9 Predictions for BizAv in 2019

As 2018 comes to a close, we begin looking to 2019 – and what this next year will hold for the private jet charter market. With so many industry changes and manufacturer development this year, we are definitely excited for what’s next.

At PrivateFly, we celebrated ten years in the industry since our launch in 2008, followed by being acquired by Directional Aviation in September.

As a part of one of the world’s largest aviation groups, we’re truly looking forward to an exciting 2019 – bringing more innovation, value, and efficiency to our customers, suppliers, and partners.

Andrew Collins, President of Sentient Jet, with Carol Cork & Adam Twidell, co-founders of PrivateFly

Andrew Collins, President of Sentient Jet, with Carol Cork & Adam Twidell, co-founders of PrivateFly

We asked our team for their predictions and insight into 2019:

1) Breaking Point for Shared Charter Products

For the past few years private aviation has seen a lot of investment and innovation around the seat-sharing model – and yet no one has effectively proven its viability as a profitable offering in the market.

2019 will be the make or break time in our opinion; investors will not be able to sustain continued expenditure given the consistent flow of losses. This also makes any startup action into the space quite difficult.

CEO Adam Twidell comments, ” I don’t see any startups entering this market for at least another decade.”

2) The Environment Takes Center Stage

Consumers and businesses alike have been prioritizing green initiatives more than ever, with private aviation following suit.

For starters, larger charter operators will be subject to the CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) regulations that currently apply to commercial airlines.

And as seen at NBAA this year, electric aircraft are getting a lot of buzz – and we think this trend will continue into 2019 as well. With investors leaving the seat-sharing model and looking to what’s hot in private aviation, we think electric aircraft will be the go-to for forward-thinkers.

Panel on: "Imaging the Future of Pilotless VTOL Aircraft" at NBAA 2018.

Panel on “Imaging the Future of Pilotless VTOL Aircraft” at NBAA 2018.

The focus (and challenge) will be on developing appropriate regulations and infrastructure to support these innovations; a few leading concepts can already fly, so 2019 will be centered on making sure the aircraft are safe for passengers and pedestrians alike.

While we think market entry will be unlikely in 2019, surely major moves into the certification and regulation process will ensue.

3) Industry Consolidation

We’ve seen an increasing trend toward consolidation in our industry – from manufacturers to operators and FBO chains. PrivateFly was also acquired by Directional Aviation, joining us with sister companies such as Sentient Jet and Flexjet, so we are no stranger to the phenomenon.

The opportunities created by our bigger size and wider group will allow us to offer more innovation and value to our customers in 2019.

And we’re not alone – Adam adds, “I think we’ll see further M&A activity in the on-demand charter market in 2019. It’s still very fragmented and both the customer and the industry would benefit from more integration.”

4) Shake-ups in the Super-Mid Category

All eyes are on the mid-size category as it welcomes new models into the airspace; Embraer introduced the Praetor 500 and 600 this year, and Textron announced the Citation Longitude as well.

The unique interior of the Praetor models and sleek exteriors has long been a hallmark for Embraer.

ThePraetor 500 & 600 will be Embraer’s first foray into the super-mid size category.

These aircraft will by vying to dethrone the popular Bombardier Challenger 350, which was the most-delivered aircraft of 2017 (overall, not just in the mid-size category!).

Both models represent the first foray into the category for the manufacturers. And both models will be capable of performing transatlantic and cross-continental flights, another trend we’re seeing for 2019…

5) Ultra-Long Range Demand

Private aviation doesn’t always follow commercial airline trends, but this theme seems to be the exception: customers are choosing to fly further, and nonstop, and in luxury.

We’ve seen a trend of customers opting for the nonstop flight on a heavy jet, even if it means saving a chunk on a smaller jet with a fuel stop; a big reason given is the preference to save time and arrive to the final destination as quickly as possible, while another is the preference for uninterrupted sleep. Many heavy jets are being designed with convertible beds in mind – and indeed becoming more efficient at doing so.

There seems to be a sticker price for a good night’s sleep – and customers willing to foot the bill.

Manufacturers are responding to this trend, too – deliveries of the Global 7500 will begin in mid-to-late December 2018, with many expected to enter service in 2019.

The Global 7500 is one of the most anticipated jets of the moment © Bombardier

The Global 7500 is one of the most anticipated jets of the moment © Bombardier

The impressive long-range jet just breaks the record long-held by the Gulfstream G650ER for being the “fastest and furthest” private aircraft in the skies.

6) ADS-B Will Impact the Pre-Owned Market

The Federal Aviation Authority is set to implement ADS-B in 2019; by January 2020 all aircraft (from airlines to private jets to cargo) will have to comply with the new ADS-B ground tracking systems. Many hope the deadline will be extended, but for now, the industry is making the necessary preparations to fall in line.

The new regulation mainly impacts aircraft manufactured before 2010 or so, as most models in the past decade are already compliant.

This means that older aircraft will need to be refitted with the appropriate hardware, and with a price tag of up to $200,000, many are facing an uphill climb. As a result, we expect to see many pre-owned aircraft flood the market in 2019 as owners weigh their options and budgets.

Europe is set to follow suit in June 2020.

7) Extreme Weather Calls for Quick Action

Over the past few years we’ve seen major spikes in demand for last-minute charter flights related to the effects of more extreme climates.

From forest fires to flooding, hurricanes to blizzards, private aviation can quickly provide a transit solution – to a number of situations, including: evacuations, supply and crew delivery, media presence, and visits from officials.

Flying By Private Jet In Snow

From snow to sand, sometimes private aviation can provide the safest & quickest solution.

With these events becoming more frequent, we’re expecting more such requests in 2019.

8) Regulation Changes

Part 295 will come into effect in February 2019, impacting large swathes of the private aviation charter market. In terms of actual deliverability, we don’t think the new regulations will affect top-notch organizations, but it could help shed light on less-than-savory practices that were unfortunately evident.

US Sales Manager Phil keeping up to date with the latest FAA regulations at NBAA 2018.

US Sales Manager Phil keeping up to date with the latest FAA regulations at NBAA 2018.

Brexit will also have a major impact in the European market – though exactly how remains to be seen. As London is a major hub for business aviation, many UK-based operators are anxiously awaiting the final verdict in order to adapt appropriately.

While all these changes come into effect both in the US and abroad, PrivateFly always keeps a thumb on the news and stays flexible in order to quickly adapt to incoming changes – so though these changes are imminent, PrivateFly’s commitment to speed, safety, and service will never waver.

9) More Experience-based Traveling

As travelers seek far-flung destinations and better connectivity than ever, we predict that private jet flights will factor in as part of the overall experience.

“From choosing airports for their scenic approaches to choosing specific aircraft to complete a bucket-list goal, I see travelers trying to be purposeful about every minute of their holidays,” comments Adam.

Customers are also seeking further customization in the booking process; from choosing exact seating configurations on their charter flights to specific catering requests, we find clients opting to fully personalize their trips.

The Virtuoso Luxe Report seems to corroborate our vision as well, noting that the five trends they uncovered indicated “an overarching movement toward personalization – shaping how upscale travelers will roam the world in 2019.”

Overall: Exciting Times Ahead

As an overall forecast for 2019, we are keeping our tone positive. We see a changing market ahead, with plenty of exciting trends to come. Though 2019 may bring some challenges, PrivateFly is poised to adapt quickly and efficiently to any disruptions and continue to offer impeccable service to our customers and partners alike.

We wish you a flying start to 2019.

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