International Finance

Rise of young and rich individuals will push innovation in private aviation

Vista Jet, Wealth X, ultra high net worth, frequent fliers, private aviation, airlines,
The report, released by Wealth X and Vista Jet, shows key findings about the flying preferences and trends of global ultra high net worth (UNHW) individuals

Global ultra high net worth data company Wealth X and global private aviation company Vista jet have released the first customer-centric analysis on the private aviation industry and the key findings reveal interesting trends about high net worth individuals. The Jet Traveler Report: The Global Perspective on Who Flies Privately and How provides the following insights after surveying its database of dossiers on UHNW individuals with a net worth of US$30mn or more.

  • Average wealth of owners and members is not dissimilar – at US$1.5bn and US$1.16bn respectively – as some value a higher level of flexibility with access to an entire fleet rather than purchasing a single aircraft
  • There’s a widespread move away from full or fractional ownership – as aircraft depreciation is expected to remain high for most aircraft models, the value is placed more on flying requirements rather than assets acquisition
  • There is an increasing demand for longer trips and larger cabins – 85% of new business jet expenditure in the next five years anticipated to be for these sizes of aircraft
  • The rise of a younger generation of customers in all regions and their new approach to how they access services will continue to push innovation within the industry

The report finds that while private aviation is growing, global UNHW population and the world’s fleet are not growing at the same rate, highlighting that not everyone who flies privately regularly owns a plane. Most of the growth comes from an increase in other flying solutions, including membership programmes, fractional ownership and on-demand chartering, allowing individuals to access a fleet of jets at their convenience.

For a more balanced comparison, the report has classified travellers in three groups – owners (those who own an aircraft), members of a private flying programme and a wider UNHW audience, that use a variety of methods to fly, including private chartering and commercial airlines.

“By identifying who these individuals are and understanding how and why they fly, we gain a clear understanding of the choices facing them and the typologies that exist in the market,” said Winston Chesterfield, Director, Wealth-X Custom Research. “It doesn’t always come down to a simple matter of personal wealth – in fact, many owners are also members of private flying programs. It is common for the ultra-wealthy to use more than one way of flying, depending on their needs.”

There are multiple reasons that influence the flying preferences of these UNHW individuals such as maximizing time, control, perceptions of safety, mitigating ris and perceived value. Each flying solution has subsequently been objectively assessed against these requirements, to create an index that provides a streamlined approach to compare flying options from the customer’s perspective. The Jet Traveler Report answers the question of who flies privately and how to identify the key typologies of private flyers, including those who look for complete control, those who want to be seamlessly connected anytime, and the occasional flier. The report also includes a look at the most important macro trends that will shape the private jet industry – the future of business aviation is looking buoyant, but not all will share equally in its growth.

“At VistaJet, we place our customers at the core of everything we do. When a Member joins our Program, we begin building a preference profile, which we continue to enrich on every flight. It might sound obvious, but the infrastructure required to deliver the level of service that our customers expect on every flight, across 187 countries, 1,600 airports on 24 hours’ notice, is incredibly sophisticated,” explains Ian Moore, Chief Commercial Officer at VistaJet. “The notion of service has also evolved – it may be about the entertainment on board when traveling with children or it might be about solutions to ensure the utmost privacy during business meetings. Each flight is different, and customers require maximum flexibility whilst experiencing the highest level of service.”

You can read the full report here. 


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