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Bombardier just delivered its 100th Global 7500 business jet built for the ultra-wealthy that features a private bedroom — see inside the ‘Ferrari of the Skies’

VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
  • Bombardier delivered its 100th Global 7500 private jet on Tuesday to private charter company VistaJet.
  • The plane is the largest and longest-range purpose-built private aircraft on the market capable of flying 7,700 nautical miles.
  • VistaJet's cabin was inspired by the color of espresso and includes four living spaces, including a private bedroom.
Canadian planemaker Bombardier just delivered its 10th Global 7500 business aircraft to VistaJet, the world's largest private charter company and the biggest operator of the aircraft type.
VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.

Source: Bombardier

The milestone marks the 100th Global 7500 that Bombardier has delivered and makes VistaJet the owner of 10% of the world's 7500s.
VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500 private jet.

Source: Bombardier

Bombardier has recently consolidated its products to focus solely on business aircraft, with its Global 7500 being considered the best of the best.
Bombardier Global 7500 Demonstration Aircraft — Dubai Airshow 2021
Inside a Bombardier Global 7500 demonstration aircraft at the Dubai Air Show.

Source: Bombardier

The $75 million plane is the largest and longest-ranged purpose-built private jet on the market, boasting an incredible 7,700 nautical mile range and capacity of up to 19 passengers.
Bombardier Global 7500 Demonstration Aircraft — Dubai Airshow 2021
Inside a Bombardier Global 7500 demonstration aircraft at the Dubai Air Show.

Source: Bombardier

The jet has become a staple of luxury travel that can connect nearly any city pair on Earth, like from New York to Hong Kong or from London to Tokyo.
A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500.
A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500.

Source: Bombardier

At a ceremony in Montreal on Tuesday, Bombardier CEO Éric Martel officially handed the keys to VistaJet founder and chairman Thomas Flohr.
Thomas Flohr (left) and Éric Martel (right).
"This industry has achieved a great deal, partially through COVID, and the world has actually discovered how efficient it is to use a business jet," Flohr said at the event.
Thomas Flohr (center) and Éric Martel (right).
Not only is it more convenient for travelers to fly private because they can skip busy airports and security checkpoints, but it is also more sustainable, Flohr explained.
Private passengers can many times drive straight up to the plane. Pictured is VistaJet’s Global 5000.
Private passengers can many times drive straight up to the plane. Pictured is VistaJet’s Global 5000.

I flew out of a general aviation airport to see how the rich travel. I didn't miss the hassle, lines, and frustration of commercial flying.

"Why fly a 737 into a remote town with a load factor of 20-30% and burn a lot more fuel, when you can take a small business jet and actually get there and have a lower carbon footprint," he said.
Private jet at the airport for the Super Bowl.
Private jet at the airport for the Super Bowl in February 2022.
Media were welcomed onboard VistaJet's historic Global 7500, which the company has dubbed the "Ferrari of the Skies." Take a look inside the stylish cabin, complete with four separate living spaces.
Thomas Flohr (left) and Éric Martel (right).
The first room passengers will see when they board is the club suite, which has four seats and a pull-out table in between each pair, allowing for plenty of space to work or discuss business.
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
The seats are zero-gravity loungers called Nuage that are exclusive to the Global 7500. They feature a unique tilt that allows the chair to have a deep recline and floating base.
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
"It feels like you're floating," Flohr told Insider. "They are a new development, and they are just more comfortable and a more modern look for passengers."
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
The seats have plenty of storage space for phones, as well as USB and power outlets to charge electronics.
VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 — Dubai Airshow 2021
A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.
Directly behind the club suite is the conference suite, which also doubles as a dining room.
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
According to Flohr, the space is relatively new in the industry because it has six dining seats instead of the standard four.
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
In partnership with Bombardier, VistaJet developed a unique table that can fold out into a larger surface space but can also connect to the table across the aisle via a leaf in the middle.
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
Beyond the dining area, there is a cinema room with a large television and seating area.
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
Flohr explained that this can be used to relax, watch movies, view a presentation, or have a private business conversation. The room is divided from the conference and club suites via a soundproof pocket door.
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
Towards the back of the aircraft is a bedroom with a double bed, TV, and closet...
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
…and a separate lounger. The lounger also has a pull-out table.
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
The bedroom is one-of-a-kind in the industry, according to Flohr, and is important for long-haul travel.
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
"You cannot fly 15 hours in a seat or you'll arrive wrecked, so we have installed a proper bed, not a pull-out, with a permanent mattress so passengers can actually sleep," he told Insider.
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
After the bedroom is a full lavatory with a toilet and sink. It was spacious with plenty of room to change or freshen up. A shower can also be installed, though VistaJet did not have one onboard.
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
During the tour, Flohr emphasized the large size of the windows throughout the cabin, which he said makes passengers feel like they are "floating."
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
Moreover, the seats always align with the windows, which have blinds that can be closed to create a dark cabin.
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
In addition to the four rooms, there is also a full galley and crew rest area at the front of the plane.
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
The rest area has space for three crew members to sit, or one to lay down and rest in between shifts, particularly on flights reaching 16 hours.
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
The galley has plenty of room for the crew members to prepare meals, drinks, or anything else a passenger may need, complete with two refrigerators and two ovens...
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
...a coffee maker...
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
...and plenty of storage space for glassware.
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
Also in the crew rest area is a second lavatory, which is smaller than the aft bathroom but still spacious.
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
As far as the colors and textures used in the cabin, Flohr told Insider that it started with the color of espresso.
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
"If you pour an espresso, it's obviously very dark but there is also that foam on top," he explained. "So, we felt it was a very balanced color scheme that we could use to design the seats, carpet, and wood."
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
"We're just trying to make the cabin calm and not loud because life is already so stressful, so we wanted a peaceful environment," he continued.
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
According to Jennifer Farquhar, VistaJet's head of group communications, the company is focused on providing a consistent uniform cabin across each plane so passengers have the exact same experience regardless of which Global 7500 they are on.
Onboard VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
"We've had some of our cabin hostesses take photos upon landing, particularly families with kids, of the exact location of the coloring books or stuff animals left out," she told Insider.
VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500.
"But then it's a whole different crew that will pick the passengers up, but they can place that teddy bear where the child left it, so it makes them feel like they're coming back to their home," she continued.
VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500 private jet.
Read the original article on Business Insider

The world’s first Airbus A319neo just took its maiden flight, but the jet has already been losing out to the planemaker’s more popular A220

China Southern Airlines A319neo delivery.
China Southern Airlines A319neo delivery.
  • The world's first Airbus A319neo just took its maiden flight with China Southern Airlines on Tuesday.
  • The jet has lagged behind the planemaker's other narrowbodies, particularly due to the success of the similar A220-300.
  • Both the A319neo and A220 serve regional and short-haul routes and have comparable range and capacity.
Airbus' best-selling A320 narrowbody entered the market in 1984 to compete with Boeing's popular 737 jets that were dominating the industry.
First A320.
First A320.

The amazing story of how the Airbus A320 became the Boeing 737's greatest rival

The plane gained popularity quickly, becoming a workhorse for airlines worldwide. The success prompted Airbus to manufacture additional variants, including the stretched A321 and the shorter A319 and A318 models.
Alitalia Airbus A319
Alitalia Airbus A319.

Source: Insider

Over the decades, the industry has worked towards creating more fuel-efficient aircraft to lower costs for airlines and reduce CO2 emissions.
Airplane flying over trees.
Airplane flying over trees.

Source: Insider

While some manufacturers made complex changes to their narrowbodies to meet demand, like Boeing's 737 MAX, Airbus' solution was to fit its current models with an upgraded engine.
Ryanair Boeing 737 Max
A Ryanair Boeing 737 MAX.

Source: Airbus

The program is known as NEO, or "new engine option," and helped the planemaker maintain its narrowbodies as the world's "most advanced and fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft family."
Airbus A320.
Airbus A320.

Source: Airbus

Airbus has three NEO versions in its fleet, including the A319neo, the A320neo, and the A321neo. These aircraft are successors to the company's original A320 family variants, now known as "CEO," or current engine option.
VivaAerobus Airbus A320neo
A VivaAerobus Airbus A320neo.

Source: Airbus

The two engine choices available to customers include Pratt & Whitney's PurePower PW1100G-JM geared turbofan…
Pratt & Whitney's PW1100G-JM Engine.
Pratt & Whitney's PW1100G-JM Engine.

Source: Airbus

…and CFM International's LEAP-1A.
LEAP-1A engine, developed by CFM

Source: Airbus

Two of the upgraded planes have done well in the market, with the A320neo and A321neo racking up 3,752 and 4,037 orders as of December 2021, respectively.
JetBlue A321neo.
JetBlue A321neo.

Source: Airbus

However, the A319neo, which is the smallest model, has significantly underperformed, despite the original A319 being a big success with 1,488 orders as of November 2021.
A319neo.
A319neo.

Source: Airbus

The A319neo took its maiden flight in 2017 and was ready to enter service in the first half of 2019. However, the plane has only accrued 70 orders to date.
A319neo.
A319neo.

Source: Airbus

This is due to the rise in popularity of the planemaker's A220-300 plane, which first entered commercial service in 2016.
Airbus A220
Airbus A220

I flew on JetBlue's brand-new Airbus A220 and saw why it's the perfect plane to lead the airline into its next era

Several airlines worldwide have ordered the massively successful jet that has garnered over 600 orders to date, like Delta Air Lines…
Delta A220.
Delta A220.

Source: Airbus, I flew on Delta's newest jet, the controversial Airbus A220-300, and it's my new favorite airliner in the US

…SWISS...
SWISS A220.
SWISS A220.

Source: SWISS

…and AirBaltic.
AirBaltic A220.
AirBaltic A220.

Air Baltic CEO says on track for A220 deliveries, as delays ease

The A319neo's similarity to the A220 is its biggest downfall. Specifically, both jets cater to regional and short-haul markets and have comparable designs.
A319neo.
A319neo.

Source: Airbus, Airbus

In terms of capacity, both can carry up to 160 passengers in a multi-class configuration.
AirBaltic A220 cabin.
AirBaltic A220 cabin.

Source: Airbus, Airbus

As far as range, the A319neo can fly up to 6,850 kilometers (4,256 miles), while the A220 is close behind with a maximum range of 6,297 kilometers (3,912 miles).
JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Source: Airbus, Airbus

Despite the similarities, the A220 has pulled ahead of the A319neo with its comfortable cabin, impressive efficiency and capacity, and overall lower operating costs.
JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Source: Airbus

However, there are still going to be rare glimpses of A319neos flying the skies.
Airbus flight crew standing in from of an A319neo.
Airbus flight crew standing in from of an A319neo.

Airbus and Boeing debuted new jets on the same day

On Tuesday, the world's first A319neo flew its maiden passenger flight with China Southern Airlines from Guangzhou to Chengdu.
China Southern's first A319neo flight.
China Southern's first A319neo flight.

Source: FATIII Aviation

China Southern received both of its A319neos in a double delivery in February, making it the first operator of the jet.
China Southern Airlines A319neo.
China Southern Airlines A319neo.

Source: China Southern Airlines, FATIII Aviation

According to FATIII Aviation, a Chinese content creator who was on the first flight, the airline's plane features a three-cabin layout with 136 seats, including first class, premium economy, and regular economy.
Onboard the first A319neo passenger flight.
Onboard the first A319neo passenger flight.

Source: FATIII Aviation

Only two other carriers have ordered the passenger jet, including Spirit Airlines...
Spirit Airlines A319 aircraft.
Spirit Airlines A319ceo aircraft.

Source: Airport Spotting, Spirit Airlines

...and Air Côte d'Ivoire, the flag carrier of Ivory Coast, a country in West Africa.
Air Côte d'Ivoire A320neo.
Air Côte d'Ivoire A320neo.

Source: Airport Spotting

The A319neo may have just entered commercial service, but it has also proven useful for Airbus' sustainability programs.
A319neo SAF flight.
A319neo SAF flight.

Source: Airbus

In October 2021, a CFM LEAP-1A-powered A319neo took off over Toulouse, France, using 100% sustainable aviation fuel. The flight was "the first in-flight study of a single-aisle aircraft running on unblended SAF."
Fueling the A319neo for its SAF flight.
Fueling the A319neo for its SAF flight.

Source: Airbus

The project will help Airbus collect data on how 100% SAF performs on the ground and in-flight. For the specific test flight, only one engine was run with full SAF, though the planemaker expects to fly the jet with both engines using 100% biofuel in 2022.
Fueling the A319neo for its SAF flight.
Fueling the A319neo for its SAF flight.

Source: Airbus

The news came just a month before United Airlines flew the first-ever passenger flight using 100% SAF. The SAF was supplied by World Energy, North America's only commercial biofuel producer.
United Airlines is the first airline in the world to use 100% SAF on a passenger flight.
United Airlines is the first airline in the world to use 100% SAF on a passenger flight.

United Airlines just became the first airline in history to operate a passenger flight using 100% sustainable aviation fuel

Read the original article on Business Insider

A JetBlue pilot was removed from a flight because he had a blood-alcohol level four times the legal limit

JetBlue A320 aircraft.
JetBlue A320 aircraft.
  • A JetBlue Airways pilot was removed from a flight after a breathalyzer confirmed he was under the influence of alcohol.
  • The pilot had a blood alcohol level of 0.17%, which is more than four times greater than the federal legal limit.
  • "We are aware of the incident that occurred this morning in Buffalo and are cooperating fully with law enforcement," a JetBlue spokesperson told Insider.

A JetBlue pilot was removed from duty after an incident in Buffalo where he was accused of attempting to fly while intoxicated, the airline confirmed to Insider.

"The safety of JetBlue's customers and crewmembers is our first priority," an airline spokesperson told Insider. "We are aware of the incident that occurred this morning in Buffalo and are cooperating fully with law enforcement. We are also conducting our own internal investigation. The crewmember involved has been removed from his duties."

The pilot was given a breathalyzer after a TSA agent believed he may be impaired during the pilot's security check and notified police, a Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority spokesperson told local media station WGRZ.

The pilot had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.17% — four times greater than the legal limit for pilots — according to the agency, which said he may face federal charges.

The Wednesday morning flight was scheduled to depart New York at 6:15 a.m. but incurred a four-hour and 10-minute delay over the incident, according to FlightAware data.

JetBlue emphasized in its statement that it "adheres to all DOT rules and requirements concerning alcohol at all times" and that it follows a "very strict zero-tolerance internal alcohol policy."

The FAA states that pilots may not consume alcohol within eight hours of a flight, coining the slogan "eight hours from bottle to throttle" on a brochure outlining pilot safety in relation to alcohol. While the agency's policy is eight hours, some companies impose longer limits. United Airlines, for example, changed its requirement in 2019 to 12 hours prior to duty after two pilots were caught intoxicated before a flight from Scotland to New Jersey, USA Today reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Western sanctions have stranded hundreds of airliners worth an estimated $12 billion

Russian carriers Aeroflot and S7 Airlines.
Russian carriers Aeroflot and S7 Airlines.
  • Aviation consultancy Ishka estimates $12 billion worth of leased aircraft is stuck in Russia over Western sanctions.
  • The sanctions have forced aircraft lessors, like Ireland-based AerCap, to end contracts with Russian carriers.
  • Airspace closures and pushback from Russian authorities and airlines could make repossessing the planes a challenge.

European aircraft leasing companies are terminating their contracts with Russian airlines following Western sanctions targeting the country's aviation industry, creating a potential logistical nightmare for lessors.

On Sunday, the European Union gave aircraft lessors until March 28 to end any rental contracts in Russia. The move is part of the EU's sweeping sanctions to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin, which banned "any plane owned, chartered or otherwise controlled by a Russian legal or natural person" from entering EU airspace.

According to Cirium data, Russia has 980 commercial aircraft in service, with 777 leased. Of those, 515 are rented from foreign firms, with a majority coming from Ireland-based companies.

Dublin-based AerCap — the world's biggest aircraft leasing firm — has the largest fleet in Russia with 152 planes, according to consultancy IBA. The company said it would be pulling all of its contracts with Russian airlines following the sanctions, with the jets estimated to be worth $2.5 billion, consultancy firm ACC Aviation said. 

AerCap's Russian clients include Aeroflot, S7 Airlines, Rossiya, Azur Air, and Ural Airlines, according to its website. The lessor is just one of nine Irish aircraft leasing companies with planes in Russia. 

Aeroflot.
Aeroflot aircraft.

There is $12 billion worth of leased jets that are to be returned to their owners, according to consultancy firm Ishka. But, ACC Aviation vice president Viktor Berta told Insider the lessors could face logistical complications getting the planes out of Russia if airlines and government authorities do not cooperate. 

"The logistics are immense," IBA aviation specialist Phil Seymour told The New York Times. "We are talking hundreds of planes that need to be flown out. Where in the world can they go? Will they play ball? Will there be any edict from above, telling not to cooperate?" 

Russia is part of the Cape Town Convention that makes it easier for lessors to repossess leased aircraft if an entity could not pay the cost. In return, airlines get cheaper financing. However, court cooperation is needed to enforce the deal, and it is still uncertain how Russia will respond, according to Reuters.

Airspace bans in Russia and Europe could also make it difficult for lessors to get to Russia to repossess the planes, CNBC reported

AerCap acknowledged the risk of doing business with Russia, and in a statement said it could face problems getting the aircraft back. 

"We may encounter obstacles and are likely to incur significant costs and expenses conducting repossessions," the company said in a security filing

Ishka consultant Paul O'Driscoll told The New York Times that companies are at risk of financial losses due to the canceled contracts. O'Driscoll explained that when a lease ends, companies must return the planes to the lessor in good condition, meaning a spotless interior and no maintenance issues. 

However, when a contract is terminated, there is no obligation from Russian airlines to maintain the plane. 

"You're really stuck," O'Driscoll said. "You have to leave the metal there."

Analysts say companies like AerCap, which had $75 billion worth of assets at the end of 2021, could burden the loss of the aircraft. However, the sanctions could cripple companies with smaller fleets, according to The New York Times.

In addition to AerCap, companies like Singapore-based AOC Aviation and Ireland-based Avalon also have planes in Russia that are impacted by the sanctions. 

Specifically, BOC has 18 planes in the country, while Avalon CEO Dómhnal Slattery told Reuters in December that it had fewer than 20 in Russia. 

"Our policy is to fully comply with all laws applicable to our business," BOC said in a statement. "The practical consequences of the new EU sanctions are complex and at the present time we are unable to provide further information."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Alaska is the first major US airline to offer a ‘flight pass’ subscription for discounted travel between 16 cities for as low as $49 a month

Alaska Airlines.
Alaska Airlines.
  • Alaska is the first major US airline to create a subscription-based "Flight Pass" starting at $49 per month.
  • "Flight Pass" and "Flight Pass Pro" are the two options available and only differ in the advanced booking period.
  • The pass allows travelers to book flights up to 90 days in advance on routes between 16 West Coast cities.

Alaska Airlines is reimagining travel with the first-ever subscription-based flight service in the US. 

On Wednesday, Alaska announced a new "Flight Pass" option for travelers who want more flexibility and spontaneity in their vacations. According to the airline, the pass is a subscription service that allows members to fly up to 24 roundtrip flights per year between 16 West Coast cities.

The pass goes on sale Wednesday, February 16, and destinations include popular routes within California, as well as to Reno, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. Travelers will have 100 daily flights to choose from throughout the Flight Pass network.

Alaska's Flight Pass route map.
Alaska's Flight Pass route map.

"Flight Pass builds on our mission to offer travelers the most West Coast destinations at the best value," Alaska's managing director of business development and products, Alex Corey, said in a press release. "Our commitment to care means offering convenient and affordable options that fit our guests' lifestyle and connect them to where they want to go."

There are two subscription options: "Flight Pass" and "Flight Pass Pro," which are outlined below. The memberships start at $49 and $199 per month, respectively, and go up to $749 per month at the highest level.

Flight Pass

Flight Pass subscription options start at $49 per month. The second option is $99 per month, while the third is $189 per month.
Flight Pass subscription options start at $49 per month. The second option is $99 per month, while the third is $189 per month.

Flight Pass Pro

Flight Pass Pro subscription options start at $199 per month. The second option is $399 per month, while the third is $749 per month.
Flight Pass Pro subscription options start at $199 per month. The second option is $399 per month, while the third is $749 per month.

The only difference between the two plans is the advanced booking period. Both allow tickets to be purchased up to 90 days before travel, but Flight Pass only allows bookings as early as 14 days before departure, while Flight Pass Pro allows same-day bookings up to two hours before travel.

In addition to the monthly fee, members will also have to pay taxes, airport fees, and the nominal fare, which is $0.01 on most flights, excluding peak travel periods, according to Alaska. The airline estimates taxes and fees to be about $29.20 roundtrip and explained any higher nominal fares will be disclosed at the time of booking.

Once members have selected the pass they want, they can choose to include 6, 12, or 24 roundtrip flights per year, giving them flexibility based on how often they plan to travel. Credits to redeem the flights will be deposited into each subscriber's account on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, the airline explained.

It is important to note that the pass is only applicable for roundtrip tickets, meaning one-way and multi-segment bookings are not available. Furthermore, those that get the lowest level of "Flight Pass" and "Flight Pass Pro" will have to wait until they accrue a full credit before booking their first flight, which takes two months.

Moreover, credits expire, so members will have to use their flights before they can receive more. And, subscribers must commit to a 12-month plan that cannot be canceled before the year is up. The only way to cancel is to call Alaska at the end of the period, or the plan will auto-renew.

As far as loyalty benefits, Flight Pass tickets are eligible for miles accrual and count towards qualifying for elite status, according to the airline.

The pass comes as many Americans say they plan to travel in 2022 after two years of restrictions and quarantine mandates. According to Expedia's 2022 Travel Trends report based on surveys from 12,000 people in 12 countries, 59% of US travelers plan to vacation domestically this year. Moreover, over 50% of respondents said they wanted to be either more spontaneous or more "go-with-the-flow" this year.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Upstart US airline Northern Pacific Airways recently unveiled its first plane. Here’s how the aircraft’s sleek paint job was designed.

Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
  • Low-cost startup airline Northern Pacific Airways recently unveiled its first Boeing 757, complete with a unique paint job.
  • The jet was designed by Edmond Huot, who wanted to create a beautiful plane with nods to Asian and Alaskan culture.
  • The aircraft is different from many other budget carriers that paint their planes with bold, eccentric colors.
Alaska-based low-cost startup Northern Pacific Airways, which soon plans to ferry passengers between Asia and the US via Anchorage, recently unveiled its first Boeing 757 plane.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft livery.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft livery.
The aircraft was officially debuted in San Bernardino, California, in January, and the livery was created by Edmond Huot, founder of design agency Forward Studio.
Edmond Huot's company designed the livery.
Edmond Huot's company designed the livery.
Insider spoke with Huot to discuss how Northern's livery, as well as previous works, go from the first concept to the final product. He said the project took about a year, but the process begins with understanding the customer and the intended brand.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
"We always start with research, pouring over every possible visual reference, whether its geography, historical, architectural, or textures," he said. "Then we imagine a story or thematic narrative that is purely creative, like seeing the plane as an animal, which is actually the most fun part. Then, we blend the two together."
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
Huot explained that because Northern is based in Alaska, but also plans to fly to Asia, the livery needed to represent the culture and landscape of both places. He did this through colors and patterns that highlight snow, mountains, wind, and animals.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
Specifically, Northern's 757s are feature a dark color palette of greys and blacks, with hints of blue and green on the winglets that represent the northern lights, according to Huot.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 winglets.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 winglets.
Meanwhile, he said the spiral design on the tail is intended to represent airflow and softness. "The livery on the front of the aircraft is quite sharp, and precise, and very pointed, so I wanted the tail to mix the softness of the lines with the stronger colors," Huot explained.
Northern Pacific Airways tail.
Northern Pacific Airways tail.
Other features of the plane include two white lines on the engine that represent the wings of a bird and ascension...
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
..."Northern Pacific" and a giant "N" painted across the fuselage...
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
..."Northern Pacific" painted on the belly of the jet...
Northern Pacific Airways aircraft belly.
Northern Pacific Airways aircraft belly.
...and a black outline around the cockpit windows.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
According to Huot, this was done to modernize the older 757 plane and was a nod to the Airbus A350 jet, which commonly features the "mask" look.
Qatar Airways A350.
Qatar Airways A350.
Overall, Huot explained that he thought about what would make a beautiful plane, as opposed to a wacky, fun plane, which is common to low-cost carriers.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
While Northern does consider itself a budget airline, Huot explained that he wanted to create a design that showed the company's premium edge. Unlike other long-haul, low-cost carriers, the company's 757s will feature business class seats.
Rendering of the interior cabin.
Rendering of the interior cabin.

Source: NYC Aviation

"I always wanted to do something that had taste, because people want to see something beautiful and eye-catching, and I also wanted it to be identifiable in the sky," he said.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 winglets.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 winglets.
Moreover, he said one of the overarching stories for Northern's design was "We Are All Navigators" to represent exploration and frontiersmen navigating through life and this new business.
Northern Pacific Airways
A rendering of a Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
According to Huot, Northern gave him full creativity, which is rare in his experience. He explained to Insider that airlines typically come to him looking for a specific color scheme or concept before he has started the design.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
However, because Northern is a startup, it was imperative that he maximized the resources given to him to create the design. "Both the investors as well as the operators are extremely sensitive to how we go about spending time and money," he said. "You've got to get it right the first time."
Northern Pacific Airways
A rendering of a Northern Pacific Airways Boeing 757 aircraft.
According to Huot, the highly subjective paint designs are "massive dartboards" and can be a hot topic of discussion among aviation enthusiasts. Because of this, he says he has to understand the airline's goal and business plan to nail the correct branding.
ANA Pokemon plane livery.
ANA Pokemon plane livery.
He told Insider that certain colors should be avoided because they are too bold or not as aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Easyjet.
Easyjet plane livery.
"Color is so subjective, but I find some perform better than others," he said. "Yellow, in particular, is very ambitious because the shades can be very heavy, look mustardy, or be too bright."
Ryanair Boeing 737 Max
A Ryanair Boeing 737 Max 8200
Meanwhile, colors like red, blue, grey, black, and white are typically well-received by plane watchers. However, Huot explained some colors fade or degrade faster than others, so the cost to re-paint certain shades is a factor.
Delta Connection aircraft.
Delta Connection aircraft.
Moreover, simple designs, which are commonly seen on global carriers, like Delta or United, do well, he said.
United Airlines at LAX
United Airlines at LAX
However, he explained that low-cost carriers actually use bold, bright colors and designs as a way to make a statement and market their brand, like Hungary-based Wizz Air's pink fuselage...
Wizz Air Airbus A321neo — Dubai Airshow Trip 2021
A Wizz Air Airbus A321neo.
And Spirit Airlines' all-yellow planes.
Spirit Airlines A319 aircraft.
Spirit Airlines A319 aircraft.
Over the years, Spirit's color choice has puzzled many people, but Huot believes it was good for the airline's brand.
Spirit Airlines aircraft
Spirit Airlines aircraft
"I think Spirit was probably trying to figure out how to break through," he said. "Yellow is a stringent color, but it stands out. I would bet there's an entire marketing strategy around owning that color, so I think that's smart and they've done a good job with their brand."
Spirit Airlines
Spirit Airlines
Read the original article on Business Insider

A nearly abandoned New York airport is getting nonstop flights to Europe for the first time since 2019 with fares starting at $109 one-way

PLAY and Norse Atlantic Airways.
PLAY and Norse Atlantic Airways.
  • New York Stewart International Airport is getting transatlantic service for the first time since 2019.
  • Icelandic carrier PLAY and Norway-based Norse Atlantic Airways are planning to begin flights to the airport this year.
  • PLAY will offer routes to 22 European cities via Iceland, while Norse will start with flights to Oslo.
New York Stewart International Airport is about 60 miles north of New York City and currently offers domestic service from budget carriers Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air.
New York Stewart International Airport.
New York Stewart International Airport.

Source: Times Union

The airport previously hosted European budget airline Norwegian Air Shuttle until summer 2019 when the carrier left the airport after just two years of service. The airline blamed its departure on the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX jet after two fatal crashes.
Norwegian Air Shuttle
Norwegian Air Shuttle.

Source: Daily Freeman

Now, after a three-year hiatus, Stewart is getting international service again from two European airlines.
New York Stewart International Airport.
New York Stewart International Airport.
On June 9, 2022, new Icelandic low-cost carrier PLAY will begin nonstop flights between the airport and Europe.
PLAY A321.
PLAY launching flights between New York and Europe.
Stewart will be PLAY's third US city and tickets go on sale today. Travelers can book flights between the US and 22 European destinations, like Dublin, Paris, Copenhagen, and Brussels.
PLAY launching flights between New York and Europe.
PLAY launching flights between New York and Europe.
The flight will have a short layover in Iceland before continuing on to its final destination.
Exit to Iceland sign
Exit to Iceland sign
Introductory fares start at $109 one-way to 10 European destinations, including Reykjavik, London, Dublin, Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Brussels in Belgium, Stuttgart in Germany, Trondheim in Norway, and Gothenburg in Sweden.
PLAY launching flights between New York and Europe.
PLAY launching flights between New York and Europe.
The deal is only available on roundtrip tickets purchased through February 7 at midnight for flights scheduled between September and October 2022.
PLAY $109 fare deal.
PLAY $109 fare deal.
PLAY CEO Birgir Jónsson told Insider that Stewart is a financially advantageous airport and he is eager to enter the market.
CEO Birgir Jónsson at Boston Logan International Airport.
CEO Birgir Jónsson at Boston Logan International Airport.
"We want to create the most economical way to get to and from New York from Europe, so if we went to the same airports as everyone else, that isn't good business," he explained. "Stewart is a low-cost airport so we can operate in and out at a lower cost base and offer the best prices without sacrificing our profits."
Passenger boarding a PLAY flight.
PLAY launching flights between New York and Europe.
Stewart will complement PLAY's new service between Europe and Baltimore and Boston, which are scheduled to start on April 20 and May 11, respectively.
PLAY European route map from Iceland.
PLAY launching flights between New York and Europe.

A new European low-cost carrier is coming to the US with fares starting at $109 to cities across Germany, Iceland, Spain, and more — here's what passengers can expect

PLAY is a successor to WOW Air which ceased operations in 2019 due to years of financial struggles independent of the coronavirus pandemic.
WOW Air.
PLAY launching flights between New York and Europe.

Source: Insider

While PLAY has adopted several pieces of WOW's low-cost business model, like flying a no-frills product across the Atlantic, Jónsson told Insider the airline has abandoned some aspects that caused WOW to fail.
"Pay less, Play more!" motto.
PLAY launching flights between New York and Europe.

Source: Insider

"Our model is different because we are entering a widebody market with a narrowbody jet," he said. "These routes really aren't long-haul and because we are using the geographic location of Iceland, we don't need a widebody jet between major cities, which is the market that's failed."
WOW Air Airbus A330.
PLAY launching flights between New York and Europe.

Source: Insider

Like WOW, PLAY offers a bare-bones product. Its A321neo planes that will fly the route are configured in all economy, though the seats recline and passengers can pay extra for more legroom.
PLAY aircraft interior.
PLAY launching flights between New York and Europe.

Source: Insider

Moreover, the plane will not offer many amenities, like WiFi or inflight entertainment, and luggage, seat assignments, drinks, snacks, and meals cost extra. Jónsson told Insider that the experience is intended to be as "hassle-free" as possible and travelers can expect a product similar to other budget airlines.
PLAY flight attendant onboard.
PLAY launching flights between New York and Europe.

Source: Insider

While PLAY has confirmed it will begin operations to Stewart, it is not the only European startup eyeing the airport.
PLAY aircraft at the gate.
PLAY launching flights between New York and Europe.
On January 14, Norway-based Norse Atlantic Airways announced it received approval from the US Department of Transportation to fly from Norway and the European Union to the US.
Norse Atlantic Airways.
Norse Atlantic Airways.

Source: Department of Transportation, Norse Atlantic Airways

"We are thrilled by the Department of Transportation's approval of our affordable transatlantic flights," Norse CEO and founder Bjørn Tore Larsen said. "This significant milestone brings Norse one step closer to launching affordable and more environmentally friendly service to customers traveling between Europe and the United States."
Norse Atlantic Airways CEO and founder Bjørn Tore Larsen.
Norse Atlantic Airways CEO and founder Bjørn Tore Larsen.

Source: Norse Atlantic Airways

The airline, which plans to only operate long haul routes, will use a Boeing 787 Dreamliner in a two-class configuration, including regular economy and premium economy. The long-haul flight will not have a lie-flat business class.
Norse Atlantic Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Norse Atlantic Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Source: Simple Flying

Specifically, the airline's 787-9 will have 56 recliners and 282 regular economy seats, while the shorter 787-8 version will feature 32 recliners and 259 standard seats.
Norse Atlantic Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Norse Atlantic Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
According to its September application to the DOT, Norse said its initial US routes will be between Oslo and Stewart, New York; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Ontario, California. The three airports will serve the greater areas of New York City, Miami and southern Florida, and Los Angeles, respectively.
Norse Atlantic Airways.
Norse Atlantic Airways.

Source: Simple Flying

Norse hoped to be in the air before the end of 2021, but the ongoing pandemic has pushed the date back to spring 2022. Maureen Halahan, president of the Orange County Partnership, said the announcement is great news for Stewart.
Norse Atlantic Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Norse Atlantic Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Source: Mid Hudson News

"It will hopefully be the beginning of opening up that European market and the UK when people catch on that it is very easy to fly into Stewart, easy access to New York City," she told the Mid Hudson News. "That is what they built the international arrivals building for."
Norse Atlantic Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Norse Atlantic Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Source: Mid Hudson News

The $37 million international arrivals building at Stewart was finished in November 2020 but has yet to be used.
New York Stewart International Airport.
New York Stewart International Airport.

Source: Times Union

Jónsson told Insider he is happy Norse is looking at Stewart because it will make people more aware of the lesser-known airport and its international service.
PLAY executives with cabin crew.
PLAY executives with cabin crew.
"I think if they do it, and I hope they do, because that means the airport will be better known and there will be more companies marketing the airport," he said.
PLAY flight attendant welcoming passengers.
PLAY flight attendant welcoming passengers.
He also explained that he does not anticipate strong competition from Norse because PLAY's business model is completely different.
Norse Atlantic Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Norse Atlantic Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
"They have Dreamliner jets, so they will have to find 250 or 300 people for each flight to Stewart from a single destination," he explained to Insider. "Because we're doing a layover in Iceland, we only need to find 20 people for London, 20 people for Copenhagen, 20 people for Berlin, and so on."
PLAY.
PLAY.
According to Norse, the airline's Stewart operation will bring a myriad of jobs to American workers, including hiring hundreds of US-based flight attendants. The carrier's presence is also expected to boost the local economy.
Norse Atlantic Airways.
Norse Atlantic Airways.
"Our people will be our competitive advantage. We are building a high-performance culture and creating an environment where we value diversity, ensuring that all colleagues feel a sense of belonging. We look forward to start recruiting our new colleagues in the US," Larsen said.
Norse Atlantic Airways pilots.
Norse Atlantic Airways pilots.

Source: Norse Atlantic Airways

Read the original article on Business Insider

Spirit is launching 3 all-new routes to Utah as customers seek more outdoor-focused destinations in the western US

Spirit Airlines A319 aircraft.
Spirit Airlines A319 aircraft.
  • Spirit Airlines is launching three new routes to Salt Lake City, marking the first time the carrier will serve Utah.
  • According to the airline, customers want more options to outdoor-focused destinations in the Western US.
  • Spirit will offer low fares to the city and go head-to-head with Delta Air Lines, the airport's largest operator.

Spirit Airlines is heading to Utah for the first time in its history as demand increases for outdoor destinations in the Western US. 

To kick off 2022, Spirit announced on Tuesday that it is launching three new routes out of Salt Lake City, Utah. Starting in May, the airline will offer nonstop flights to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Orlando. 

According to John Kirby, the airline's vice president of network planning, the move comes as customers seek more Western destinations that offer outdoor-focused activities. 

"This spring is a great time to launch service to Salt Lake City, The Crossroads of the West," he said in a press release. "We're also excited to introduce our high-value travel proposition for our new Utah guests looking for convenient non-stop flights to some of the nation's most popular leisure destinations."

According to the airline, the expansion marks a number of firsts, including the first time Spirit has operated in the state of Utah and the first new domestic carrier to fly to the airport since 2013.

"We are thrilled to welcome Spirit Airlines to Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)," Bill Wyatt,
executive director of Salt Lake City Department of Airports said. "The Spirit model will be a popular
addition to SLC's portfolio of airlines."

Wyatt also explained that Spirit is the first new domestic airline to operate in the Utah capital since the city unveiled "The New SLC" in 2020, which is a $4.5 billion rebuild project. Facilities include a new parking garage, gateway center, central terminal, and other enhancements to be completed by 2024, according to the airport

New Salt Lake City International Airport
The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Spirit will go head-to-head with Delta Air Lines in Salt Lake City, which is the airport's largest operator. Delta currently operates all three of Spirit's new routes, but the budget carrier's low fares will fuel the competition to leisure destinations out of Utah's capital city.

Spirit's expansion in Salt Lake City is not the first time it has entered a market dominated by a legacy rival. In October 2021, the carrier announced 31 new routes out of American Airlines' hub in Miami, making the low-cost airline the second biggest player at the airport, according to the company.

In addition to new routes to Salt Lake City, Spirit is hosting a pilot hiring event at the airport on February 8, the company said in the press release. The budget airline is not immune to the pilot shortage currently plaguing the industry, and its call for pilots comes after carriers continue to cut flights due to staffing issues and offer pay raises and bonuses for new talent.

Here's a closer look at Spirit's three new routes out of Salt Lake City.

Between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada.
Las Vegas, Nevada.

Spirit will fly twice daily between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas beginning May 26. Frontier, Delta, and Southwest will be the airline's competition.

Between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California.

Spirit will fly once daily between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles beginning May 26. The airline will compete with a number of carriers on the route, including Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United.

Between Salt Lake City and Orlando

City skyline and Lake Eola at Orlando in Florida

Spirit will fly once daily between Salt Lake City and Orlando beginning May 26. The route will see competition from JetBlue and Delta.

Read the original article on Business Insider

An Airbus A320 jet crash landed on the Hudson River with no fatalities 13 years ago. Now the plane is a part of a museum in Charlotte.

Miracle on the Hudson A320.
Miracle on the Hudson A320.
  • Exactly 13 years have passed since an Airbus A320 miraculously crash-landed on the Hudson River with no fatalities.
  • Pilots Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles ditched the powerless plane on the river after a bird strike.
  • The damaged aircraft sat on display in Charlotte, North Carolina before moving to storage, but will be back in 2022.
It has been 13 years since captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and first officer Jeffrey Skiles maneuvered a fully loaded Airbus A320 jet onto the Hudson River after the plane suffered total engine failure from a bird strike.
Miracle on the Hudson A320.
Miracle on the Hudson A320.

Source: Britannica

The damaged US Airways aircraft crash-landed on the water, but, there were zero fatalities. Sullenberger's heroic life-or-death decision has become world-famous, with the accident dubbed the "Miracle on the Hudson."
Sully presented with keys to the city.
Sully presented with keys to the city.

Source: Britannica

150 passengers were on board the plane, who evacuated after the crash at the direction of flight attendants Donna Dent, Doreen Welsh, and Sheila Dale.
Flight attendants presented with keys to the city.
Flight attendants presented with keys to the city.

Source: Britannica, CN Traveler

The passengers were forced to stand on the wings and sit in rafts in freezing temperatures as the aircraft slowly sunk, anxiously waiting for rescue boats to arrive.
Miracle on the Hudson A320.
Miracle on the Hudson A320.

Source: Britannica, WCNC

14 boats and dozens of emergency first responders and ferry crews saved the passengers within minutes of the accident. Many of the passengers had been exposed to harsh 30-degree waters.
Passengers being rescued from the raft.
Passengers being rescued from the raft.

Source: Britannica, Hudson Reporter

In an interview with WCNC in 2019, passenger Barry Leonard, who was first to exit the plane, explained the harrowing situation. "I didn't know what to do," he said. "The flight attendant said jump. So I jumped." He was in the water for about four minutes before being pulled onto a raft.
Passengers stand on the wings of the ditched plane.
Passengers stand on the wings of the ditched plane.

Source: WCNC

The "miracle" grabbed the attention of people across the world and even inspired the movie Sully, where Tom Hanks played the skilled pilot.
Sully, Tom Hanks, and director Clint Eastwood.
Sully, Tom Hanks, and director Clint Eastwood.

Source: IMDb

Moreover, the National Transportation Safety Board described the flight as "the most successful ditching in aviation history."
NTSB.
NTSB.

Source: Honeywell Aerospace

After the NTSB determined the cause of the crash, it was clear the historic plane needed a permanent home. So, the A320 was put up for auction by insurance firm Chartis but, unfortunately, had no buyers.
Miracle on the Hudson A320.
Miracle on the Hudson A320.

Source: Simple Flying

However, the plane was not going to be scraped. Instead, it was donated to the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina by the American International Group. The plane was transported via highway to its new home.
Miracle on the Hudson A320.
Miracle on the Hudson A320.

Source: Time

Sully spoke at the museum in June 2011 for the plane's arrival and was accompanied by many of the passengers and other crewmembers.
Sully speaking at the museum.
Sully speaking at the museum.

Source: Time

Survivors also donated personal belongings to be on display in the museum. Moreover, several artifacts from the crash, like life vests, seat cushions, and emergency doors, are also part of the exhibit.
Sully inside the Miracle on the Hudson A320.
Sully inside the Miracle on the Hudson A320.

Source: Time

The A320 became the museum's centerpiece, complete with the damage it suffered during the crash. Visitors got the opportunity to witness the dents and breaks to the engines...
Miracle on the Hudson engine.
Miracle on the Hudson engine.
...nose...
Miracle on the Hudson nose.
Miracle on the Hudson nose.
...wings...
Miracle on the Hudson wing.
Miracle on the Hudson wing.
...and tail.
Miracle on the Hudson tail.
Miracle on the Hudson tail.
According to the museum, the aircraft was a "game-changer" for revenue, with guests coming from all over to see the famous plane. What was once a niche site with mostly unknown aircraft quickly became a place of national and historic significance.
Miracle on the Hudson exhibit.
Insider's Taylor Rains at the Miracle on the Hudson exhibit.

Source: Charlotte Observer

Not only could visitors see the plane up close, but they could also hear from the survivors of the accident. Passengers regularly spoke at the museum, sharing their stories from that dramatic day.
Insider's Taylor Rains with a Miracle on the Hudson survivor.
Insider's Taylor Rains with a Miracle on the Hudson survivor.
"What's amazing is there's 155 different stories from that day and I like hearing everybody else's stories, and it just makes it so miraculous," Laurie Crane told WCNC in 2019. "Some people thought we were going to die on the plane, then we thought we were going to die on the river. That we all were saved, it's just a godsend."
Miracle on the Hudson passengers.
Miracle on the Hudson passengers.

Source: WCNC

The plane was the museum's centerpiece until 2019 when it was moved to storage after the site temporarily closed while it finds a new hangar to store its aviation collection. However, the A320 will not be gone forever.
Flight 1549 items in the museum's gift-shop lobby.
Flight 1549 items in the museum's gift-shop lobby.

Source: WCNC

According to the museum, the aircraft will find a new home in 2022 where it will once again be on display for public viewings.
Miracle on the Hudson fuselage.
Miracle on the Hudson fuselage.

Source: WCNC

Read the original article on Business Insider

I flew out of a general aviation airport to see how the rich travel. I didn’t miss the hassle, lines, and frustration of commercial flying.

Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
  • I flew out of a general aviation airport and now dread going back to commercial flying.
  • I enjoyed the perks typically reserved for the ultra-rich, like no security, gates, or crowded terminals.
  • The facility that handles general aviation flights was comfortable, with free snacks and a VIP lounge.
Private aviation has historically been a luxury reserved for the ultra-wealthy, with customers dropping tens of thousands of dollars to travel on a business jet.
Set Jet Bombardier Challenger 850 Private Jet Flight
Private jet.
Deep-pocketed travelers have long appreciated the convenience of general aviation airports that are typically small with little to no security, though the COVID-19 pandemic added another level of health safety that private aviation could provide.
Set Jet Bombardier Challenger 850 Private Jet Flight
Private jet.
There are about 5,000 general aviation airports in the US, which most private jets use. One of the better-known ones in my state is Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.

Source: DOT

The small airport is home to a few fix-based operators (FBOs), which are organizations that offer aeronautical services, flight instruction, aircraft rentals, and more.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.

Source: Skybrary

Services comprise things like fueling, maintenance, hangaring, tie-downs, and parking for general aviation, including private charters.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.

Source: Skybrary

FBOs can handle everything from larger Gulfstream G550 and Cessna Citation III jets to smaller Piper Navajos, though some have limits on the size of aircraft.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
At Sikorsky, the two main FBOs are Atlantic Aviation…
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.

Source: Air Nav

And Three Wing Aviation.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.

Source: Air Nav

My boyfriend, who is a former flight instructor based at Sikorsky, flew in and out of the airport for several years. One perk of the job is access to aircraft that he can fly for fun.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Late last year, I got to tag along on one of his adventures and experience first-hand what it's like to fly out of a general aviation airport, and now I dread going back to commercial flying.
Flying with my pilot boyfriend.
Flying with my pilot boyfriend.
My journey started around 2 pm at Sikorsky airport, which is about a 20-minute drive from my apartment. It was a perfect day for flying, with few clouds and calm winds, which was a nice change after a week of fog and rain.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
The airport is easy to access, with the entrance right off a service road that connects the main street to a small community behind the airport next to the Long Island Sound.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Because the airport is small and does not have regularly scheduled passenger service, there was no traffic or lines to get in, and I was able to simply drive right up to the FBO and park. In fact, parking at Sikorsky airport is free for customers, and the lots are huge with plenty of space.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
The FBO we flew out of has the parking lot right outside of its facility, so I only walked about 30 steps from my car to the front door. I did not have to fight any foot traffic or face major crowds that are common at commercial airports.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
The FBO itself was extremely nice and cozy, with a medium-sized lobby featuring comfortable armchairs...
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
...and a TV and table.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
The FBO's bathroom was private and clean, which was a pleasant upgrade from the stalls at major airports.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Meanwhile, there were also complimentary drinks and snacks available for passengers, which included water, Coke products, sparkling water, chips, and pretzels.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
There was also a Keurig coffee machine stocked with plenty of K-cups and cream and a hot water machine for tea. I helped myself to a Dunkin' medium roast while I waited for my boyfriend to arrive.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Once he got to the airport, he started to preflight the plane while I waited in the "VIP lounge," which featured large reclining leather chairs, a couch, and a TV.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
The room was down the hall from the lobby and was much quieter and provided enhanced privacy and comfort that is absent from commercial airports unless you have access to a club or lounge.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
I also spent some time exploring the facility, which has two hangars onsite, one housing several aircraft, like helicopters and private jets, and the second for maintenance.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
I also talked to the line crew workers, whose office is next to the VIP lounge and overlooks the ramp. The employees spend their day directing, parking, fueling, and cleaning planes.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Once my boyfriend was ready to fly, I headed directly to the ramp and boarded the small Piper Warrior aircraft. The easy access to the plane was extremely convenient as I did not have to wait in line at a gate or show a boarding pass.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Moreover, I did not have to go through any sort of security, which was the best part of the trip. From the moment I parked to the second I stepped out onto the ramp, I did not have to take off my shoes, get a full-body scan, or have my purse searched.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
For the most part, passengers will go through little, if any, security screening at general aviation airports because there is less of a security threat. This allows travelers to bring full-size bottles of liquids and other restricted items not allowed through TSA at commercial airports.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.

Source: USA Today

Security is so minimal at these airports that many customers have the option to pull their car straight up to the aircraft instead of walking from the parking lot, meaning they can be off the ground within minutes of arriving at the airport.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.

Source: USA Today

While I did not have the luxury of driving up to the plane, my boyfriend and I were ready for takeoff within about 20 minutes of my arrival. After completing preflight checks, we taxied out to one of Sikorsky's two runways and took off for New Jersey.
Flying with my pilot boyfriend.
Flying with my pilot boyfriend.
We flew in a small four-seater Piper plane, which is not the luxurious business jets that the ultra-wealthy charter, but I was still happy to experience the joys of general aviation.
Flying with my pilot boyfriend.
Flying with my pilot boyfriend.
My boyfriend navigated over the Hudson River toward Lincoln Park Airport in New Jersey, where we stopped for lunch. The flight took about half an hour and provided beautiful views of the landscape and scenery.
Flying with my pilot boyfriend.
Flying with my pilot boyfriend.
We spent about an hour at the restaurant in New Jersey, which was at the airport, where we helped ourselves to calamari and burgers. I felt quite fancy taking a plane to lunch, which is a unique perk of dating a pilot.
Flying with my pilot boyfriend.
Flying with my pilot boyfriend.
After lunch, we made our way down the Hudson River and flew along the New York City skyline, getting up close and personal with the giant skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty.
Flying with my pilot boyfriend.
Flying with my pilot boyfriend.
Eventually, we headed back to Sikorsky where we landed and taxied back to the FBO. The line crew workers escorted us back into the facility, and I was at my car within two minutes.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.
As someone who flies regularly on commercial planes, it was a treat to fly out of a general aviation airport and see how the rich travel. The experience made it clear why many people are ditching commercial flying for private, and I'm sure for those that can afford it, the convenience is worth the hefty price.
Flying with my pilot boyfriend.
Flying with my pilot boyfriend.
Read the original article on Business Insider