Read the full article of five trends shaping private aviation below:
Aziz Ghorbani, General Manager of Delta World Charter sits with Arabian Business to discuss what’s in store this year for private aviation.
After a year of economic disruptions with the pandemic forcing companies to adjust their needs and trends to match new customer behaviour, what does 2021 have in store?
While trade tensions, geopolitical issues and the Covid-19 pandemic made for a rather volatile landscape in global aviation, business aviation has steadily remained resilient to external factors that would ordinarily hamper full-service and low-cost airlines. To that end, charter brokers and service providers are seeing passengers consider alternative ways to avoid busy gateways and commercial airlines for secure, safer direct-point services.
Diversification in services
Private jet operators and brokers are looking to diversify the use of private jets. Air medical services have now expanded to a solid business line, as a result of increasing demand from hospitals and insurance companies. Freight transport and business continuity operations also hold possibilities to broaden the scope of services from private jet providers.
With commercial aviation still to reach pre-pandemic levels, it is anticipated that passenger planes will be redeployed and suitably converted to fly on cargo missions to transport the Covid-19 vaccines in the months ahead – ensuring the vaccines reach 200 countries around the world. Air charter service providers have also handled previous requests that are temperature sensitive, ensuring operators strictly comply with IATA’s Temperature Control Regulations (TCR). Throughout the pandemic, operators have transported not just stranded travelers but also millions of pieces of personal protective equipment and masks.
Connecting routes without commercial aviation
Private aviation companies will be partnering with commercial airlines to help secure a steady demand for flights to remote terminals. Furthermore, private jet charter brokers can generate tailored deals for clients interested in these remote routes. Market research can provide the routes and estimated number of passengers willing to pay more for a direct private flight, instead of boarding two connecting planes to save time.
Technology is also enabling the ‘uberisation’ of private aviation – a trend that will grow in the months to come. Though even before Uber disrupted private transportation, private aviation companies had introduced jet sharing programs so private fliers could ‘carpool’. Fractional ownership of private jets and private charters allow owners of private jets to let others use their aircraft when they are not flying in them. With this fractional model, up to 16 different people can share one jet.
Elastic demand, lower costs for fuel and insurance, and the entry of new players in the market who have fewer overhead costs and offer cheaper prices are some of the factors that have triggered cost cutting in private aviation. Many of these factors are anticipated to continue to have an impact in 2021.
Private aviation will begin to place greater emphasis on being more efficient in spare parts sourcing and maintenance, pursuing fleet commonality and thoroughly selecting cost-efficient suppliers, such as fixed-base operator (FBOs) and catering companies.
Health and safety considerations
Time and convenience are the prime considerations for chartering flights. The pandemic, however, reinforced the security and safety aspect of flying private. Commercial flights have on an average around 700 points of contact with people and objects, according to research by McKinsey. On a private flight this reduces to 20 or 30. Unlike private charters, passengers booked on scheduled flights have no control over who they fly with. Private aviation clients also have access to dedicated FBOs, immediate lounge transfers and do not have to face red tape. For passengers at risk from coronavirus, these factors make private aviation much more attractive.
Private aviation has been working on green solutions, including sustainable fuel alternatives, and not just recently. A number of private aviation companies already offer carbon offset programs. Sustainable fuels have been tested for many years now. As the aviation sector works towards reducing carbon emissions, renewal of air fleets, better fuels and advanced technologies will dramatically improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, resulting in cost savings.