The private aviation industry has enjoyed decades of growth and success, with thousands of passengers who would have flown commercial in previous years, opting for a private charter today.
As the world economy continues its recovery from the 2008 financial crisis and new markets in Asia and Africa open up, the future of private aviation looks bright. What will the industry look like in the coming decades, and what does that mean for private charter passengers?
Here are some trends that are gaining momentum in the private aviation industry today and are likely to shape its future.
Decades ago, the main clients serviced by the aviation industry were super-wealthy individuals and businesses who were willing to purchase private jets for their own use. That pattern is changing rapidly today.
The cost of buying and maintaining a jet runs into tens of millions of dollars at minimum, making a purchase impractical for most clients. Instead, the current and future trend is toward “buying flight time” through on-demand private charters.
This gives travellers access to private jet travel when they need it - and saves them a fortune in purchasing and maintenance costs.
On-demand charters provide flexibility, convenience and competitive pricing. This makes them ideal for the new generation of premium travelers who enjoy and expect on-demand services in all areas of life and business.
Depreciation - an incentive to fly by private charter
Aircraft depreciate at a rapid rate compared to many assets, and the latest tax cuts in the US will only encourage this. With bonus depreciation on aircraft now being allowed in the United States (the world’s biggest market for private aircraft) jet ownership by individuals is likely to fall even further.
In recent years, the pre-owned business jet market has been muted. With more jets being sold than bought, analysts are looking toward a future when most passengers will travel by charter flight.
This is a positive trend for passengers, since the range and quality of charter jets available for private charter will also increase.
With business and private passengers opting to charter a jet instead of owning one, the on-demand business model is set to dominate the private aviation industry in years to come.
Larger cabins - and longer journeys
The old trend in private aviation - which saw private charters used for shorter trips and commercial or privately owned jets used for long-haul flights - is slowly declining. In the future, larger aircraft that are capable of flying long distance will become standard for private charter flights.
Globalization has brought executives closer to their operations around the world through digital communication - but there is still a need to travel long distances for in-person meetings. With businesses operating on several continents and spanning numerous time zones, long-haul flights have become a way of life for executives.
Unfortunately, these flights can be uncomfortable on commercial airlines - even in first class. There is also the issue of privacy and security, which is extremely difficult to ensure on a commercial jet carrying hundreds of passengers.
As private charters expand their fleet of available aircraft to include super mid-size and long range jets, passengers who once flew commercial on international trips may choose to charter instead.
Younger clientele with different needs
There was a time when business jet travel was a luxury enjoyed by the 60-and-older age group - but not anymore.
The average age of a private charter client has dropped over the past few years, with many passengers in their late 30s and 40s opting to fly private.
This trend reflects the high income status that many adults who are younger than middle aged enjoy today. It also means that the private aviation industry will need to gear itself to the needs and tastes of a younger, tech-savvy generation.
Younger clientele bring new requirements to the world of private charter travel. The popularity of on-demand charters like the ones we offer at Zuum is proof that a streamlined, digital booking system appeals to the current generation of premium passengers. On-board services, from menu choices to entertainment, will also change as the industry adapts to a younger set of clients.
The future will reward speed, convenience and digital savvy - and we’re ready for it
The trend away from private jet ownership toward on-demand, digitally delivered charter services is a taste of the future of private aviation. Just as on-demand luxury vehicles and limos can now be ordered using Uber and other smartphone apps, on-demand business jet flights are set to become the norm in the coming decades.
If you’d like to experience the future of private aviation, we’d love you to book your next private charter on our website. Once you have entered your details and flight requirements, we’ll be in touch with your quotation and itinerary.Book your flight