What’s fueling the dramatic growth in private aviation?
The pandemic may have ended, but private aviation and private jet chartering is set to soar in the coming years. Projections indicate that the market will almost double from its current value to $21 billion by 2027. So, what’s behind this optimistic forecast?
The pandemic push into private aviation was fast and dramatic, with some charter operators reporting growth upwards of 50 percent, almost entirely from new clients. The appeal of social distancing during flights, coupled with the limited availability of commercial carriers, drove individuals with the financial means to explore private travel. Recognizing the benefits of flying private, these new entrants have continued their preference for private aviation. However, as growth has cooled in recent months, the future outlook for the industry remains bullish as additional factors such as convenience, a rising super-rich class and technological advancements look set to continue this upward trend. In this article, our expert analysts at JetFlo will explore the driving forces behind this growth and examine how, amid increasing environmental concerns, the industry can flourish while actively working towards its target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Flexibility, availability and service
While commercial aviation maintains its demand drivers, factors such as last-minute availability, minimal waiting times, and personalized services are propelling the growth of private aviation. In contrast, commercial providers, in their pursuit of cost-cutting measures, are continuing to reduce their levels of service. Standards have become so poor that, for those with the financial means, the reliability and convenience of private flying now more than justifies the expense.
Rising super-wealthy class
The surge in the global super-wealthy class is undeniably a huge contributor. In the ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI) segment, which are defined as individuals with more than $50 million in assets, the figure is expected to be around 372,000 by 2027, an increase of 129,000 from today. As expected, US leads the charge with more than half of all UHNWI’s currently residing in North America. However special attention needs should be given to the APAC market. With China and India already home to 66,000 super-rich people, significantly more than Europe with around 40,000. Furthermore, this market is expected to double to just under 123,000 by 2027, providing an alluring target for those working in related industries such as private banking, yachting, private jets and luxury goods.
Rise in digital platforms
Finally, new technology and operating models are making it easier and more affordable to fly private, appealing to a broader demographic of regular flyers. People can now receive instant quotes for their flights on private jets with just a few clicks of a button. Many chartering companies like JetFlo have reacted by investing heavily in their technology offering to be able to present numerous solutions to clients in as quick a time as possible.
But what about the environment?
One cannot discuss the future of private aviation without mentioning the other side of the coin, i.e. the ongoing battle between those flying private and those worried about the environmental effects of the industry. From our experience, as an industry, private aviation is still a necessity, therefore it won’t be going extinct any time soon. Think emergency medical flights, conflict evacuations and the secure transportation of high-profile individuals such as politicians and CEO’s.
In our opinion, the best way forward is for both sides to adopt a collaborative approach, rather than the ongoing protests and confrontations that we often see in the news. Private jet charter companies are ready and willing to adopt new measures aimed at curbing the industry’s carbon footprint. Great strides have already been achieved through measures like sustainable aviation fuels, carbon-offset programs and increased efficiency of jet engines. As with many industries, if we are to achieve real progress, the way forward is by technological investment. A clear example of this is the growth of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft such as the spectacular Lilium jet, which is now undergoing its test campaign and already boasts several hundred pre-orders. By focusing on substantive changes rather than mere publicity stunts, the industry can pave the way for a genuinely sustainable and ecologically conscious approach, ensuring a positive outlook for both the environment and the aviation sector as a whole.