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6 SEPTEMBER 2021
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BTN’s Editor-at-Large, Jeff Mills, looks at JetClub as it eyes a sustainable future with Bye Aerospace’s ‘eFlyer 800’ electric aircraft. The advent of a proper commercial electric aircraft is still speculation rather than fact, but a search for ‘electric aircraft’ in BTN will also reveal other projects.
The publicity around the drive towards zero emissions and the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), due to take place in Glasgow in October and early November, has proved to be timely for JetClub, said to be Europe’s first light jet fractional ownership brand.
The company, which uses Stansted Airport as its operating base in the UK, is hoping well-heeled business travellers will be taking climate change even more seriously than before with the confirmation that it is adding the Bye Aerospace electric eFlyer 800 to its fleet, “marking a momentous milestone in sustainability for the aviation, travel and tourism industries,” according to its CEO and Co-Founder, Vishal Hiremath.
It is hoped that the eight-seat, all-electric, twin turboprop eFlyer 800, will pave the way for the future of aviation by offering a more innovative and sustainable mode of travel, with businesses prioritising responsible travel more than ever.
The all-electric option is a great solution for sustainable tourism and helps to reconcile essential business travel concerns about climate change, is the view of the company.
JetClub is an innovative business aviation company with a private jet usage model that combines the newest jet aircraft with a sharing economy, which aims to provide members with an affordable, private, fast and intelligent solution. Client members have the flexibility and convenience of owning a business jet without undergoing the traditional hassles of administration, operations and expenses.
The company has a dedicated flight operations team to take care of pilot training, maintenance, logistics and international operations. The concierge unit manages all travel details and provides best in class service and trip support.
It was co-founded by Vishal Hiremath and Glenn Gonzales, who also runs US-based Jet It, for the Asia, Europe and South American regions.
“Sustainability is a core pillar of the JetClub and Jet It philosophy. Innovation in this context aligns with our future vision for the group, which is toward resilient, zero emission and affordable private travel," says Hiremath.
“While private aviation contributes only 0.04% of global emissions, we are working towards zero percent. The past two years of exponential growth of the brand in the US has shown us that business travel is essential to protect jobs and economies, but not at the expense of the environment.
“As passionate aviators, we are excited about finding solutions for the future of aviation. With the addition of the eFlyer 800 to our fleet, we take a leap forward in our sustainability goals.”
Scheduled to be in operation by 2025, the eFlyer’s configuration will consist of up to seven passengers and one or two pilots. The aircraft will have only one-fifth the operating costs of traditional twin turboprops and is geared for the air-taxi, air-cargo, regional and charter aircraft markets.
Key features of the eFlyer 800 will include up to 320 knots cruise speed, a 35,000-feet ceiling and 500 nautical mile range. Enhanced safety features will include two wing-mounted electric motors and a full-plane parachute.
Additional features are due to include an emergency auto-landing system, artificial intelligence and an option for supplemental power solar cells and an in-wheel electric taxiing system.
George Bye, Founder and CEO of Bye Aerospace commented: “We have developed an aircraft that meets the needs of our growing global population without compromising the environment.
“Innovation exists to serve humanity and the planet, and we believe that electric flight is a meaningful step forward in aviation sustainability. Through the partnership with JetClub, we look forward to rolling out electric flight in Europe and Asia.”
Beyond the business aviation sector, 64% of global consumers want to travel sustainably and 76% of consumers are expected to be more concerned about sustainability after the Covid pandemic.
While current methods of aviation sustainability include purchasing carbon credits to offset carbon emissions, by committing to operate the eFlyer 800, JetClub is making a paradigm shift in the way people fly sustainably in the future.
All worthy stuff, let’s hope the dreams of a more sustainable future for business aviation become reality.
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