Air Partner - 21 Oct 2019
By 2020, the worldwide business travel market is set to reach $1.6 trillion. As business travel never ceases to evolve, so we continue to probe and recognise what matters to businesses and how we can deliver both value and efficiency through private charter.
Whilst the advantages may not be immediately clear, we have transformed travel for many global companies and created true value – giving them back time and delivering a seamless and smooth experience that allows employees to perform at their best, wherever they are in the world. In this article, we discuss key business travel trends, the challenges business travellers face and how we believe investing in private charter can transform your business travel.
Technology is progressing rapidly in the sphere of private charter. The newest jets have unrivalled connectivity, allowing employees to create a productive environment on-board and continue conversations with colleagues in flight. Private charter allows you to be productive and the seamless service means you can make the most of your time, either focussing on getting work done or resting up before your next meeting. But as video technology and connectivity continues to improve, will companies always have a requirement to travel? To some extent, business travel is measurable in terms of finances - in the form of new business deals, increased revenue or a growing client base, enabled by fostering face-to-face relationships. Many aspects are, however, immeasurable; fostering better employee collaboration across global markets, growing relationships in person and the time saving a meeting may deliver for a negotiation or deal, as opposed to back and forth emails or conference calls. Despite continued evolution of digital tools like video calls that allow virtual communication, face-to-face contact is continually valued and recognised as important. In fact, the TripActions State of Business Travel Report reveals that 67% find it difficult to build business relationships over video and 90% believe that business travel is important in driving company growth. It’s clear that despite technological advancements, there will always be a place for face-to-face contact and a business requirement for senior executives to travel frequently. Private charter offers the ideal environment to stay connected whilst you travel.
Business travel trends are consistently shifting. Currently ‘bleisure’ travel is gaining global momentum in the sphere of corporate travel. Echoing the growing movement of wellness and the topical discourse of work-life balance, business travellers are increasingly blurring the lines between business and leisure. ‘Bleisure’ means travellers are making the most of their business trip, often extending it into a holiday and flying friends and family out to experience and enjoy the destination. Remarkably, 43% of business trips made in the United States are now ‘bleisure’. The flexibility of private charter makes it ideal for this trend, allowing you to fly when and where you want to your own schedule. Whether you take an extra day at a destination within a multi-destination roadshow by private jet or delay your return flight home, we have many clients who seamlessly combine business and leisure travel.
Frequent business travel can have both physical and mental implications. The Harvard Business Review published a study citing a Columbia University’s School of Public Health Survey, which examined the impact of heavy business travel (defined by 14 or more nights away per month). According to the study, heavy business travellers had significantly higher body mass index on average and demonstrated clinical symptoms related to mental health problems like anxiety and depression.
Time is perhaps the biggest sacrifice when travelling for business. When asked what they found the most challenging and frustrating aspects of travelling, the majority of business travellers’ answers included time-consuming activities such as time spent in transit, changing a flight reservation mid-trip, work environment whilst traveling, layover, meals and gathering travel information. In another survey, delayed or cancelled flights were the number one problem, closely followed by the stress of missing flights.
Private charter can vastly reduce the effects and implications on business travellers through removing the majority of causal factors – including delayed or cancelled flights, time away from home and family, unhealthy or irregular meals and disrupted sleep schedules. With private charter, you fly exactly when you want and know you have a global team on hand 24/7 to take care of every detail and make changes as your plans change. You can fit in more destinations within your day’s schedule and access smaller regional airports that suit you, so you can make it home for the night. Choose exactly what you want to eat on-board and simply recline your seat into a bed for minimal disruption to your usual routine. You can continue work in the privacy of your cabin and changes to your travel schedule will be made instantaneously for you. The experience of flying privately as a whole takes the stress out of your hands and is far more sustainable for senior executives who travel frequently. It avoids compromising performance by mitigating the usual stress and fatigue associated with travelling. Where it delivers most value, however, is saving time. Ultimately, you gain back hours that could be spent taking a scheduled flight and you can fit multiple cities within a day that wouldn’t be realistic using scheduled services.
In addition to private jet travel for individuals or small groups, private charter for large groups can transform travel to events, conferences and incentive trips. The growth of the MICE industry has put emphasis on promoting innovation within travel to achieve a greater return on investment. The traditional rationale for business travel is productivity and in the coming year, closing deals and boosting productivity will remain a key focus for many work trips. However, more companies are looking for new ways to help inspire their employees’ creativity and help them come up with the next big innovative idea. Recognition of this insight is working its way into event programming and design at various business travel conferences – the business and meetings market is positively effervescent with new ways to heighten the senses. This ‘innovational’ travel in turn is heightening expectations and demand for experiences, ideas and knowledge. The ‘festivalisation’ of meetings is one prime example, as events like SXSW, TED and C2 Montreal expand exponentially in scope, attendance and impact year on year. Meeting venues are being reinvented with high-tech, high-touch group spaces. We’ve offered charter solutions to the MICE industry for over 55 years and as meetings and incentives continue to revolutionise experience, so we match that with exceptional flight experiences. Aside from the benefit of flying everyone out seamlessly and easily in one large group, we specialise in creating unforgettable experiences – from entertainment at the private terminal to bespoke on-board services, as well as interior and exterior branding. We believe private charter delivers value where MICE travel is concerned, creating the ideal spring board at the beginning of a work trip for innovation and creativity.