Holidays By Jet – Timecoded Script
-This summer, we don't count these kinds of videos anymore. Passengers with nerves of steel because of COVID.
You have to endure the confusion of airports in the pandemic era.
Then there are the regional airports.
Here, passengers arrive in the hall barely 10 minutes before the jet is set to take off, scheduled to land in Saint-Tropez an hour later.
-We could have left from Geneva, but we have to go to Geneva. The last few departures, there were traffic jams on the highway, we'd have to leave before, it's too complicated.
-It's simple, it's fast, it's better.
-As commercial aviation is taking off again, jet flights have returned to their pre-COVID level.
On a Sunday in Sion, the merry band of troops board this jet. Nobody knows each other; they will share the flight together. One of the two co-pilots improvises as a steward.
-Have a good flight. We'll dance a bit at the start. There are life jackets under the seats. There is a bar. There's water, the aperitif
-These former pilots for Air-Glaciers have started their own company. They offer connections to Corsica, Italy or France. And it's a hit!
-The plane is full. It may be related to the COVID effect. Between the waves, people want to travel. They are called smart travellers. They don't want to bother, they don't want to wait. We're offering this trip within a trip.
-But before flying off to Saint-Tropez, we meet this man. Christian is a happy city mayor. On that Sunday, about 40 jets are scheduled.
-What are the origins of of the incoming traffic?
-We have a lot from France, but we have one from Russia, there's one going to England. The rest come from France, Brussels or Luxembourg.
-Everyone is is welcome in Valais.
-Thanks to private jets, Sion airport Sion airport is breaking records this summer.
-In May and June 2021, we had more flights than in May and June 2019. Not only have we caught up, but we're actually exceeding the numbers.
-As we go around the runway, we are intrigued by these hangars. This jet belongs to French telecom magnate Patrick Drahi. And this one to a Czech billionaire.
But these ultra-rich people are of little interest to the mayor. He wants to conquer the hearts of average citizens. That's worth a lot of backbiting about the competitors.
-The big airports have no interest in accelerating the movement. If you're flying from Zurich, they will keep you captive in the terminal, because you might be visiting the departure's Duty Free, you will consume food. It's part of the journey.
These big airports make more money on non-airline than they do on flights per se. Here, flights are reduced to their simplest expression. That's efficient.
-Back on the flight to Saint-Tropez, the atmosphere is festive. Philippe and Maria have found the minibar. They paid 540 Euros for a one-way trip between Sion and Saint-Tropez. It's more expensive than the car, but in one hour you can see the sea.
-Thank you. -You are welcome.
Enjoy your stay! -Thank you for your time.
That's not a question of privilege; it saves time. This kind of flight should be preferred to the crowded flights.
Now that's really nice.
-How did it go?
-It was great.
-What did you like best?
-The bottle of white.
But for our two pilots, bosses of their airline, no time to rest. Another round trip is planned.
In the evening, we found them in the port of Saint-Tropez, happy to have accomplished their mission.
-We want the trips to be part of the adventure or the move, it's an adventure within the adventure. Sometimes you get the feeling that the journey is the hard part.
-So tomorrow, will everyone board in a private jet?
Not so sure, because these trips have an ecological price.
A price recently revealed in this report from a Brussels-based NGO.
This man is one of the authors of this document.
*-One can say things simply.
*Traveling by private jet is the worst thing for the planet.
*Some numbers are prominent in the report. 4 hours of flying in a private jet corresponds to the average CO2 emissions of a European in a year.
*In 4 hours, you have the emissions of a European in one year.
*Traveling by private jet pollutes more than taking a commercial flight.
-A huge climate impact reinforced by a secret that the industry doesn't like to talk about.
In the world of jets, every other flight is an empty one.
*-An empty flight means that the plane has only its personnel and flight attendants.
*It has no passengers.
*He's going to reposition himself to another airport.
*Almost 50% of these flights are without without any passengers.
*This disaster is related to the use of the private jet, because to pick up his client on the other side of Europe, you have to travel empty.
*You can't separate the private jet trip from the use of an empty plane.
-Switzerland has the gold medal, according to the NGO. Here are the top 10 most polluting routes in Europe. Switzerland is at the start or end of four of these routes. But there is still room. To bring the price down, some want to use empty flights.
Since August, Clément and Bertrand are offering flights to Bergerac, Saint-Tropez or Deauville for a few hundred francs.
-We want to send the plane as full as possible and when it returns, it picks up passengers again. If we increase the use of the plane, we can undersell.
-Their ambition in the long run: to replace the car and the train on certain routes.
-The train is great. The TGV is great to make a Paris-Lyon trip. A Bordeaux-Valence will be unfeasible with the train. These people take the car. It's diverting people from the car. Our ambition is to offer regional high-speed mobility. It will be with our planes.
-Even if it's more harmful to the environment?
Our ambition is within the next 3 years to be operating aircraft that are in the prototyping and flight test phase, that have between 5 and 20 seats. They look like private jets, but with less pollution.
-So far, their bet is a success.
In the south of France, we embark with the company of Bertrand and Clément. In the plane, a couple from Geneva and a retired woman. There is also a businessman.
At the bottom of the plane, we meet we meet Eleanor, who works in fashion and communication. She's part of this new of this new jet clientele.
-The flights are more expensive than an Easyjet flight.
But the comfort is no longer in buying the latest bag. I buy things like a lot of people. But today, we're spending money on comfort as opposed to travel in a broader sense.
-As for the ecological impact, she's well aware of that.
-It pollutes, but I still consume.
-Because it's a time saver?
-Yes, and there is a form of comfort. I'm under 35. I have three companies, I travel, I work nonstop. Everybody thinks that when you're on a private jet, you're on vacation all year-round, but that's not the case. We are constantly in a form of competitiveness, where you have to work twice as hard. At the end of the day, we're exhausted. If we can save ourselves in terms of energy, by taking a trip like this because it's relaxing, I'm the first one to sign up.
-Arrived in Geneva, time for a picture to immortalize the jet, everyone says they will do it again without hesitation.
-Great! Short, on time, convenient, great!
-What is the program of the evening?
-It is 7:49 pm. In 53 minutes I'll be asleep.
-The market has a lot to live up to before it.
In France, one out of ten flights would already be a private jet flight.
Title: Holidays By Jet
Co-Founder, Air Mountain
Municipal PDC, Sion
Guy Antoine Regamey
Co-Founder, Air Mountain
Transport and Environment NGO
Bertrand Joab Cornu