Seagrim and Walter launch Planet Nine with Falcon 7X fleet
James Seagrim and Matt Walter have launched Planet Nine a new on-demand private- jet charter company operating Dassault Falcon 7X. It will start with one aircraft and aims to have four 7Xs by the end of the year. It will also manage other types for aircraft owners.
“We have been supporting their team closely over the six months since the company’s formation and are thrilled that their mainstay aircraft choice is the Falcon 7X,” said Jean Rosanvallon, CEO of Dassault Falcon Jet.
Walter and Seagrim ran Advanced Air Management in California before it was acquired by Zetta Jet in 2016. The pair then fell out with Zetta Jet’s co-founder Geoffrey Cassidy which led to the operating filing for bankruptcy.
“From our previous careers at Advanced Air Management, we built an unbeatable boutique operation, renowned for its service, safety and efficiency,” said Seagrim. “We look forward to welcoming back many clients who worked with us previously, as we will offer the same level of service, care, and unbeatable value for money that built our reputation.”
Planet Nine has a team of 28 full- time employees in Los Angeles and London. They have also brought in an experienced team. Bill Wulf, former CFO of NetJets, is CFO. Kirti Odedra is head of sales.
“I am delighted to have joined the energetic and dynamic management team at Planet Nine,” adds Bill Wulf, Chief Financial Officer. “Their enthusiasm, integrity, work ethic, and commitment to succeed is infectious. From my own experience, there is an acute shortage of premium ultra-long-haul aircraft available for ad hoc charter out of the US. As we start to prove ourselves, delivering a reliable service, paying close attention to detail, which is hugely important, Planet Nine will become a valued niche player.”
Planet Nine will own its charter fleet – with financing provided by the company’s shareholders – allowing the operator to have a floating fleet.
“The individuals in this company are all experienced aviation people and have an existing network of contacts and clients and people who have been enquiring about when we will start operating,” says Walter. “We will have four airplanes, so we are confident that we will have the existing network to fill the inventory right off the bat.”
The company has been talking with charter brokers for several months. “Charter broker relationships will be very important to Planet Nine, and we are looking forward to working with all the traditional and disruptive companies,” said Odedra.
The Falcon 7X have a range of 5,950 nm and it is targeting long-distance charter flights. The aircraft can carry up to 16 passengers with with six beds for overnight flying. The aircraft are all fitted with Gogo/Swift Broadband. Wi-Fi is free on domestic flights.
“The airplane is capable of flying ultra-long range missions, but its doing it with a 30% less carbon footprint and 30% less fuel burn,” says Walter. “We think that we are in a time where people and our clients will appreciate that we specifically started this company that operates these airplanes and still be mindful of our carbon footprint.”
They are also keen to manage aircraft for owners. “With the right management customer we are looking to specialise in heavy jets and also long range aircraft,” says Walter. “Specifically we are looking for owners who want a higher volume of charter hours. So with the right management client we will definitely pursue management opportunities.”