Since the health pandemic began, the private aviation industry has grown tremendously, and family offices are just one sector that increasingly favors private jet travel for its safety and convenience. To meet the demands of family offices seeking to expand their private aviation activity – often for medical, security and risk reasons – FON continues to monitor and report on the aviation sector.
“We’re dedicated to our members’ overall health and welfare and have seen increased demand by family office fliers seeking to fly privately during the past year or so. 60 percent of family offices now fly privately and by 2023, that number will approximate 70 percent,” said FON Founder and Chairman Andrew Schneider. “We field calls on a daily basis from family offices seeking advice on flying private, purchasing aircraft, and investing in the private aviation industry. My family has been flying private on and off for the past decade, but when the health pandemic began, we decided we would not fly commercial ever again unless we had no other option. Quite simply, the convenience is unsurpassed, and keeping my family safe is my Number One priority,”.
“Once we started to fly privately a lot during COVID, we figured out that the value of having our own private plane far outweighed any potential downside, so FON and Andrew have been helping us evaluate various purchasing options as well as designers to help outfit our new plane to our specifications. We’re eternally grateful,”.
Just look at these statistics:
• First-time entrants to the private jet market now comprise over 30% of buyers, according to Goldman Sachs.
• In 2020 lone, there were 2.15 million private jet flights in the US. The latter half of the year saw a tremendous rise.
• The industry’s projected growth is $36.94 billion by 2028.
• Private jet landings and takeoffs are up 40% year-over-year.
• The private aviation industry is expected to grow by as much as 10% by the end of the pandemic.
• Private jet sales increased by 52% in just the first quarter of 2021.
• Also, a forecast by Global Jet Capital shows there’s an expected sales of $162.1 billion of used and new private jets in 2025.
Private Aviation – Reasons for Growth
The global pandemic proved to be a blessing for the private aviation industry. In addition to wealthy, experienced family office private jet travelers, the industry saw many new family office entrants eager to embrace the sector.
Let’s explore the reasons that lead to this drastic boom for the private aviation industry.
Unreliable Commercial Flights
At the onset of Covid-19, there was a worldwide decline in commercial flight operations and delayed schedules. That, for one, made private jets a far more reliable and safer option for travel during those times. In addition, private jet travel was exclusive, so there were fewer chances of spreading the virus and taking those annoying precautionary measures. Plus, private jets were reliable; you could fly where you wanted any time of the year. Since there are limited commercial flights, there were far more room and more options for booking a private jet. Commercial flights carried limited passengers on board and went to limited destinations. In contrast, the world was yours to explore on a private flight.
Changing Market Dynamics
Covid-19 changed the world as we knew it in every sense of the word. During the initial waves, people took extreme precautions for themselves and their families. Today, with safety as the primary concern, the market for the private jet industry is soaring. Essentially, the industry has experienced a seismic shift in the consumer perception of a private flight from a luxury product to a safety standard. It is no longer just a choice but rather a lifestyle decision for those who want to ensure that their loved ones travel safely and comfortably during the pandemic.
Flexibility has been the hallmark of flying via private jets and that benefit has made much more sense during the pandemic. People needed flights as per their schedules. Since commercial aviation offered limited options, they found the convenience and flexibility much more attractive in the private sector. Today, anyone looking for urgent flights or business trips finds it more convenient to travel privately, which has led to the surge in private aviation flights during the last two years.
Family offices are more concerned than ever before about sanitation and today’s leading private aviation companies, therefore, make sanitation a top priority. Fortunately, private jets are easier to maintain from a cleanliness standpoint since they typically have fewer passengers aboard and more space between them. Face masks, temperature checks, advanced cleaning protocols, and constant inspections are kept up.
Reduced Flying Hours & Convenience
With no layovers, transit periods, and prescheduled direct flights from point A to B, private jets have always been a convenient and fast option for business travelers. Size comes into play in two ways. Firstly, flight segments today often host larger groups of family members, including children and pets. Secondly, there’s also a trend toward family offices preferring smaller planes that are often more flexible, accessible, and private.
As the next generation of family offices comes into power and climate change continues to lead global headlines, it’s clear that those who fly privately are more interested than ever before in using private aircraft that run on sustainable aviation fuels to supply their fleet.
Demand and Supply Gap – The Advantages of Ownership
While the demand for private jets has surged, the supply is limited. Today’s manufacturers are having a hard time catching up. As a result, frequent fliers must deal with delays, lesser flight options, and other issues. Passengers demanded over 300,000 flights in September 2021 alone, and the records are expected to be broken over the next few years. With more entrants in the industry, thanks to the Covid-19 safety concerns and rapid wealth creation, the industry must work on the supply chain and manufacturing to keep up. Owning one’s own plane is a distinct family office advantage.
Despite the havoc Covid-19 brought into the world, one of the industries that remained unaffected was perhaps the private aviation sector. Of course, the industry gained immense support from the existing clients, but many new people also joined in and are enjoying the benefits of private travel to date.
All-in-all, 2022 has been more promising for the industry as within just the first month, we saw a rise in private business jet operations by 38%, and there’s a whole lot more to follow.