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Private plane for less than a ferry ticket? Well yes & no...

Still thinking about a Summer holiday? What if the quarantine on UK arrivals is superseded by "air-bridges", between certain countries? Then how about this for a crazy (or perhaps not so crazy) idea...

Top Image by NoCopyrightVideoClips from Pixabay

Bottom Image by stokpic from Pixabay

...If there was ever a time to travel privately and charter your own plane, then wouldn't it be now?

What about the cost? Is it one of those things where "if you have to ask, then you can't afford it"? Well annoyingly (for most of us) in most cases; yes! For example consider a small executive jet to fly to the Mediterranean, perhaps go for a cheaper 'empty leg', where if you are flexible you can pick up the return leg of someone else's charter? Even then you are still talking many £1,000's.

However, what if we looked at the other end of the scale, made the flight as short as possible and changed the type of aircraft? If you drive to a small airport/airfield anywhere on the South Coast of England, you are never normally much more (and in some cases much less) than 100 miles from a corresponding airstrip in Northern France. A bit of internet research shows you could charter a light aircraft for around £1,000 return for a cross channel 'air-taxi'; promising, but still much more than the ferry.

Perhaps a different approach then? You could try "wingly", which is essentially an aerial lift share website. They match up private pilots who are planning flights to keep up their flying hours, with passengers who can come along for the ride in exchange for sharing the costs, e.g. fuel etc.

Generally trips advertised are day excursions. However, you can in some cases arrange to visit the same location as the pilot for several days, then meet up to fly back. Due to the size of the aircraft most of the trips are for two passengers, but some can take four.

Now at the start of this post I suggested a private flight may be available for less than a ferry ticket. On wingly I have seen a return flight with two seats available, from Bournemouth to Cherbourg for £190 return each. In comparison the ferry for two plus a car (Brittany Ferries do not appear to be taking bookings for foot passengers at present) comes in at about £400 return and takes substantially longer. Although with flying you need to add the additional cost of car hire, or a bus/taxi into town, technically, at a push, we can fly privately for less than a ferry ticket!

If conditions allow and you are looking for a short trip abroad this Summer, don't discount a private flight; it's certainly going to stay on my radar.

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