The topics of luxury, exclusivity and uniqueness have long been discussed by hospitality professionals as points of differentiation that may be vital to success of an hotelier. There has also been a growing focus on the private jet industry and its role in the hospitality business. Private air travel is more convenient and personalized than commercial flights and although it was once viewed as a luxury, it has now become a necessary accommodation in the world of hospitality and tourism management. The private jet industry has been around since the early 1960’s and has continuously evolved into a luxury standard among travelers with varied lifestyles. It was in 1966 that the first Gulfstream II jet was created and began setting standards in large-cabin private jets. By the 1970’s Boeing 747 and the 747 VIP private jets have emerged and began their routes. With the private jet market being in high demand, the first private jet airport – Paris Le Bourget was built in 1980. The popularity kept growing and by now, the private jet industry has managed to completely transform the world of hospitality.
Convenience is another imperative factor for success of private airlines since there are airports all over the world where the private jet can land that may be closer to your destination than a commercial air flight. Thirdly, flying privately allows you to be extremely flexible because the jets are ready when you are. Usually, they are available within a few hours of notification and allow you to change the flight plan with merely a request. Lastly, personalized service and privacy are two aspects that create added value to every client. Private planes are luxurious, with a lot of space to accommodate your preferences and to receive personalized attention. Moreover, you can hold meetings, conference calls and be less visible when travelling on a private jet which may be an attractive characteristic for some individuals.
Currently, companies like NetJets are setting standards in air travel. NetJets is the world’s leading business aviation company which has the largest fleet in Europe – around 100 aircrafts to be exact. Other pioneers in the industry include VistaJet who promise their customers that the aircraft is under three years old “without the risks and costs linked to fractional and whole-aircraft purchases”. Additionally, new pricing models are at the forefront, with companies like JetMe, who operate a lot like “name you price model” where you submit your own bid and XOJets who pride themselves on reducing the costs of flights for their clients.
While it may seem that private aircraft operators are the only players in the private jet industry, it is not the case since there is a variety of intermediaries who play a key role in the industry without owning a single aircraft. Firms like I&W aviation who offer consultancy services to private jet clients as well as private aviation companies are expanding the business and force private jet owners to be at the top of their game. There are also other types of intermediaries – those that connect customers with private jet operators and owners. LunaJets and StrataJets are two of these companies.
LunaJets is known by its slogan of “Pay less. Fly more”, and by their offer of discounted prices with access to over 4800 aircrafts worldwide. What makes LunaJets different is the promise to offer the best prices and the best service without compromising one or the other. The key success factors according to the companies CEO and Founder, Mr. Eymeric Segard are, “Respecting and anticipating the client, being at the technology forefront and last but not least having the right people.” LunaJets’ 24/7 customer service combined with the possibility to book online and innovative technology allows them to cater to all the varying needs of their clients. Mr. Eymeric Segard said that the idea for LunaJets started as an “opportunistic marketing” one. “Like hotels trying to sell their empty rooms at discounted rates at 9 p.m., LunaJets’ initial business idea was to sell empty leg flights at greatly discounted prices.” The concept has largely developed since then, but LunaJets remains dedicated to offering the best prices.
In short, the air travel industry has been experiencing a boost in popularity over the past years and there is a growing number of key players in the business. These players are not necessarily private jet owners as there is a variety of intermediaries who play a crucial role in the communication between private jet operators and clients. Due to the increase in attractiveness of flying private there is a question that remains to be answered – Is flying private still luxurious or has it become rather accessible?