The flight costs CHF 8800 (incl. VAT and services). Why are parabolic flights so expensive ?

Highest standards in aircraft maintenance, flight tests, qualifications, fuel and a very experienced flight crew are the reason of high fixed costs. For a parabolic flight of 15 parabolas, a wide body aircraft is flying with only 40 « passengers » on board, comparable to a « first class » flight ticket of a regular airline. The basic price of a parabolic flight in a qualified jet aircraft of an established company is approx. 6000 Euro (with tax) and offered in the U.S., Russia and in Bordeaux, France. For a parabolic flight campaign from Switzerland, the A310 have to be transferred from Bordeaux to Dubendorf and back, generating additional costs. The transfer costs increase the price, but in return, it is not necessary to travel to Russia, to the U.S or to Bordeaux to participate, saving money and travel time.

And finally, with your participation, you are supporting fundamental science and research for human spaceflight and the first parabolic flight campaign in history from Switzerland. We are generating no profit. Once the marginal and fixed costs paid for this specific campaign, all revenues, if any, are contributing to financing the research flights. Our team is working free of charge. The Airbus A310 ZERO-G is in an excellent condition and has been perfectly maintained. It is in the hand of very experienced expert engineers and test pilots. The Airbus A310 ZERO-G provides the largest available area in the world for weightlessness . We are not discriminating between our passengers. Every passenger has the same large space for free floating and for enjoying this unique out-of-the-world experience. On board, we are one team, one family, united in weightlessness.

Does this service exist somewhere else, especially for a lower price ?

Parabolic flights are currently offered in the U.S. and Russia by etablished companies – and in Bordeaux by Novespace / Air Zero – G. The prices are comparable, with approx. 6000 Euro (including tax) for the flight only. However the package proposed by Novespace is the most complete in terms of services associated with the zero-G flight.

We know that parabolic flight tickets are sold also by some companies at a lower price, but for an aircraft which is either not ready, not qualified and/or not authorized yet. Apparently, the aircraft has not yet flown any single parabola. The qualification and test program as well as the authorization takes a very long time, is expensive. Therefore it is very difficult to predict the  time frame for the entire process. Parabolic flights are also sold on board very small planes, providing a very restricted floating space to experience the weightlessness and a limited microgravity quality and duration. The Airbus A310 ZERO-G has the largest available area in the world for weightlessness and an excellent safety and service quality record.

Is a parabolic flight dangerous ?

No. However, certification of the parabolic maneuver is not as thorough as certification of a normal flight. That said, the aircraft is used in an uncommon way, but it does not place more stress on the aircraft structure than the initial design calls for. The aircraft has been specifically adapted to perform parabolic flights, and it is flown by very experienced test pilots. The Zero-G plane is also subject to a specific maintenance program to address its specific utilization. The most important thing for the passengers is to take proper care at the end of the weightlessness phases, and not to float with head downwards. The safety personnel are there to help you control your movements during weightlessness.

Is there a risk of becoming ill during the flight ?

The succession of hyper-gravity and weightless phases may incur motion sickness. Less than 10 % of participants are affected, and the effects are limited. During the briefing you will be advised to avoid abrupt movements of the head during the hyper-gravity phases in order to avoid motion sickness. If you prefer, you can bring along a motion sickness medication and take it before the flight.

Will you reimburse me if I am not medically fit enough for the Zero-G flight ?

Yes, if you take your medical examination after registration.

Can I obtain a cancellation insurance ?

Yes, if you live in Europe. Please see: http://www.airzerog.com/images/upload/pdfs/cg_assurance_annulation_air_zero_g.pdf

Am I insured to take a parabolic flight ?

Yes, by participating in a Zero-G flight you are automatically insured (insurance concluded with Air Assurances / ACE European Group) up to the sum of 300,000 € per person. We do however advise you to check the provisions of your personal insurance policies (restrictions regarding sporting and aeronautical activities). If you wish, we can propose an extension of coverage for up to 650,000 € per person. You can also apply for cancellation insurance.

What can I take on board ?

You can take a camera, a photographic device, or other objects, but it must be possible for them to be kept in the pockets of your flight overalls. If you wear glasses and they do not slide when you move your head, there is no problem and you will not lose them during the flight. Otherwise, plan to take along a cord to fix your glasses, or leave them on the ground.

What if something unforeseen happens ?

In case of unfavorable weather conditions, technical problems, etc. the flight may be postponed for 24 hours. Please take this possible delay into account when making your travel plans. In case of unforeseen operational restrictions of the military airport Dubendorf, flights may be organized from the adjacent civil airport Zurich-Kloten.

Do I have any support in booking travel arrangements and accommodation ?

Yes. All your travel arrangements (flights, hotel, ground transportation etc.) can be booked through the travel agency Nussbaumer Reisen AG, Ms. Natalie Dové, phone +41 34 420 52 54, n.dove@nussbaumer-reisen.ch

Natalie Dové has been a member of the Swiss Parabolic Flight Team since its inception and can therefore best coordinate any travel arrangements for the Swiss Parabolic Flight Campaign. She will personally take care of your travel arrangements and will be on-site on the campaign dates. Her travel agency was founded almost 30 years ago and consists of an innovative and long-time experienced team with a lot of visionary ideas. As official IATA offices, equipped with the Amadeus reservation system and its own ticketing, and as a member of the Swiss Federation of Travel Agencies (SRV), the Guarantee Fund of the Swiss travel industry and IATA (International Air Transport Association), she can realize every individual wish.

Questions / Additional Information

If you have any questions or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us ! Ms. Pascale Wyss, phone +41 44 635 40 60, pascale.wyss@uzh.ch