2018 Will See 'Millennial' Growth In The Private Jet Sector

As 2017 saw more growth than at any time since the financial crisis, PrivateFly forecasts five key predictions for the year ahead

2017 saw more growth in the private aviation sector than at any time since the financial crisis, with activity up 4 per cent year-on-year in Europe*. And according to PrivateFly, this upward climb is set to continue in 2018.

The global private jet booking service saw its own flight sales increase by 51 per cent year-on-year, along with average spend per flight up by 19.7 per by cent. PrivateFly's Private Jet Charter Trends report also indicates that customers are getting younger: The average age was 40 throughout 2017 (versus 41 in 2016), but this fell to 38 in the second half of the year.

As we move into the New Year, Adam Twidell, CEO and founder of PrivateFly, offers five business aviation predictions for 2018:

Continued market growth

1. We expect to see further market growth in 2018, in both Europe and the US. On demand business jet charter – as opposed to outright or fractional ownership – will drive this, particularly via disruptive business models which offer enhanced accessibility and visibility.

Private jet users will get younger

2. Private jet users will continue to get younger, and businesses must evolve to cater to them. Many people assume that the typical private jet customer is 50+, but that’s not the case these days, as our 2017 report revealed. As millennials continue to enter the workforce, this younger generation will become the next private jet audience – demanding more choice, customisation and personalisation.

Increased industry consolidation

3. Consolidation of businesses within our industry has been a key theme over the past few years. And in 2018 I think we’ll also see more M&A activity with charter brokers in particular. Both the customer and the industry would benefit from less fragmentation in this segment - the combined buying power of mega brokers is on the horizon.

Jet battles: New contenders set to rival existing stars

4. New aircraft coming into service in 2018 are set to challenge some of the star names. At one end of the market, we have the Pilatus PC-24, a rival to the highly-successful Embraer Phenom 300 (the bestselling new jet in the world over the past few years). Then there’s the hotly-anticipated Bombardier Global 7000, aiming to steal share from the Gulfstream G650ER - the ultra high net worth’s iconic jet of choice.

Demand for new payment methods

5. Payment transactions is another area ripe for disruption in 2018, and blockchain financial technology has the potential to become a much more mainstream solution in our industry. Payment in bitcoin (and etherium and others) may still be niche, but its popularity is growing rapidly. PrivateFly was the world’s first private jet company to offer bitcoin payment back in 2014 and we have since seen demand grow significantly.


*Source: WingX-Advance.com business aviation intelligence.

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