Revamped Skyjet offers new options

 - March 7, 2007, 12:13 PM

Bombardier has revamped its Skyjet International block charter program, unveiling the new Jet Member card at the Middle East Business Aviation show in Dubai on January 31. The company claims the new terms and conditions make the program the most flexible block charter offering in the market today.

The main change is that Skyjet has introduced fixed prices for every route flown, so customers pay no surcharges to cover fuel costs or holding times at busy airports. For same-day round trips, members will get a 20-percent discount on the fixed prices.

Customers can also buy any number of flight hours for the Jet Member card, and there is no minimum number of hours required. Those who purchase 25 or more hours will start earning perks such as free upgrades to larger aircraft and discounts on luxury goods and services (such as accommodation at Hong Kong’s exclusive Shangri La hotel).

Significantly, explained Skyjet International managing director Judith Moreton, Jet Member cardholders can now exert more control over what they pay by negotiating customized options that match their personal requirements and preferences. For example, they can build in flexibility in terms of which aircraft types will be available to them and how much notice they want to be able to give to ensure flight availability, as well as specifying choices for in-flight catering and ground handling arrangements. Essentially, this means that Skyjet customers don’t have to pay for options that are not important to them and can specify those features of the block charter program that fit their needs most closely.

“They can change these options at any time and the rate they pay will be simply adjusted,” said Moreton. Skyjet introduced the Jet Member card after soliciting extensive customer feedback. Clients can opt to have their hours run over contracts ranging from one to three years in length.

According to Bombardier, the Skyjet partner operators logged more than 10,000 flight hours last year (up from around 4,000 hours in 2003). It also claimed that last year it saw a 97-percent customer retention rate, with cardholders extending their block hours. Existing Skyjet customers can switch to the new Jet Member program or can opt to stay with their existing terms and conditions.

The Skyjet charter fleet includes some 930 aircraft from Bombardier’s Learjet, Challenger and Global lines. These are flown by partner operators across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.