One group of pilots is currently circumnavigating South America while another is hop-scotching the Caribbean sampling a string of tropical golf courses. In addition, seven private aircraft are flying in seven different parts of the world on flights arranged by Air Journey. Shortly, another contingent from Air Journey will fly to the Bahamas just before Sun ‘n Fun, and soon pilots will tour Alaska, Central America and Europe, all via Air Journey.
“If I didn’t have several groups of airplanes to watch over, I don’t think I would feel normal after all these years,” smiles Thierry Pouille, the man who, a decade and a half ago, dreamed of creating a company in which pilots can take their own airplanes on vacation. Since that time, Air Journey has grown into a flying adventure specialist. Pilots select from a number of escorted group trips that range from several days in the Bahamas to a 72-day trip around the world.
“I think what made the real difference is providing a professional journey director for every trip,” Pouille says. “Pilots tell me they’re sometimes uncomfortable flying internationally because of language barriers, differences in aviation rules, customs procedures, etc. It really makes a huge difference to have someone with you who can handle all of things. All that’s left for you to do is fly your airplane and enjoy the trip.”
Pouille’s own wanderlust has inspired a continuing kaleidoscope of new destinations on Air Journey’s manifest. For example, smaller general aviation aircraft cannot fly to the Galapagos because there is no 100LL available there. Air Journey air-freighted drums of avgas to the local airport in the Galapagos and Pouille’s customers have been visiting those islands for three years in a row now. When Air Journey wanted to bring its customers to visit Machu Picchu, the gateway airport in Peru, Cusco, is 10,855 feet in elevation. One of Pouille’s customers was flying a TBM and the performance numbers in the manual stopped short of listing takeoff data for that elevation. Pouille contacted Daher-Socata, which manufactures the TBM, and got them to calculate special information for his customer and the Air Journey group went on to visit Machu Picchu without incident.
The next 14 years will surely bring continually changing itineraries for a gallery of destinations, Pouille said.
For more information: AirJourney.com or 561-841-1551.