Six best FBO private jet lounges around the world
One of the top perks of private jet charter is enjoying the luxury lounges on offer at fixed-base operators (FBOs) before the flight. Passengers can experience chic amenities like multimedia conference rooms, 24/7 concierge service and complimentary food and transfers. Here’s a look at what six of the top FBOs around the world offer in their award-winning lounges.
What are FBOs and private airport lounges?
Private jet airports have dedicated terminals for their FBOs. Since their inception in the 1920s, these commercial aircraft service centres have become evermore lavish, offering five-star amenities for private jet customers along with aircraft facilities such as hangar storage, fueling, de-icing and repair and maintenance services. Flight crews also have space to relax, sleep and complete training between flights.
Private jet passengers can take advantage of free aircraft shuttles and fast-track customs and immigration desks. There’s usually a concierge service to deal with luggage and check-in while passengers chill out in sleek lounges serving complimentary food and drink, take advantage of on-site hotels or catch up on work in private conference rooms.
Six of the best FBO lounges around the world
An annual survey by Aviation International News (AIN) ranks the best FBOs around the world from a list of over 4,500, as judged by private jet passengers. Here’s a look at six of those top FBOs and what they offer:
1) Sheltair at Tampa International Airport, Florida
Rated the top FBO in the US, Sheltair covers 136,000 square feet at Tampa International Airport, which lies just minutes from Tampa’s downtown district, beaches and attractions like Busch Gardens. Sheltair offers a US customs facility for fast clearance, a passenger lounge overlooking the runway and two audio-visual equipped conference rooms.
Guests can enjoy complimentary refreshments, Wi-Fi, a café, courtesy hotel shuttles and access to the neighboring International Plaza for dining and shopping. There’s also a crew lounge, 24-hour customer service, arrival and departure canopies and ramps for passenger vehicles. The FBO features a 172,000-square-foot hangar and can accommodate all types of aircraft, from Gulfstreams to Piper Meridians.
Top flights from Sheltair FBO: A private charter in a light jet such as a Cessna Citation V to New York takes around two-and-a-half hours and costs anywhere from $18,800 to $34,900. Flying to LA takes five hours and 10 minutes and prices range from $30,600 to $47,800.
2) TAG Aviation at Farnborough Airport, England
TAG Aviation at Farnborough Airport, which lies less than an hour from London’s West End, has been rated the world’s number one FBO for nine consecutive years. Farnborough is the UK’s only airport dedicated entirely to business aviation and has a three-storey terminal with a spacious, modern lounge on the top floor overlooking the runway. For aircraft, services include fueling, parking, de-icing and catering.
Facilities include 329,000 square feet of hangar space, a pub, café, hotel and a gym for pilots. There’s also an on-site immigration and customs facility, fast baggage screening and audio-visual conference rooms. Passengers can be driven directly to their aircraft and take advantage of Farnborough’s 24-hour concierge service for help with trip planning, transfers and hotel bookings.
Top flights to and from TAG Aviation FBO: Flying privately from Farnborough to Paris in a light jet like a Hawker Beechcraft 400 takes about 45 minutes and costs from $11,400 to $24,700. A popular domestic route from Farnborough to Edinburgh takes one hour and costs from $11,700 to $22,800.
3) MJets at Don Mueang International Airport, Thailand
MJets at Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport is Asia’s top FBO and is growing fast, with an eight percent increase in private jet traffic last year. The new 26,000-square-foot, two-storey terminal opened in August 2016 and has an 86,000-square-foot aircraft hangar. Thailand’s first FBO is also a Cessna-authorized service facility and has IBAC accreditation.
MJets has 170 staff and its concierge service can take care of baggage, customs and immigration procedures while passengers relax in the swanky executive lounge with private accommodation and meeting rooms. There’s also special catering and on-site visa, immigrations, customs and security services. Flight crews have access to a separate lounge and training rooms.
Top flights to and from MJets FBO: It costs from $231,200 to $427,800 to fly from Bangkok to LA, a journey of 19 hours in an ultra-long range heavy jet such as a Gulfstream G550. A popular domestic route from Bangkok to Hong Kong costs from $52,300 and takes two-and-a-half hours in a light jet such as a Bombardier Learjet 36.
4) Hawker Pacific at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, Australia
Located less than half an hour from downtown Sydney in Australia, the Hawker Pacific FBO is known for its first-class amenities and support. The 24-hour concierge service helps with baggage handling, hotel arrangements, trip planning and transfers. Passengers can enjoy fully-serviced lounges as well as conference and meeting rooms. There’s also on-site customs, immigration and quarantine clearance. Hawker Pacific accommodates all types of aircraft and has great ground handling and crew services.
Top flights to and from Hawker Pacific FBO: It costs from $82,400 to $174,300 to fly from Sydney to Hong Kong in a mid-size jet like a Cessna Citation Excel, which takes 10-and-a-half hours. Flying internally from Sydney to Melbourne takes one hour and 20 minutes and costs from $12,000 to $13,600 in a light private jet like a Hawker Beechcraft Premier I IA.
5) Execujet Middle East at Dubai International Airport
Execujet offers eight passenger lounges at Dubai International Airport, located about eight miles from the Burj Khalifa. The FBO is used to accommodating VIP and diplomatic flights and has fast immigration and business facilities. Passengers can make use of a prayer room, duty-free shop, complimentary food and drink, newspapers, Wi-Fi and concierge service. Execujet has a separate crew lounge and two air-conditioned hangars covering over 75,000 square feet, plus aircraft maintenance support.
Top flights to and from Execujet FBO: Private charters from Dubai to London cost from $61,100 to $92,700 and take eight hours in a mid-size jet such as an Embraer Legacy 500. Flying to New York from Dubai costs from $181,500 to $303,000 in a heavy jet like a Gulfstream V, a journey of 16 hours.
6) Dassault Falcon Service at Paris Le Bourget Airport
Rated by AIN as France’s top FBO, the Dassault Falcon Service is located at Paris Le Bourget Airport, which lies less than a half-hour from the city’s famous Champs Elysées shopping district. This modern, minimalist FBO has a VIP lounge with views of the runway as well as free drinks, Wi-Fi, an entertainment system and a concierge service. In addition, there’s a conference room and private car park, while passengers can also visit the Museum of Air and Space at the eastern end of the airport. The FBO boasts a service center for Dassault Falcons offering maintenance, repairs and renovations, as well as crew assistance.
Top flights to and from Dassault Falcon Service FBO: A popular flight from Paris to New York takes eight hours and 20 minutes in a super mid-size jet such as a Dassault Falcon 50EX and costs from $69,900 to $345,000. Flying from Paris to Geneva takes 45 minutes, with prices starting from $10,600 to $24,400 in a light jet like a Bombardier Learjet 40XR.
More top FBOs
Additional US FBOs featured in the AIN survey include Jet Aviation at Palm Beach International Airport and Pentastar Aviation at Oakland County International. In the rest of the world, TAG Aviation has another highly-rated FBO at Geneva International Airport and the GRAFAIR Jet Center at Stockholm City features in the European top five. If you’re planning a private jet charter and want to make the most of your FBO experience, contact us via our website or call us on +1 516 432 590 and let us charter the best route for you.