Taking flight to new heights is on the itinerary for Michael Darko.
The British entrepreneur’s private-jet charter company, Farringdon Jets, has positioned itself as a jet-charter specialist in the airline industry, providing private jets for everything from wedding destinations to transporting government officials, according to the company’s website.
Launched in 2020, the company is registered in both the U.K. and U.S. Here’s how it works: Farringdon Jets leverages a global fleet through its network of operators, giving it access to more than 10,000 aircraft, from helicopters and turboprops to airliners. When a client needs private transportation, Farringdon Jets arranges charter flights around the globe.
“I personally understand the safety concerns my clients have regarding their travels, especially in certain locations,” said Darko in an interview with Luxury Business podcast, the company’s founder. “That’s why I’ve tailored this venture to be the world’s most security-focused private jet charter company.”
A Love of Aviation
After joining the U.K.’s Royal Air Force Cadets as a teenager, Darko’s love for aviation came full circle with Farringdon Jets. But before venturing out on his own, he spent over a decade working in wealth management in the U.K. He credits his connections in the financial services realm and his time living abroad as an expat in Dubai to broadening his business perspective and aiding the success of his company thus far.
“I have always had a passion for aviation ever since I was a child, so a few years ago I decided I wanted to start a private jet charter company as it was the best fit to apply my existing skillset, experience and contacts to industry,” he told Techround in an interview.
Now living in Colombia, the aviation aficionado is continuing to use his international network — he has Ghanaian roots — to his advantage.
“I became extremely familiar with the exigencies of high- and ultra-high-net-worth-Individuals. That’s when I realized an opportunity to merge my profound passions for aviation and business in a way that bridges the gap between safety-conscious VIPs and secure international travel,” he said.
While most companies in the travel sector saw business profit curtailed in the COVID-19 era of lockdown and restrictions that spoiled leisure trips, both domestic and international, Darko saw a window of opportunity to get creative by offering pandemic-proof travel to those who could afford the price tag.
“We launched our first luxury escape called ‘A Not So Dark Winter’ instead of just waiting for our clientele to find somewhere they can travel based on COVID restrictions to use our services, we created COVID safe escapes,” he told Techround an interview.
Demand for private jet travel has settled down from its two-year high, with charter flights declining by 23 percent, according to aviation analysts. As domestic airlines are now fully operational, industry experts say that the private aircraft business may be cooling off from its peak, along with capital investments that soared in 2021. However, Darko believes it’s still a segment that is ripe for innovation.
Integrating ground-breaking technology with an authentic travel experience is something he has his eyes set on next.
“We have major plans in the works in regards to using technology to resign the entire decision-making and booking process for our clients which will all be part of the experience,” he declared.