A decade of business aviation

Thursday, January 16, 2020

As we enter a new decade, we look back at key developments in travel and business aviation.

Transformational Technology  

Private jets are evolving as technology advancements improve performance, comfort and connectivity with many new models coming to market over the decade. Fly-by-wire is now standard issue across new aircraft. It is an electronic interface for pilotsreplacing older manual controls, that reduces the potential for human error and can better stabilise the aircraft. Manufacturers are competing to build faster business jets that can fly further. Whilst the Gulfstream G650 has dominated the market in terms of range and performance since it was launched just over 10 years ago, the Global cabin category is rapidly developing. Bombardier has launched its Global 7500 and is planning to release a Global 8000, Gulfstream are advancing their fleet with a G700 and its likely that Dassault will announce a new addition to their Falcon fleet.

As new aircraft have come to the market over the past decade, each has sought to surpass other players within its category, delivering improvements in comfort, space, cabin freshness, connectivity and performance. The key new aircraft to market over the past 10 years include Cessna Citation LatitudeCessna Citation LongitudeHondaJet and the Pilatus PC-24. 

The Growth of Safety

The emphasis of safety has changed throughout the years, with a clear growth in ‘safety culture’ over the past decade. Traditional approaches of policy and compliance is fast becoming outdated, and the development of the safety landscape means putting people first to ensure a positive culture.  

In 2015 we started to diversify our business model with the acquisition of Baines Simmons, a world leader in aviation safety management. Nurturing and implementing a positive safety culture is exactly what they do, working with airlines and regulators across the globe to make the skies saferWe have subsequently acquired Clockwork Research - specialists in fatigue risk management, Safe Skys  wildlife hazard management specialists, and most recently Redline – a world leaving aviation security solutions and training company. We now have in-house safety expertise and capabilities that we can leverage as safety and security undoubtedly become perpetually more important to consumers and fliers over the coming years.

Bespoke Experiences  

Particularly in the sphere of leisure travel, bespoke and tailored experiences have flourished and become the definition of luxury travel. This trend ties in with a demand for emotional activities and a focus on experiential travel. Within the private jet sector, this has been reflected in companies delivering solutions that answer to what is important for each individual client, whether it’s the age of aircraft, price or ease of booking. As a group, we have responded to this trend by offering a flexible suite of private jet services that are tailored to fit your needs, from on demand charter to a membership programme. 

State of the Aviation Specialist

Shared charter emerged as a key trend, but no one truly proved the viability of the model and number of these providers closed down after just a short period of time. In a similar vein, we saw many smaller brokers and apps come to market within the private aviation space. Whilst apps may offer a perceived convenience for the booking process, the support of an expert team with proven safety values and the ability to speak to a specialist 24/7, wherever you are in the globe, should be an expectation for such a high value service. Unsurprisingly therefore, larger companies within the aviation space have merged and grown in recent years, including ourselves, and we expect bigger aviation specialists to remain and dominate the market over the coming years.

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