Air Partner released its predictions for where the industry is headed in 2020. Seeing a strong U.S. market with a well-performing charter division, the company has its finger on the pulse of anticipated changes in the category for the year ahead, and anticipates consistent growth by capitalizing on key market drivers and keeping its customers’ needs at the forefront.
“This past year was a particularly rewarding one for Air Partner, with the addition of four new global offices, the introduction of new service offerings, an expanded team and a significant acquisition that further cemented our market-leading position,” said David McCown, president of Air Partner U.S. “We are thrilled with how the U.S. market has performed and believe 2020 will see another strong year not only in the U.S. but in other key markets. We look forward to new key drivers unfolding within our segment, creating a dynamic and exciting year ahead.”
Heading into 2020, Air Partner has a number of predictions for what will shape the private jet, group charter and freight sectors:
Private Jets – Encompasses the charter of small aircraft or jets (up to 19 people), for business and leisure, by corporations, high-net-worth individuals and governments. Air Partner’s 2020 predictions include:
- Jet Card Memberships Will Continue to Grow – While the U.S. business aviation market has been experiencing solid growth for some years now, jet card memberships will continue to be a top growing segment of the industry for the convenience and time saving that they enable. Air Partner was one of the first to offer a private jet membership program when it introduced its JetCard nearly 15 years ago, pioneering the flexible jet card structure.
- Personalized Service Will Be a Priority – While automated booking tools proliferate, Air Partner predicts that in addition to safety, customized personal service will be a top customer priority. With the complex scheduling involved in the air charter business, the human role in aircraft chartering can never be fully replaced. By utilizing an expert who works first-hand to arrange the specific details of their air travel, customers can expect quality and reliability time and time again. Passengers flying with Air Partner enjoy a dedicated account manager who can even be on hand at the airport on the day of their flight to ensure everything goes smoothly.
- Travelers Will Challenge Private Air Providers, with a Desire to Reach Remote Destinations – Travelers are increasingly seeking more remote places to explore, with the desire for ultra-personalized experiences continuing to shape travel trends. With this, travelers will turn to flying private to obtain access to incredible, hard-to-reach destinations. One example is the remote islands of Fiji, offering empty beaches and welcoming villages. Air Partner is proficient in reaching more obscure and coveted destinations with game-changing chartered flights.
- Bleisure Travel Will Boom – The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) predicts global corporate travel spend will grow to an estimated $1.5 trillion in 2020. Based on booking trends and customer demand, Air Partner anticipates that travelers will push to make the most of their time away from home, often extending business trips by flying friends and family to meet them in a destination. Whether taking an extra day off after a tradeshow or delaying their return flights, Air Partner has many clients who utilize private air travel to seamlessly combine business and leisure travel with greater flexibility without delays and sees this segment continuing to grow.
Group Charter – Encompasses the charter of large aircraft (20+ people) by governments, corporations, sports and entertainment teams, industrial and manufacturing customers, and tour operators. Air Partner’s 2020 predictions include:
- Reinforced Value of an Air Charter Specialist – The ongoing decrease of quality charter carriers in the U.S. will reinforce the value of working with an air charter specialist to secure a quality lift. An air charter specialist has the experience and ability to source the most suitable and competitive aircraft from a wide range of operators whether it be a well-known flag carrier or a private aircraft operator. Along with their volume buying power, this can provide a significant saving for clients.
- Demand for Reliable Alternatives to Scheduled Services – This year will see continued growth in demand by corporations for reliable alternatives to scheduled services domestically and abroad. These corporations will turn to global charter operators to avoid delays, security lines and crowded commercial airports for a stress-free, viable solution that fits their unique schedule. By utilizing private charter, corporations also gain back hours that would be spent taking a scheduled flight and can fit multiple cities within a day that wouldn’t be realistic using scheduled services.
- Heightened Customization for Meetings and Incentive Trips – More companies are looking for new ways to inspire their employees’ creativity and help them come up with the next big innovative idea. Aside from the benefit of flying everyone seamlessly and easily in one large group, the demand for customization of the flight experience will rise – from entertainment at the private terminal to tailored onboard services such as healthy foods to boost brain power, as well as interior and exterior aircraft branding.
Freight – Encompasses the charter and part-charter of cargo aircraft for regular and tailored requirements, including emergency aid drops, time-critical door-to-door freight delivery and on-board couriers. Air Partner’s 2020 predictions include:
- Proactive Natural Disaster Planning – After four busy hurricane seasons and particularly this past year after a devasting Hurricane Dorian, Air Partner has experienced a flurry of companies and organizations seeking to proactively plan ahead for air evacuation coverage. In anticipation of another active hurricane season this year, it will be critical for companies to think ahead and have a disaster plan in place far before the first storm approaches.
- Aerospace Time-Critical Cargo on the Rise – The rampant growth of global airline fleet sizes will lead to an increased demand for time-critical cargo for the aerospace industry, especially during the summer period when airlines are flying at their maximum. A significant portion of the time-critical cargo business in which Air Partner operates comes from the aerospace industry, where spare parts need to be delivered as quickly as possible either via charter or onboard courier service, in order to avoid significant disruption to flight schedules due to an aircraft unserviceability issue.