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Directional headed for hectic summer with FXAir
Research compiled and analysed by McKinsey & Co. shows that there are a large number of people who can afford to fly privately but do not. Directional Aviation hopes to buck this trend with new venture FXAir.
Andrew Collins reveals that the launch of FXAir was accelerated – it was originally planned for the fourth quarter.

Directional Aviation has launched FXAir, the newest member of its family of private jet travel providers, which will specialise in premium on-demand charter. As more people consider private jet travel to minimise their risk of exposure to the coronavirus, charter, which provides more than 65 per cent of all managed private flight time, is increasingly attractive. FXAir will provide premium charter on demand to those looking for a seamless entry into private jet travel.

“We pride ourselves on anticipating the needs of flyers and moving swiftly to present them with ideal options once they are ready to act,” says Kenn Ricci, principal of Directional Aviation. “Increasingly, we are finding that individuals and businesses appreciate the on-demand charter model for the flexibility it affords them, but they desire access to a more consistent network of premium aircraft. With the addition of FXAir to our family of flight providers and operators, we meet that need and can say that, no matter how people prefer to fly, we have a solution for them.”

Headquartered in New York City, FXAir is led by aviation industry veteran Gregg Slow, who will serve as company president. He has held senior positions at other private jet travel firms including XOJet and NetJets. Most recently, he served as president of the Americas at PrivateFly, Directional's international on-demand charter provider.

“Having spent my entire career in private jet travel, I believe FXAir fills a genuine need in the market that is not currently being addressed by other providers,” he says. “As more businesses, individuals and families choose to fly privately, especially in today's COVID-19 world, there is a new requirement for a refined and reliable charter experience that exceeds what often is available in the traditional charter market setting.”

In addition to providing access to selectively procured premium aircraft beyond what may be available to other charter market participants, FXAir is app-enabled, digitally-based and on-demand, without any upfront financial commitment.

FXAir will launch with a foundational collection of premium super mid cabin, large cabin and ultra-long range aircraft including the Bombardier Challenger 300 and the Global Express. These second generation Flexjet aircraft will only be available for premium charter through FXAir. In addition, FXAir will access a network of individually curated premium aircraft from some of the industry's most respected and safe flight providers. All aircraft operators within the FXAir network also will have to meet strict COVID-19 precautions to ensure passenger safety.

“Charter is the most common form of private jet travel, yet I've heard even frequent charter clients express disappointment with the aircraft offered, inconsistency not only of available aircraft types but also their condition and unexpected, hidden fees,” Slow continues. “Incorporating such anecdotal information, actual travel data and the industry expertise of all of the Directional Aviation organisations, we created FXAir to not only to meet but also exceed the expectations of those who value a premium private jet travel experience and prefer the flexibility afforded to them by on-demand charter.”

Directional Aviation continues to grow the private travel industry's most comprehensive collection of aircraft access solutions across a continuum of service levels including PrivateFly (global open market charter brokerage); FXAir (premium charter on demand); Sentient Jet (jet card offerings at fixed, all-inclusive hourly rates); and Flexjet (fractional ownership within its fleet of Red Label aircraft).

Ricci adds: “We hear that the rest of the charter industry is trying to 'democratise' private jets. We see it very differently. We see clients who appreciate the 'private' in 'private aviation' and aren't willing to compromise on quality or safety. Once charter clients fly with FXAir, they won't want to go back, especially with the innovative enhancements we plan to implement in the future.”

Research compiled and analysed by McKinsey & Co. shows that there are a large number of people who can afford to fly privately but do not. Approximately 90 per cent of individuals with a net worth of $10 million or greater do not fly privately, leaving a large untapped market and FXAir as a natural gateway for them to seamlessly access premium private jet travel.

A combination of factors have also made private aviation appealing to more travellers than ever before, including traveller concerns about sharing enclosed spaces with others during the COVID-19 pandemic; airline service cutbacks; reduced commercial flight frequencies; and airline route changes that do not meet traveller needs. These factors, when combined with private aviation's traditional benefits, are attracting more of this untapped market to private jet travel, offering enormous potential for FXAir to play a meaningful role in the growth of the industry.

“Launching a premium charter company in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic really demonstrates the strength of the Directional Aviation family of brands, as well as our leadership's belief that the time to act is right now,” comments Andrew Collins, CEO of FXAir. “Originally, the plan was to introduce FXAir in the fourth quarter of this year. When the pandemic began, we talked with our clients, providers and partners, and it became clear that there was a pressing need for us to accelerate our launch. That's why we're making this announcement today. We are ready to serve clients throughout this unique summer, the holiday season and beyond.”

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