By Nissa LaPoint
Dreams are coming true for Xjet Club LLC CEO Josh Stewart, as the exclusive club is anticipated to break ground in the coming months at Centennial Airport. Stewart isn’t the only individual foreseen to reap the benefits of this new club. Xjet Club is considered a new concept in luxury air travel, offering members greater buying power and five-star amenities.
“I know that we’ve found a niche. It’s just a great way of getting the (aircraft) owner economies of scale, greater flexibility and a fantastic array of services, all bottled-up into an economic package,” said Stewart.
Within the club, aircraft owners can come together and create a buying base, allowing for group savings on fuel, maintenance, insurance and more. At the same time, individuals can still retain complete control over their own aircraft.
In addition, owners will have the option of pooling their aircraft for use by other club members. According to Stewart, chartering in Xjet will allow for increased control because the members will be “a bunch of people that all respect each other . . .and know who is getting on board.”
Xjet Club members will also have access to five-star services including a concierge, automobile and aircraft detailing, bookkeeping assistance and more. The clubhouse will hold massage and shower facilities, a private library, conference rooms, a members’ lounge, private five-star dining, a fine art gallery and even a children’s play area.
“It’s really a nice cocoon where they can retreat before or after a flight, do some business, have a nice chat, and grab a bite to eat,” said Stewart.
Ford Shanahan, chief operating officer, began with Xjet at the end of June. He said that in terms of the club’s business model and the fact that it’s one-stop shopping with five-star service, there’s nothing like Xjet.
On July 21, Arapahoe County Public Airport Authority unanimously approved the plans for Xjet. Three state-of-the-art hangars totaling 64,000 square feet, able to hold 15 to 20 aircraft, are some of the plans entailed. The clubhouse will total 16,000 square feet, with all of the available amenities. The overall site will sit on approximately 13 acres.
The completion of the hangars is expected around April of next year, and members will sign-up before that. Denver-based Klipp designed the Xjet model and Shaw Construction will serve as the primary construction contractor. Klipp has designed such architectures as the Denver Public Library.
The lead designer from Klipp, Keat Tan, said that the Xjet design is based on the metaphor of flight. The clubhouse and hangars feature a lot of glass and translucency, providing views of the mountains and runways. Even those who are flying in will see through into the clubhouse and hangars. Tan also designed the Wings Over the Rockies Museum extension planned for Centennial Airport and the Denver Convention Center hotel.
“There was just a total connection with Klipp,” said Stewart. “In the interview I saw their excitement and passion.”
Stewart said that he hopes to expand Xjet across the United States and into Europe, especially in Ireland.
“This model really lends itself where there is a shortage of hangar space,” he said. “So we can build at airports where they need new, state-of-the-art, modern hangar space, where we can get some good competitive pricing.”
Xjet has already spoken with potential members and has received high response from the letters they sent out. Pricing brackets will vary depending on what services members exercise, according to Stewart.
“You can take essentially the same operating budget that one of the clients would have, and do a lot more with it because of the cost savings through aggregate purchasing power, and apply those cost savings into providing a five-star service,” said Shanahan.
Stewart is a native of Ireland with over 5,000 logged flight hours. He flew in the Royal Air Force from 1991-1994, and as a bush and commercial pilot and for many non-governmental organizations including the International Red Cross throughout Africa. He has also flown for the United Nations and the U.S. Department of State.
It was when Stewart was aboard long flights throughout Africa on peace and relief missions, and flying up to Ireland that he first thought of the Xjet concept.
“I was thinking, ‘There’s just got to be a way of making this more economic and providing a complete service to jet owners and jet users,'” he said.
The Xjet concept was “rattling around” in his head for three years before Xjet Club LLC was registered in Colorado over a year ago.
For more information on Xjet, visit [http://www.xjetclub.com], call CEO Josh Stewart at 303-799-5170, ext. 20, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.