Emirates is launching a regional private jet service using a fleet of Embraer Phenom 100 twin-engine aircraft, which are normally used by the Dubai-based airline for its in-house pilot training academy.
The on-demand regional charter service will allow customers with enough money to make short trips across ‘Gulf Cooperation Council’ countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and throughout the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Interestingly, Emirates didn’t say on Tuesday whether it would also be possible to use the private charter service to fly to Qatar or Kuwait, although both destinations are well within the 2,000 km maximum range of the Phenom ultra-light jet.
The aircraft can seat a maximum of just four passengers, and due to weight and capacity restrictions, passengers can only bring one medium-sized bag weighing up to 15 kilograms each, along with a standard carry-on bag.
Inflight service will also be restricted, although Emirates promises a “well-stocked hamper of light bites and refreshments”.
“The services offer discerning travellers with busy schedules privacy and a high level of flexibility,” a spokesperson for the airline explained.
Emirates’ Chauffeur Drive service can pick passengers up from any point in Dubai and whisk them to Dubai World Central Airport on te outskirts of the city where the airline’s flight training academy is based.
From there, they’ll receive a VIP experience with a dedicated representative who will ensure minimal pre-flight wait times. On arrival at their destination, passengers will bypass the main terminal building and will instead get VIP clearance at customs and immigration within a private terminal.
Emirates took delivery of its first of five Phemon 100s in 2017 as part of a drive to boost the capability of its pilot cadet programme. Due to the limited range of the aircraft, the planes had to be ferried from Embraer’s production facility in Florida via a 16-sector route which included airports in the United States, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, Germany, Hungary, Greece, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.
Unlike its regional Qatar Airways, which has built a substantial private jet business, Emirates has largely ignored the market with one notable exception. The airline owns one Airbus A319 corporate jet with a capacity for 19 passengers.
The plane is kitted out with the same First Class suites as the Airbus A380, along with an office space, lounge area and shower spa. From Dubai, the aircraft is capable of flying as far as Reykjavik or Tokyo non-stop.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.