Air Travel as an enjoyable, exciting experience is a distant memory of those old enough to remember when airlines openly competed for business, courting each and every passenger. Today, even first class travelers often have difficulty booking a desired itinerary, and still can’t avoid the airport experience (at best is annoying, at worst horrendous). Frustration and curiosity lead to the private airline charter. Earlier this month I enjoyed a private tour of Schubach Avaiation.
Schubach is San Diego county’s leading luxury airline charter and has served as a leader in San Diego’s booming private air travel industry since 1992. Schubach’s clients have discovered the ease, convenience and quality that charter jet travel provides. With over 20 years of experience and access to over 5,000 airports worldwide, no detail is too small to command Schubach’s attention. Clients are relieved of long airport lines, baggage fees, passenger charges (including the furry kind) and virtually all travel-related anxiety.
Kimberly Herrell, Director of Sales & Marketing, provides insight. Operating out of McClellan-Palomar Airport, 34 miles outside of San Diego proper, Schubach’s diverse fleet falls into five distinct categories:
Heavy Jets | People and Pets: 9-12 | Range: 3600-3900 miles
Super-Midsize Jets | People and Pets: 8 | Range: 2700-3200 miles
Midsize Jets | People and Pets: 7-8 | Range: 2100- 2600 miles
Light Jets | People and Pets: 5-6 | Range: 1200 miles
Turbo-Prop | People and Pets: 8 | Range: 1500 miles
As Kimberly and I walked through the hanger, we observed a dozen maintenance and avionic engineers diligently maintaining aircraft. The same engineers who meticulously attend to Schubach’s aircraft are responsible for fleets of law enforcement and medical transport helicopters. Safety is Schubach’s first priority, and no expense is spared when it comes to staffing qualified, certified, licensed maintenance and flight staff. Schubach earned a Gold Rating from the Aviation Research Group/U.S. – awarded only to operators who meet or exceed established standards for safety history and crew experience for FAA charter operators.
As we approached the sleek CJ3, it became quite obvious to me why this is a favorite amongst discerning business and leisure travelers. The aircraft provides superior reliability without sacrificing an ounce of efficiency and comfort. It is engineered for excellent performance, is well-appointed for comfort, and boasts impressive range and speed.
The CJ3 has a maximum range of 2000 nautical miles — approximately the distance from San Diego to Miami. Unrivaled amenities of the spacious CJ3 cabin include adjustable club seating that can be arranged around two executive foldout tables, a private lavatory, slim-line refreshment center, LED lighting, and in-cabin technology so all passengers can comfortably enjoy in-flight entertainment.
Next, I was invited aboard the Citation Sovereign. Selected by the Robb Report as “Best of the Best Business Aircraft Super Midsize,” the Citation Sovereign delivers today’s most discerning business and leisure travelers in extreme comfort. The luxurious cabin seats up to eight passengers. Sixty-eight inches of stand-up room extend the full length of the 25-foot-plus cabin, allowing ample space to move around. Passengers are invariably pleased to discover a refreshment center, a private lavatory with vanity and a center line closet with room for garment bags, coats and other carry-on items on this fully equipped aircraft. Its external cargo area is the largest in its class, with 100 cubic feet of baggage storage available. Boarding is very convenient through a wide standard cabin entrance a few easy steps from the ground.
As we discussed meeting clients’ travel needs, Kimberly explained how she personally takes a chartered flight every year in order to experience travel though her customers’ eyes. “It really comes down to a ‘quality of life’ factor. When you charter, you arrive at your destination on a natural high because it was so easy,“ she explains. She answered a few final questions for ELM members:
ELM: How many locations do you fly to?
SA: We can fly anywhere in the world. We have no set schedules. It’s all on-demand chartering. Many times people just give me an address and I’ll tell them what airport is closest. Then they choose [their itinerary].
For example, we currently have a plane in Hawaii. We have a flight going to New York city in two days. We fly to Europe throughout the year, and we have at least one or two flights a year that go southeast Asia. But then we also do a weekend in Santa Barbara.
ELM: What sets Schubach apart from other private jet charter companies?
SA: Our fleet is diverse. We’ve been operating out of San Diego for 23 years; we have more experience than anyone else. But the biggest thing that sets us apart is that we are relationship-focused. It’s something we pride ourselves on.
ELM: Do you know everything about what your customers want?
SA: Pretty much. We keep very good notes and customer profiles that are all electronic. We are very lucky in San Diego because our passengers are very down to earth and approachable.
If you never want to be seen in a limo, only an SUV, you only have to tell me that once and I’ll do it every single time. If you own stock in coke, I’ll make sure there are no Pepsi products on your flight. If you want our crew to be color coordinated to your brand, that’s no problem. We are all about the details, and very personable. We conform to our customers’ needs.
ELM: How many planes do you currently manage?
SA: Right now, we have 14 planes in our fleet.
ELM: What’s the average number of years of experience your pilots have?
SA: Most of our pilots have military backgrounds with 20 to 30 years of experience. The average number of years for our pilots is 25.
ELM: What corporate advantages does Schubach offer?
SA: Corporate flyers usually want to hit two or three cities in a day. It’s a distinctive business advantage. Imagine you’re going to pitch a $500 million project. Instead of flying your team commercially, you’re flying privately on our plane, having team meetings and discussing strategies. Impossible on a commercial airliner. Your competition has been sitting at the airport all morning. Your team is poised to win.
ELM thanks Kimberly for providing insider information about private jet travel to our clients, and for giving us such a delightful exclusive tour of Schubach Aviation. We look forward to helping our clients experience all that Schubach has to offer.
By Jessica Krantz
Jessica Krantz writes food, travel, health, art and fashion features, and covers emerging environmental news. She loves Ted Talks, building furniture and traveling. She climbs mountains in her spare time. Jessica earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from AI Art Institute, and an Associate of Science in Engineering from San Diego State University. jessicajkrantz.com