Affluent Travellers Climb Aboard "Air Taxis" As Private Ownership Stalls - GlobeAir

European air taxi firm GlobeAir has expanded its fleet to 16 after acquiring two new jets, arguing that chartering of private aircraft is winning at the expense of direct private and corporate ownership amid a fierce costs environment.

The firm has recently two new Citation Mustang jets. It said the deal is designed to bolster strong growth in 2016 when its revenues rose 19.6 per cent year-on-year to reach €21.3 billion ($27.41 billion). In the first three months of this year it logged 582 flights; there is high usage rate of planes, with 157 flights per aircraft, a 31 per cent rise from the same quarter a year earlier.

“We are seeing strong and steady growth for our services; mainly driven by C-suite executives who understand the opportunity cost gained in saving time through efficient travel.” Mauro de Rosa, chief marketing and sales officer, GlobeAir, said.

Private aviation raises a number of issues for wealth managers, such as around registration and tax; the health of the sector is also a barometer of wealth trends generally (to view an article about these issues, see here).

The three departure countries that GlobeAir saw the biggest increase in cross-border revenue flights last year were France, UK and Switzerland with year-on-year gains of 19 per cent, 36 per cent in departures and 5 per cent, respectively.

Some figures are less positive, suggesting changing patterns of aviation usage. In the 12 months to the end of March 2017, there was a 14.3 per cent increase in very light jet departures in Europe compared to the previous 12 months. GlobeAir also found that the number of business aircraft delivered to Europe has fallen “dramatically” in recent years. Between 2007 and 2011, 1,123 business aircraft were delivered to Europe, but this fell by 30 per cent for the period 2002 – 2016 when 788 were delivered.

Some 15 per cent of the UK’s fleet of business aircraft is up for sale (anything over 10 per cent is seen as a buyers’ market). The number of business aircraft deliveries to the UK between 2012 and 2016 was 29 per cent lower than the period 2007 – 2011, the firm added.


Nick Kalikajaros 2017