6 Predictions for BizAv in 2020

It’s been another exciting and eventful year here at PrivateFly. Having joined Directional Aviation’s OneSky group of companies towards the end of last year, 2019 has seen us double our footprint and start to reap the benefits of being part of a wider group for our suppliers, partners and our team – and of course for our clients.

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2020 is set to bring more benefits – including steps forward in our technology and more exclusive on-demand offerings for our clients. But what can the wider business aviation industry expect to see in 2020?

Here are my predictions for the year ahead.

1) New aircraft on the rise

2019 saw many long-awaited new aircraft programs entering service, with shipments reaching highest levels for a decade. 2020 can’t compete with new models, but it is set to be a year of significant growth for several recent market entries.

Embraer’s new Praetor 600 will lead growth in the super-midsize pack, and will soon be joined by its sister the Praetor 500. At the top of the market, Bombardier are set to ramp up deliveries for the supersize Global 7500, which entered the market this year.

The Praetor 600 was also fuelled by SAJF as it arrived at EBACE. Image: Embraer

The Praetor 600 was also fuelled by SAJF as it arrived at EBACE. Image: Embraer

We predicted last year that the heavy and super-mid categories would rise in popularity, and that trend is certainly still holding true, which we expect to continue through 2020 with these new aircraft entering the charter market.

2) Sustainability communications at the forefront

Business aviation has been focused on improving efficiency and mitigating its environmental impact in lots of ways, over many years. But with awareness of climate change now accelerating rapidly, this year will see companies moving towards self-governance, and communicating their efforts publicly.

While our sector’s carbon emissions represent only a tiny percentage of aviation as a whole, corporate and individual clients will become more thoughtful about who they choose to fly with. So for flight providers in our industry, a clear sustainability strategy, and one which is credible and considered, will be an essential commercial consideration – as well as an environmental one.

This will also create business opportunities in business aviation (as in other industries) for tools and services to help companies manage and measure their carbon offsetting and other sustainability needs.

3) Electric aircraft accelerated

With the current limitations on battery capacity (to weight), the first generation of electric-powered aircraft will be short range and seat a handful of passengers – rather than commercial airliners. So business aviation is likely to be the first sub-sector to implement electric aviation.

The world's first fully electric commercial aircraft takes flight. The Harbour Air ePlane is magnified by the magniX magni500, a 750-horsepower electric propulsion system. Image: MagniX

The world’s first fully electric commercial aircraft takes flight. The Harbour Air ePlane is magnified by the magniX magni500, a 750-horsepower electric propulsion system. Image: MagniX

In 2020, the world’s first electric aircraft race ‘Air Race E’ will showcase new electric propulsion and components. And I think (and hope) we’ll see more lobbying to governments to speed the progress of electrification, both in aircraft development and in regulation and infrastructure.

4) More industry consolidation

 

Business models are continuing to evolve rapidly in our sector, with some succeeding and growing, and some failing.

It’s never been more important for clients to have confidence in stability of their private aviation provider. We’re already seeing this in the US and I predict there will be more acquisitions, mergers, and unfortunately some losses, in Europe in 2020.

5) More extreme weather demand

Over the past few years we’ve seen major spikes in on-demand charter activity related to extreme weather events. From forest fires to flooding to hurricanes and heavy snowfall, private aviation can fly in quickly, when and where required.

A Citation Sovereign among the mountains.

A Citation Sovereign among the mountains.

With these events seemingly getting more frequent, we’re expecting more of this type of demand in 2020.

6) Travel trends made possibly by private jet

PrivateFly has continued its partnership with Virtuoso, growing our relationship with the professional travel community. On Virtuoso’s 2020 Luxe Report, they found that travelers are trending toward multi-country journeys that combine more experiences in one exciting trip.

We’re getting more and more requests to facilitate these multi-destination trips by chartering private aircraft to quickly and efficiently shuttle groups to their next stops – and we see this trend moving forward across the board in 2020 as well.

What are your industry predictions for 2020?

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