Although the ICAO reported 5.5% annual growth in air passenger traffic should have been rather easily managed by airlines in 2014, it seems that the much longed-for recovery in the market had caught commercial carriers unprepared. Flightstats has revealed that each day on average almost 700 commercial flights are cancelled globally with the whooping 470 515 of trips delayed just last month. However, while the situation might be looking grim for a commercial sector, it can become an opportunity for business aircraft operators.
Meanwhile, it might be hard to assign monetary value to millions of nerve cells lost by leisure travellers having to spend a part of their holidays in the departure lounges or gloomy hotels. However, the price that business travellers pay for the disruptions on their itineraries may amount to millions of dollars. For instance, the U.S. travel association data unveils that in 2014 alone the flight delays/cancellations of scheduled commercial flights cost American travellers 8.5 billion dollars, not to mention the lost time, missed connections and disrupted plans.
But flight delays/cancellations are not the only issue causing headaches to air travellers who opt for commercial flying these days. As stated by the Department of Transportation in its latest Air Travel Consumer Report, last year there were 21.8 million bags mishandled in the U.S. alone. However, this number is only indicative of the luggage which was actually reported missing. Outrageously, with only 1% of passengers choosing to report their missing bags, some newly emerged start-ups have actually started to benefit from selling the lost things in auctions.
Therefore, under the current circumstances the fact that more and more businesses abandon commercial travelling and turn to business aviation for more reliable commuting solutions should raise few eyebrows. Moreover, “Business travellers are all about time. Since a single minute on a CEO’s schedule could cost thousands or even hundreds of thousands, more and more executives and entrepreneurs have actually started viewing private aviation as an insurance against many service-related disruptions, common to commercial aviation services. The data from the Air travel Consumer Report unveils that 6.87% of delays are caused by late aircraft arrivals and 5.09 % by passenger service-related issues. Keeping in mind that none of these are applicable to business aviation it’s no wonder why business travellers are increasingly keen to opt for private jets. Moreover, keeping in mind the price of private jet it is obvious that getting from A to B fast is not the only service these travellers are after. For example a flight with Etihad Airways business class can cost as much as the private flight in Europe but the quality and diversity of the service is quite distinct. In fact, a growing number of business flyers expect to be provided with one-stop-shop services, which include transportation and other features, such as conference facilities and dinner service, even if the request is made just few hours before the actual flight,” shares Vitalij Kapitonov, CEO of KlasJet.
When it comes to time-saving, the benefits of private travel are more than obvious. For instance, according to the survey conducted by JetAdvisors, an average business traveller saves up to 7.5 hours per business trip when travelling from his office in New York to Chicago and back with a private jet, rather than business class. Moreover, the data from Eurocontrol unveils that 60 % of travellers would take on average 2.6 extra trips yearly if aviation hassles could be reduced or eliminated entirely. Therefore, the fact that the industry is expected to grow around 4% over the following decade is anything but surprising.
“With the commercial aviation industry falling behind due to the lack of punctuality, technical issues or mishandled items, it is up to business aviation to fill in the gap. In addition to delays and cancellations, more than 0.7 passengers are denied boarding per 10 000 air travellers per year, mostly because of oversold tickets. All of these issues are significantly contributing to the increasing popularity of business jets. For example, the EBAA documented a continuous sustainable growth in the number of private flights with over 8000 departures in the last quarter in Europe alone, supplying on-time and on-demand commuting solutions accommodated with full service packages. The growth of the industry shows that we are currently on the right path and it is our responsibility to maintain the sustainable expansion”, concludes the CEO of KlasJet, Vitalij Kapitonov.