Together with the growing airline ticket fees and the trend of first class losing its charm, the market for private jets has increased firmly. Nowadays, private flights are popular not only for business but also for private tourism, sports or entertainment industries as well. The growing demand can be associated not only with a high risk of a terrorist attack mid-flight but also with relatively low costs having in mind the quality and amount of services private jet fliers receive.

While private jet flying has been long associated with premium services that only a few could afford, in recent years, the industry has seen a tremendous growth in demand. The recovery of the private jet market after the financial crisis of 2009 was marked with sharp booms in North America, where 73% of the global private jet market is situated and Europe that generates around 20% of the overall demand. The remaining 7% mainly come from the Asian region. Indian and Chinese markets are forecasted to strengthen their positions in the upcoming 20 years. China alone is expected to need more than 2,420 new business aircraft until 2032 according to Smart Research Insights study conducted in 2015. An independent study conducted by Jetcraft predicts the global private jet market demand to reach 7,879 new aircraft deliveries representing $248 billion in revenues in the upcoming 10 years.

“When previously the vast majority of bookings were for business, nowadays we receive more and more inquiries from families, groups of friends, sports teams or event organizers. The usage of private charters is expanding – people aim to lease out airplanes for weddings or large family holidays. Some companies even launch new products several kilometres above ground and ask us for professional help.” comments Vitalij Kapitonov, CEO of KlasJet, a member of the Avia Solutions Group – an international publicly traded aviation holding company with over 20 subsidiaries worldwide.


Vitalij Kapitonov, CEO of KlasJet


The price of safety?

The recent, as well as the forecasted growth of the market can be explained in the context of safety associated reasons. Frequent plane catastrophes and terrorist attacks in terminals have encouraged many to think about the safety both at the airport and onboard. Although flying private does not mean you won’t have to go through security, the time you spend at the airport with strangers will be minimized – depending on the airport, separate security areas are furnished for private fliers. The same argument applies to onboard safety – flying with other passengers vs flying with your friends or family members definitely minimizes the unforeseen incident risks in the air.

Despite the fact that all flights are subject to strict regulations, additional third party examinations are applicable to private jets before they are passed on to further inspections, thus even additional security is guaranteed. In addition, private jet pilots are usually in better physical shape – they are not subject to long work-days with little to no sleep.

Reachability

Due to their smaller size, private jets need a shorter runway. This feature allows an increased variety of options in terms of landing. Thus, airport availability for private jets is even 5 times higher compared to commercial airliners according to PrivateFly. However, it is important to note that this feature is not applicable to mid-size business jets, such as Boeing 737 for example. Adding “business jet” to the aircraft name does not provide the same landing options as for small private airplanes.

While huge commercial aircraft seem to have wide reachability, sometimes two, three or even four flights are needed to be taken to reach the remote islands of the Caribbean, Oceania or the Mediterranean. In contrast, private jets, not only make even the most secret locations on the globe accessible, but also shorten the journey significantly while reducing the number of connecting flights. Additionally, private jets fly whenever you want (where there is the possibility to land) and any time you want. There is no need to adjust trip plans according to commercial airlines schedule. 

Time is money

In the fast-paced environment that we live today, time-saving is one of the most significant reasons for choosing private jets instead of commercial flights. Depending on the operator, the aircraft can be ready in just a few hours and you can come to the airport only 15 minutes before the flight. And most importantly, you avoid the highly irritating part of travelling – check-in and boarding. Private jet fliers do not need to deal with long security lines, check-in or baggage carousel, as they are provided with separate areas for these actions.

Think about the long-haul flights, it takes hours if not days, to reach distant locations, however, flying a private jet can save both: your time and your energy. If the plane has enough fuel capacity to reach the destination, only direct flight will be chosen, thus layovers can be easily avoided. When commercial aircraft fly normally around 35,000 feet above ground, private jets fly even higher, sometimes even up to 51,000 feet. The smaller size and higher flying level create different weather, flight altitude, turbulence and jet streams’ working conditions – all of these reasons allow private jets to avoid the intense air traffic and impact the speed positively.

Productivity at its best

Private jet travelling allows to save time not only while avoiding long lines, and moving faster in the air, but also, while using the private time onboard efficiently. A survey conducted by National Business Aviation Association revealed that employees are 20% more productive while on private aircraft than in the office. Their counterparts flying commercially reported a 40% drop in productivity. The same study concluded that 72% of the time spent on private aircraft involves work, compared to 31% on commercial flights. In addition, as much as 36% of flying time on private aircraft is dedicated to communication with company employees, suppliers or customers compared to 3% on commercial flights. Thus, getting colleagues on the same flight can help to make the most of the journey.

“Most frequently, people who need efficiency, flexibility and connectivity to places that are not well served by scheduled airlines are our key clients. Flexibility and customization are that “luxury” that you could say clients pay for. Although, I personally believe that booking a plane online in a few minutes and saving precious time instead of waiting in duty-free shops is not a luxury, it is rather a rational time-saving investment in either your business or family,” adds Vitalij.

So is the price really that high?

Considering the value-added services private jet flying contains, the price does not seem that high. If you count how much transportation of pets, special sports equipment or music instruments, the amount and quality of food, which can be even equal to 3-star Michelin restaurant dinner, the leg-space you would pay for if flying first class – is it really that much? The total costs in case all additional services are needed should not be tremendously higher, especially if the private aircraft is operated at full capacity. So, the next time you wonder why companies or families spend impressive sums on private flights, know that it's not only about the additional comfort or luxury, but in many cases about saving time and using money efficiently.


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