2020’s five most prominent business aviation trends
2020 has been the year of economic disruptions for many industries as the pandemic force companies to adjust their needs and trends to match new customer’s behaviours. Our data experts have identified five of the most prominent post-COVID-19 business aviation trends:
- A general expansion of the customer base: more first-time flyers
- The focus on biosecurity
- More freedom of movement and guaranteed availability
- A confirmed need for travelling for leisure and business
- A strong focus on the customer experience
1. A general expansion of the customer base: more first-time flyers
The private jet charter’s model appeals to those who understand the importance of a time-saving transport solution and can afford it. These people are high-net-worth-individuals making more than 1m net income per year and range from C-level managers, SME and multinational company owners or founders.
On top of those, athletes and models are also a significant portion of the private jet charter clientele. Taking into consideration the latest statistics on HNWIs, Europe counts around 400 thousand potential business aviation passengers. The goal of business aviation is, therefore, to spread the message among potentially interested flyers who fit into the category. As much as COVID-19 has been disastrous for the aviation industry, there is a right to think that private jet charter companies have gained visibility during lockdowns. By being one of the few air transport solutions available, the strongest private jet companies – which have managed to sustain the business with limited crew and fleet and while overcoming liquidity issues – have succeeded in acquiring new first-time flyers. Due to the lack of commercial airline availability, GlobeAir, for example, is confident to say that they have registered a 67% increase in new clients who are also frequent business class or first-class travellers. The majority of the newly acquired first-time flyers have declared they chose business aviation to lower the risk of infection, by avoiding the more than 700 touchpoints which occur on average on a commercial flight.
2. The focus on biosecurity
Safety measures have been at the centre of the discourse for all businesses, no matter the industry. Whether you own a bar or a private jet charter company, you want to make sure that customers are coming to you and will, therefore, focus on introducing strict safety procedures to overcome the pandemic crisis.https://www.youtube.com/embed/0gcmi7EaLaQ?controls=0
While commercial airlines are following some reliable biosecurity measures, including deep cleanings of aircraft and facilities, they will never be able to find solutions to big crowded halls and long queues of strangers. Not only have private jet charter companies elevated biosecurity and the health concern to priority but they also have the advantage of leading their passengers to preferred and less-trafficked facilities. Business aviation has been following ICAO’s safety norms regulating the fight against COVID-19 but also benefited from FBOs and private jet lounges, which constitute the intrinsic value of flying privately. When you board a private jet, you are the temporary owner of the plane. Therefore, you are alone with your family and friends whom you can feel comfortable around.
3. More freedom of movement and guaranteed availability
Total worldwide lockdowns have contributed to an almost 80% loss of business aviation traffic. As of June 15th, however, private jet charters have been catching up; with promising traffic for the summer.
Consumer behaviour has slightly changed with last-minute bookings coming in more frequently than what the industry is used to receiving. The idea that you can always charter a private jet at any point in time makes people feel relaxed when it comes to choosing the day and time of travel. Although requests coming in for the summer are still lower than the previous years, private jet charters benefit from the more extensive route choices they can guarantee. Small and less-trafficked airports give a boost to the business considering that commercial airlines have been forced to cut their offer of destinations. With commercial airlines flying less frequently, chartering a private jet may give you the confidence that you are still the owner of your time.
4. A confirmed need for travelling for leisure and business
With more than 70,000 departures per year (WingX), business aviation caters for high-end air transport solutions serving business people and leisure flyers. 2020, however, has forced society to turn to zoom meetings and small local family-sized events.
But this is not the future, nor a world where people are ready to do business and enjoy life. We have been overwhelmed with testimonials and online statements declaring that travelling is perhaps one of the habits we longed for the most. If online meeting has taught us how to adapt to the new normal, society is ready to go back to flying and enjoying the freedom of reaching one’s second-home or yacht abroad. The fact that private jet charters are available 24/7 with a high degree of flexibility helps people rethink their priorities while travelling.
5. A strong focus on the customer experience
If it’s true that private jet companies are seeing their customer base expanded, the question is how much of the newly acquired business travellers will stick to business aviation once the COVID-19 menace is finally gone. Even if flying privately is an intermediate solution for many, GlobeAir expects to achieve a 25% rate of retained steady customers even after a vaccine for the pandemic is found.
The answer lies in the capacity of the investment companies are willing to make to heighten their customer experience. GlobeAir focuses on fostering long-lasting relationships with its passengers by listening to their needs all along the journey: before, during and after the flight. Offering an all-in-one travel solution with the idea that you can book your private jet, limousine transfer or private driver, 5-star hotel and travel experiences while having one point of contact makes the travel experience unique and penetrates the mind of travellers. Exceptionally trained crew and flexibility, of course, provide top-notch service.