, 1er journal des professionnels du tourisme francophone

Are private jets too expensive and luxurious? “Democratization” is underway…

An under-exploited market in France

Private jets only represent a small share of the French air transport market, but it should develop thanks to new authorizations by the DGAC. A small revolution that could democratize a sector on which brokers are already prepared to act.

Rédigé par Laury-Anne CHOLEZ translated by Joséphine Foucher le Mercredi 1 Octobre 2014

Air France launched a private jet offer in July. DR
Air France launched a private jet offer in July. DR
In France, the rental of private jets never had a good image.

Considered too expensive, and unnecessary, these types of passengers prefer to stay incognito.

“It’s our fault if our industry suffers of such an image.

We have to renew our marketing strategy,”
believes Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly, a private jet rental website.

“Taking a jet is often poorly perceived by employees, but they don’t realize how much time it saves a CEO whose every work minute is precious,” adds Gilles Gompertz, CEO of the broker Avico.

According to their estimates, renting a jet could sometimes be cheaper than a traditional flight when it comes to flying domestically with your team, especially when leaving from provincial cities.

“If we add up the price of a hotel in Roissy the night before departure, the time spent in transfers and connections, it is sometimes more profitable and especially faster to rent a jet,” insures Benjamin Sinclair, CEO of Air Charter Service France.

However, the rental prices are not affordable to all SMEs. Let’s take the example of a company that needs to travel from Strasbourg to Limoges and back in one day, with four collaborators.

Through Air France, according to the website, the company will have to spend 2,380 euros with a connection. Through PrivateFly, this service will cost 4,180 euros (onboard a turbo-prop plane.)

The question is whether the company is willing to pay twice as much for a faster and more comfortable trip.

Will private jets soon be democratized?

The private jet can also be used for transfers to long-haul flights.

A service offered by Lufthansa since 2008, British Airways in 2010 and recently Air France since last July.

Professionals in the sector rejoice over this new partnership.

“It is not a competitor, just the opposite. It will give back a visibility to our market,” continues Gilles Gompertz.

Furthermore, with these small capacity planes, the Air France offer launched in partnership with WiJet doesn’t enter the business of brokers, who can meet a larger range of demands thanks to a wide choice of aircrafts.

And they hope to develop on the French market, that has not been exploited much.

in 2013, there were 705,000 private jet flights in Europe, a drop of 2.4% versus 2.5 million in the United States.

The website PrivateFly has launched a French version in 2013, which already accounts for 15% of its 30 million euro turnover.

The platform is accessible through a “white-label” solution for travel agencies, who then collect a 3% commission on each transaction.

Because the potential is great. In fact, the DGAC is currently working on authorizing single-engine aircrafts to circulate freely.

A decision that should revolutionize the sector, decrease costs, and maybe democratize a service that is still rather elitist.

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