LUXURY FOR EVERYONE – Keystone Aviation Charter Flights
Charter airlines have long been the domain of the rich, famous and privileged. A couple of clicks into the Utah based Keystone Aviation’s website reveals the image of a beautiful family leading their immaculately groomed Border Collies across the ramp, a small shiny jet gleaming in the afternoon sun behind them. Turns out, after some brief research, flying by private charter plane, whilst admittedly geared towards folks with a certain amount of disposable income, is not entirely out of reach for the rest of us.
Being of frugal mind, I hopped around the website and landed on the discount information page. “Occasionally, Keystone Aviation will book a charter trip that requires a reposition of the aircraft without passengers. These empty leg charter trips are then offered to the general public and other private charter operators/brokers at discounted rates.” This page is speaking my language. There’s an option to fill out a form to get email updates on available flight openings. Th at will be one auto-email I won’t immediately trash for a change. Now all I have to do is sit tight and wait for that empty flight over to Hawaii, oh, and another one coming back about two weeks later. But of course, charter flights are not just for vacations. More and more travelers are using this unique service to get where they need to be according to their own schedules, avoiding long security lines, crowded planes and multiple connections.
Keystone Aviation was founded in 1995 before becoming part of the TAC Air brand in 2012. “Keystone Aviation began with a love for aviation and continues to serve its customers with the same passion today.” Says Chief Operating Officer, Aaron Fish. He explains how Keystone Aviation roots are deep in the Intermountain West of Utah and provides a wide variety of aircraft for charter, mid-size aircraft to medium size jets. The private jet charter business is about providing service to its customers, and they even have it as part of their motto “SERVICE, with No Ceiling.” Fish tells me their passion for the industry and providing impeccable aviation experiences starts at the top with CEO Greg Arnold and filters throughout the company.
With planes based in Provo and Salt Lake, traveling to local and global destinations, there really isn’t a ceiling it seems, but who, I ask, is using this incredible service? Lots of people. For lots of reasons. Business people, wedding parties and people just needing to get somewhere hassle-free. Local trips like San Jose, Palm Springs and St. George are pretty common, says Flight Operations Manager, Nikki Engel. “If you were to charter our eight-seater Pilatus 12, you could split the cost between you and your friends, making it extremely affordable,” she tells me. Other destinations further afield, like London, the Cayman Islands and Kauai are not uncommon either. Some people take a charter plane just for the ride too. “We took one group over the North Pole so they could celebrate New Year’s Eve twice.” I find myself left with big questions. Why am I never invited to these parties, and when is the next Kauai flight?
Plans to expand with more aircraft flying to and from more locations are in the works for Keystone Aviation, and with their family business culture and willingness to make it happen, the sky does appear to be the limit for this forward-thinking aviation company. As for me, I’ll be checking my email regularly and mass deleting a little more car.