Environmentalists have condemned a “ludicrous” private jet service that transports wealthy people’s dogs, which this week ran its first flight from Dubai to London.
For £8,166, one way, customers were able to sit with their dogs on their laps and sip champagne as they travelled from Al Maktoum international airport to Farnborough in a Gulfstream IV-SP jet.
The company, K9 Jets, which is run by a husband-and-wife couple from Birmingham, already operates services to New Jersey, Los Angeles, Frankfurt, Paris and Lisbon.
Announcing the new route, Adam Golder, the company’s co-founder, told AeroTime Hub: “K9 Jets believes pet family members deserve to travel in comfort and style alongside their owners.
“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 celebrated the launch of the service on Instagram with a picture of a passenger sitting at a walnut table with a glass of champagne, her face wearing a delighted smile as she is nuzzled by her golden retriever.
Extinction Rebellion, the climate protest group, criticised the service. “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. Yet I’m left dumbfounded that the same people cannot connect to the collapsing natural world around them, and thus come to their senses,” said XR spokesperson Todd Smith, a former Thomas Cook first officer.
“Farnborough airport is notorious for this form of excessive travel and continues to ‘greenwash’ their way out of accountability with fantasy tales of so-called ‘sustainable aviation fuel’. I’m not the slightest bit surprised K9 Jets is the latest ludicrous service they’ve added to their portfolio.
“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.”
K9 Jets emphasises that it does not own and operate any aircraft but is a “public charter operator”. The company said its service was not aimed at the super-rich, with seat prices comparable to cargo prices for dogs with an air ticket for their owners. It added that it only operated flights at capacity.
Golder said: “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. 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.”
Farnborough markets itself as the UK’s No 1 airport for business travel. Critics of the airport say “business travel” is a euphemism for private aviation serving the wealthy.