Senior executives at the bespoke charter specialist Vertis Aviation, are predicting a decade of diversity as changing social attitudes, environmental concerns, and technological advancements bring new operating models to the international business aviation charter market.
Catherine Buchanan Chief Operating Officer of the Switzerland-headquartered business states a combination of major influences could potentially transform business aviation charter operations into a more efficient and operationally sustainable model. Following a successful 2019, which saw Vertis profitability grow as it enhanced its global charter offering with a new US presence, expanded its charter team, and ramped up its third party sales offering via the Vertis Charter Management Programme, Buchanan is now assessing what will affect charter activity in the next decade.
Vertis has seen an upward trend in requests and booking of shared charters and empty legs. She believes this will continue as the ‘on-demand’ and ‘socially primed’ nature of the next generation affects the behaviour of business aviation charter customers.
“The digital native generation are our next set of customers. They are empowered by technology which makes them a far more informed demographic than ever before. Digital know-how strengthens their abilities to source empty legs, join membership organisations that offer shared charter options, and increases willingness to share information to better fulfill their travel needs. This will significantly affect the way they book charters,” says Buchanan.
The impact of climate change will also be a big driver in changed charter behaviour through the next decade says Buchanan.
Charter companies and brokers developing sustainable, long term options to satisfy this requirement will win out. “Vertis Aviation will be launching a green campaign this year to encourage existing customers to consider the impact their travel has on the planet and attract new environmentally conscious customers to the business. We know that the captains of industry will continue to need to optimise the benefits of executive aviation, and we also recognise there is a need for them to lead the way in reducing carbon impact. What requires change from one generation will be the norm of the next.”
Vertis says advancement in technology will be a key transformer of the charter experience. The amount of data aggregated, stored and analysed by automated systems will continue to grow.
Buchanan expects that vehicles yet to be developed will change the charter model. “We currently charter business jets from airport to airport, but looking to the next decade I can imagine we’ll be chartering a pilotless Evtol (electric vertical take-off and landing) machine to transport customers directly from their home or office to airside, where a hybrid powered aircraft will fly shorter journeys, or a jet powered by sustainable aviation fuel will support longer missions. We are eagerly awaiting the day we can charter a hypersonic aircraft to conduct a multi-leg journey in one day too. We’ll all be keeping a close eye on what will take off through the next decade, it’s going to be one of diversity for sure.”