through Egelsbach Airport, nine miles away. Passengers are transferred between the airports in limousines at a drive time averaging 20 minutes.

According to Lufthansa, if the Private Jet flights arrived at and departed from Frankfurt’s general aviation terminal used by other business aircraft operations at Germany’s busiest airport, the ground transfer times between the two aircraft would be almost the same as they are to and from Egelsbach because its limousines would not be permitted to have direct access to the NetJets aircraft at the Frankfurt general aviation terminal.

In fact, NetJets Europe flights for its own fractional shareowners are sometimes able to fly directly in and out of Frankfurt Airport. However, a spokesman for the operator said that the necessary arrival and departure slots generally cannot be secured until 24 hours before each trip, and sometimes not until the day of travel itself. He added that since Egelsbach does not suffer from the ATC delays that can hit Frankfurt, using the alternate airport can actually result in time savings over the course of a journey.

Private Jet Services

Arriving back at Frankfurt on a scheduled flight, Lufthansa Private Jet customers are met by a personal assistant who accompanies them to their NetJets aircraft at Egelsbach. The have the option of using the Lufthansa terminal en route if they want to freshen up. However, they also have to clear customs at Frankfurt (rather than Egelsbach)–a process Lufthansa is hoping to streamline.

Private Jet passengers and their bags are checked in through to their destination. Lufthansa’s published minimum check-in time for the Private Jet services is 30 minutes. The minimum required connection time between a Private Jet flight arrival and a Lufthansa scheduled departure (or vice versa) is 35 minutes at Munich and 45 minutes at Frankfurt.

The Private Jet flights are available to and from some 1,000 airports in Europe and can also be booked for services between any two city pairs and not just solely to connect with Lufthansa scheduled services. NetJets operates the flights in its Cessna Citation Excels and Bravos.

Lufthansa Private Jet’s all-inclusive, occupied hours prices are based on a series of 10 fare zones, which are the same whether customers are going through Munich or Frankfurt. For example, a flight from Lugano, Switzerland (which is in the closest “Zone 0”), would cost $5,505 in a Bravo and $6,836 in the larger Excel. In contrast to standard executive charter services, these prices cover only one passenger, with additional travelers being charged at a rate of up to $363 each.

Prices from Zone 1 (which includes Paris) rise to $7,562 for the Bravo and $8,893 for the Excel. For flights to and from Zone 9 (which extends as far east as Moscow) the prices are $22,276 for the Bravo and $23,171 for the Excel.