HELICOPTER VS JET | TIME, MISSION, COMFORT & COST
Many individuals when travelling from one place of business to another nearly always have this dilemma, do I take a private jet or helicopter. Each has their positives and negatives, and I certainly couldn’t take on this challenge on my own, so I reached out to Andrej Jevtejev the Director of Quantum VIA and asked him to evaluate which one would be best using his extensive experience within the industry.
For the first motivation ‘Time’, the clients are usually chartering a jet plus a helicopter in order to make the trip in the shortest time possible. This will give them an advantage of avoiding wasting their time in airports. When you fly private, you arrive15-30 minutes before takeoff with the helicopter or jet. You are usually transferred with your luggage within minutes. The helipad or an airfield is usually chosen very close to your destination.When a helicopter charter is used for leisure, for example flying to an event, it is often used to avoid traffic as well as to arrive in style. Anyone who flies by helicopter or by private jet takes their time and their comfort very seriously.
Next on our list is ‘Mission’ and here we need to understand what the desired outcome is. For example, my client flew into London from Moscow for one day during which he had several business-critical meetings in different destinations located outside London. For them, a helicopter was the perfect solution to achieve all their meetings without any delay and in a timely manner. A helicopter is able to land on the nearest field or helipad so a client could jump out for a couple of hours and then be straight in the air for the next meeting. A jet would be an option only in case of further destinations in different cities around the UK which are located in close proximity to the airports or airfields I would add that helicopters won’t usually fly after sunset in case of bad weather, and jet charters are also dependent on airport/airfield opening hours. Nevertheless, both jets and helicopters provide provide the tailored solutions to most travel requirements.
In terms of ‘Comfort’, a jet is always a better option than a helicopter. You can relax, have a meal, a meeting - or all three! For leisure trips, a jet truly marks the start of any luxury holiday, for the business you always arrive relaxed and refreshed. If the helicopter flight time is more that one hour I would always suggest the client consider a jet when possible, as most helicopter cabins are only equipped for short rides. Jets are equipped with a restroom where there are almost no helicopters with this facility. Noise is another factor counting against the helicopter. If you wanted to work or discuss something before your arriving at your destination, you would be much more comfortable in a jet cabin. I must mention that some people can find the noise of a helicopter ride stressful if endured for an extended period of time. If you wanted to have a meal on board this is only possible in large helicopters, and that won’t be a proper meal, just snacks and refreshments, whereas most jets have at least a table for you, and the bigger models have a galley where food can be prepared, as well as an ergonomic and congenial space where you can relax and enjoy your food in comfort. Another aspect of convenience is the luggage you can bring. Most helicopters have very limited luggage capacity, so always check before you book, and note this can also apply to smaller jets.
This brings us to the last aspect of deciding to fly by jet or by helicopter - ‘Cost’. For a flight of over an hour, the price of a jet charter sometimes costs less. There are no fixed prices for jets as all depends on different aspects such as positioning, type of the aircraft YOM etc. same applies to the helicopter. You also need to consider taxes, as most helicopter transfers require VAT to be paid for local, national flights, and jets require VAT only if it has less then eight-seat capacity, and only on national flights. There are different programs available on the market for chartering helicopters and jets, here at QUANTUMVIA we offer the most straightforward and most cost-effective solutions where you are not tied into long-term contracts and can work with us on ad hock terms. We know our clients value flexibility so you would only sign a contract for each flight you book.
Usually, clients charter jets to accommodate their busy schedule, as well as avoiding the queues and inconvenience of a public airport, you have the luxury to choose your departure time and the nearest airport to your destination. With chartering a helicopter, the client typically wants to avoid traffic and cut their travel time to a minimum. Helicopters are great for zipping into and around London, where most clients choose to hire a helicopter from the airport they arrive at and fly into central London to avoid traffic. As London is not well-equipped with regards to available helipads around the city centre (as New York is for example), passengers usually fly from say Luton and to Battersea Helipad for central London appointments. The flight time is an astonishing quick 20-25 minutes, and you and your luggage will be picked up straight from the aircraft versus if you choose the car transfer, it will be at least one-hour plus. There are more options available if the client lives or is staying outside of London, as helicopters can land on private fields or sports grounds, subject to permit of the owners.
In conclusion, there is no comparison between chartering a helicopter or a jet if the flying time is longer than an hour - the private jet wins hands down, the only way it could win its an issue of not having an airfield or airport in the area. If your flight is short, and travelling by other modes of transport would subject you to traffic and a time delay you find unacceptable, then chartering a helicopter is your optimal solution.
If you would like some help planning a trip, QUANTUMVIA is always happy to put our experience and network at your service.