Clive Chalmers, Vice President of Charter at global aviation services group Air Partner, shares his expert insights on the rise of private business travel and the outlook for the year ahead
An overwhelming number of new business private jet flyers —94%—say they plan to continue to fly privately rather than return to commercial airlines, although the frequency of their use could ease in 2023, according to a survey by Private Jet Card Comparisons.
Comfort, convenience, flexibility and safety have become crucial factors customers consider when it comes to flying and travel.
Air Partner saw significant growth during the pandemic as cautiousness around journey touchpoints made private jets an attractive option for many who booked for the first time having travelled in business or first class in the past.
This year, we have seen a 40% increase in private jet bookings in the UK. Having access to flexible booking and cancellation options gives customers peace of mind in uncertain times.
Private travel also provides higher safety provisions and greater control over the end-to-end environment.
However, further considerations for corporates and travel management companies alike are reduced resources, increasing costs and conflict in Ukraine.
All of which point to a situation in which some corporates are reducing travel volumes but increasing the ‘quality’ of trips, with employees’ mental and physical wellbeing very much in mind.
Some businesses will therefore want to arrange private jet travel, particularly for those high-profile trips where there is a tangible return on investment and time and convenience are of the essence.
In these cases, we believe that companies will choose to protect their employees’ security and guarantee better ease of passage by flying them privately.
We also expect that for businesses moving groups around the world, the use of charter aircraft will be more prevalent, for convenience, speed and security.
It is very much our expectation that senior business executives and the C-Suite will continue to travel in private jets for high-level, critical meetings where face-to-face discussions can make a tangible difference.