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Luxury pet travel provider K9 jets launches new route

Luxury pet travel service K9 Jets has launched a new flight route from Dubai to London, which has prompted concerns from climate change activists.

K9 Jets, a private jet service catering to wealthy travellers and their pets, have launched a new route from Dubai to London.

The first flight, which cost £8,166 for a one-way ticket, allowed passengers to travel in comfort alongside their dog from Al Maktoum International Airport to Farnborough in the UK in a Gulfstream IV-SP jet.

The company already operates services between Los Angeles and New Jersey to London, as well as to destinations in Europe such as Frankfurt, Lisbon, and Paris.

While the company helps to organize the required paperwork for furry companions, their human owners will need to get their own ETIAS for 90 days for work, tourism and to study to visit these European destinations from 2024.

Historically, pet air travel involves complex documentation, quarantine periods, and often stressful conditions for pets. Confined spaces, unfamiliar environments, and the cacophony of the cargo hold were far from ideal. But with companies like K9 Jets entering the fray, the narrative is changing.

Instead of the traditional hassle-filled approach to travelling with a dog, K9 Jets simplifies the process. A dedicated team manages everything, from travel documentation to choosing pet-friendly routes. Their method eradicates the age-old dread of pet separation, ensuring that your pet travels with you in the same cabin.

A look at their services showcases the stark contrast against regular pet air travel. Beyond the usual documentation, which is meticulously handled by their team, they provide a curated travel experience. Their fleet of jets is specially designed to cater to pets, ensuring their comfort and safety. They can even sit on your lap while you sip champagne.

The company is based in Birmingham, UK, and is run by a husband-and-wife team. Adam Golder, the company’s co-founder, said of the recent flight: “We couldn’t be more excited to kick off this new route, just in time for the holidays, so guests can celebrate with their loved ones (including pets) in style.”

“K9 Jets believes pet family members deserve to travel in comfort and style alongside their owners,” Gold reiterated.
The luxury pet travel sector’s rise might still be in its nascent stages, but its trajectory is clear. This evolving market isn’t merely a symbol of opulence; it signifies a shift in how we perceive pet care and companionship.

Nevertheless, the nascent company has already attracted its fair share of criticism from environmentalists, who have labelled the new venture as “ludicrous”.

A sector that prides itself on exclusivity also finds itself in the crosshairs of climate change activists such as Extinction Rebellion, who point out the heightened carbon footprint associated with such services.

“This is clear evidence that super-wealthy people are still capable of loving an animal like one of their own, which strangely offers me some sense of hope,” said Todd Smith, an Extinction Rebellion spokesperson and a former pilot for Thomas Cook holidays.

“Yet I’m left dumbfounded that the same people cannot connect to the collapsing natural world around them, and thus come to their senses,” Smith continued.

“As a former pilot, it seems clear to me we need to decelerate our lives and provide genuinely sustainable clean transport for the masses, rather than continue to expand super-polluting private jet airports which cater to a tiny minority of ultra-wealthy individuals – both human and non-human.”

The main argument is that private jets are far less fuel-efficient than larger commercial airliners. The nature of these services — flying fewer passengers over similar distances — inherently results in a higher per-passenger carbon emission.

Furthermore, with more routes and increased frequency, the cumulative environmental impact could be substantial. Some activists have urged these companies to consider carbon offsetting or investing in sustainable aviation fuel as part of their business model.

On the social front, there’s also a conversation around priorities. The optics of chartering a private jet for a pet, while appealing to a specific demographic, might not sit well with a larger audience concerned about the broader implications of such services.

That said, it seems that K9 Jets is at least aware of these concerns, and have already taken steps to address some issues. These include the policy to not run a service unless it is at least 75% of capacity, and a pledge to support voluntary community projects for stray dogs and cats.

“We take our responsibility to the environment seriously and take action to limit our impact by committing to offset the carbon emissions of every flight we operate,” Golder said.

“We do this by working closely with trusted experts in carbon compliance and carbon reduction, who provide the calculations and support projects required to offset the carbon emissions from every flight,” he stressed.