Going the distance
Planet Nine (P9) is a new, boutique US-based ultra long-haul charter specialist. Having made its first Dassault Falcon 7X available for charter this summer, the company intends to have four 7Xs operational by the end of this year.
Headquartered out of Los Angeles, California and London with a staff of 28 full time employees, co-founders Matt Walter and James Seagrim are positioning P9 to provide a competitive offering in the premium end of the ultra long-range charter market. “Our operation will centre on a floating fleet model, and the efficiency it brings to our operations we can then pass on to our customers in the form of better pricing,” explains James.
P9 brings a new offering into the long-haul business jet market with the 5,950 nautical mile range Falcon 7X, stylishly configured for 11-16 passengers, with six individual sleeper seats, perfect for over-night Transatlantic flying. With operating costs at least 30% lower than equivalent Gulfstream G550 and Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft, P9 believes that the 7X has a distinct advantage over its competition. The company’s aircraft will all feature refurbished cabin interiors and include full Wi-Fi and IFE from Gogo/Swift Broadband.
Over the summer P9 performed several charters into Europe, including London Luton Airport and runway restricted Cannes Mandelieu. It recently ran several charters into Honolulu International Airport, pre-hurricane, while other key charter destinations have included Nice, Geneva and Tivat Airport, Montenegro. Will Holroyd, sales and marketing director at Harrods Aviation, London Luton Airport, comments, “We are very proud that Planet 9 are regularly choosing the services of Harrods Aviation at Luton to support this exciting new addition to the long-haul charter market. With so many of our regular customers flying between London and the major international US hubs, their fine long-haul offering, based on the popular Falcon 7X, is a welcome addition to the industry.”
Bill Wulf, P9’s CFO, has found from his own experience that there is an acute shortage of premium ultra-long haul aircraft available for ad hoc charter out of the US. “And those charter management companies that have aircraft available have typically one or two at most,” he says. “Our decision to go with a number of environmentally friendly Falcon 7X’s and our plan to build up a sizeable fleet of this type, is going to make us appealing to clientele who want a special experience.”