Pet set in a dog flight

Since September, instead of cargo crates, pets can sit comfortably with their owners on plane journeys between Dubai and London, serviced by K9 Jets.

 It’s a dog’s life

It’s a dog’s life - but these passengers are keen to join the first flight to London from Dubai. Picture: K9 Jets

K9 Jets’ pay-per-seat private jet charter service is making the owner-pet travel experience more serene and enjoyable. This service came as a relief to travellers “frustrated with the inflexible regulations set by commercial airlines for travelling with pets”.

K9 Jets was founded by a Birmingham-based couple, executive assistant Kirsty Golder and private pilot Adam Golder.

The expertise gained within their boutique private jet brokerage G6 Aviation has been the springboard for the new venture, enabling a new service dedicated to pet owners to be tailored within the charter market.

It promises to deliver the same high level of customer service already committed to the G6 client base.

Adam Golder said: "Our mission is provide a global network of pet-friendly pay-per-seat travel and provide an alternative method to travel with your pets.”

The company flies domestic pets, dogs, cats and sometimes rabbits.

Passengers can book a seat for themselves and their pet on the aircraft, who can sit on their lap or by their side in the cabin.

"We always use private terminals to depart and arrive into to make the experience stress free for pets and passengers alike.

“The majority of airports can accept pets, however, they may not expect 10 pups on one flight! ”

From $9,925, pet owners can travel with their furry companions on-board a private jet. Full prices are available on their website.

Since its launch, flights have been mostly transatlantic and operated by Pegasus Elite Aviation or another licensed U.S. air carrier as the public charter company is not a direct air carrier and does not own or operate any aircraft.

All of their summer charters were sold out. K9 Jets aims to charter 700 pet-inclusive flights by the end of the year.

The UK-based company launched its first Dubai-London service in September, driven by demand in the region. In fact, there have been many requests and phone calls from Dubai. Some passengers even booked seats only a few hours after pre-bookings became available.

"Dubai has a high proportion of expats and many have pets. We want to provide a service so they can travel back home at Christmas, escape the heat of the summer, or relocate back home without having to worry about the thought of using cargo. We are looking to expand into Asia and into Australia next year with details to be announced soon,” added Golder.

The company underlines that for financial viability, it needs to sell around 15 seats on the Dubai-London service. Additional flights might be added on this route if there’s a demand.

But why pet chartering?

The adventure started in 2021 when the couple launched G6 Aviation, a boutique private jet brokerage targeting high net worth individuals that traditionally fly first class when they travel for leisure or business. In the first 12 months, a large number of pets were already flying with its passengers.

"In February 2022, we received an enquiry requiring a jet for 10 adults and 10 dogs to travel across the Atlantic - highly unusual!

“We were introduced to a Facebook group they were part of where people get together to share the cost of the jet,” recalled Kirsty and Adam.

In 2022, the company flew more than 150 passengers and 180 pups who had met on Facebook. However, everyone that flew like this said that there should be a service dedicated to passengers and pups without joining a Facebook group, but by just simply booking a seat.

"So we did just that. We started work on the concept in June 22 with our web team, plus legal team in the US and UK and our operator.”

A simple request finally turned out to be a golden opportunity in this niche market.

“As far as we know, we are the world’s first official pet-friendly pay-per-seat public charter operator. Our passengers can only fly with their own dogs, all paperwork is checked by the relevant authorities before we fly,” said Kirsty and Adam.

The seating plan is based on the pets' temperament.

"Our staff or our operators’ crews have not received official pet training. Passengers are responsible for the health of their own pets, however, this is an area we want to invest in. "

Anuradha Deenapanray

Anuradha Deenapanray

Anuradha is a francophone editor for African and Arabian Aerospace magazines.