Private jet predictions for 2017

Aircraft such as the Gulfstream G650ER with its 7.500 nm range are expected to become a more popular choice

Aircraft such as the Gulfstream G650ER with its 7.500 nm range are expected to become a more popular choice

Online private charter booking platform PrivateFly has released several predictions for 2017. According to the company’s Founder and CEO, Adam Twidell, there are fundamental shifts taking place in how our industry sells itself, regardless of the stagnated levels of private jet travel since the recession. “2017 may be a year of uncertainty due to the political climate, but will also see a number of exciting developments,” Twidell explains.

Looking at the private jet customer, increased accessibility and competitive pricing is changing the face of the private jet customer and PrivateFly expects this to further develop in 2017. Furthermore, as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is set to approve more cost-effective aircraft for commercial charter in 2017, desirable single-engine turboprop aircraft such as the Pilatus PC-12 will compete with small jets to drive down the private aviation entry-point price even further.

Looking at customers’ booking behaviour, the company predicts that long-range fliers will want to fly even further in 2017. “2017 will see a move towards more private jet customers wanting to fly further non-stop, particularly routes from the US West Coast to Europe faster. So we’ll see an increase in popularity for the aircraft that can offer this,” Twidell comments. Considering this, aircraft such as the Gulfstream G650ER with its 7.500 nm range are expected to become a more popular choice. However, Dassault’s Falcon 8X is expected to become availabe for charter this year as well, featuring a range of 6.450 nm, offering an interesting alternative.

Another factor that will weigh in on the numbers of private jet travel in 2017 is the current geopolitical uncertainty. “The business impact of a Trump presidency, Brexit and more are still to be fully felt,” the preditions read. “There is a lot of uncertainty, but what’s clear is that it will be the companies that stay agile and can react quickly to change that will be ride out the storm.”

Also read: Brexit – a dog’s dinner?

Lastly, Twidell warns for ambigious business models in the business aviation sector. “There’s much experimentation taking place with business models, and we’ve seen a lot of media attention given to shuttle or sharing services, which promise a ‘private jet’, but on fixed routes and pre-defined schedules – and charge an annual membership fee,” he explains. “This is a very different offering to chartering your own private aircraft on a fully-flexible, pay-as-you-go basis. It’s great to see innovation taking place, but a blurring of private jet and airline models can be confusing to customers. A private jet comes with a set of customer expectations about service levels and delivery that some of these newer membership models are struggling to meet. In 2017 we’ll see customers demanding more clarity on what they’re getting.”