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BUSINESS AVIATION


Private aviation offers more flexibility than commercial flights, so what are the barriers to using this mode of transport?


ERCEPTION IS EVERYTHING. Private jets today are, on the whole, deemed to be the preserve of celebrities, oligarchs and royalty – despite this particular demographic representing about 1 per cent of total passengers.


ENGINES OF COMMERCE P


Meanwhile, in the wider business world, those buyers who include private jets in their travel programmes are unlikely to publicise their use, for fear of sending out the wrong image of their organisation to the public, and also among employees. However, jet charter companies are reporting an increased uptake against a backdrop of issues currently facing many aspects of commercial air travel. Crowded skies are contributing to more delays with


unexpected cancellations on the increase; a recent European Commission study highlighted 387,000 reportable commercial flight delays in Europe in 2017. Strikes affecting air travel are also on the up. Meanwhile, according to the European Business


Aviation Association, private jets link three times more city pairs in Europe than commercial aviation. Richard Smith, director of charter for ACC Aviation, says: “Using more conveniently


located airports inaccessible by scheduled services and avoiding congested terminals, streamlines the pre- flight process, delivering significant time savings. Enhanced schedule flexibility allows business jet travellers full control of their itineraries, while the privacy, security and connectivity of modern private jets allow them to utilise their aircraft as a productive working environment,” Smith believes it is these factors that are driving use at ACC: “Private jet charter is a rapidly developing part of our business, and we’re seeing significant growth in this area.” Elliot Bottomley, managing director of


UK-based boutique charter firm Aviation Charter Limited, agrees: “Time is a finite commodity; it is impossible to make more of it, and we don’t know how much of it we have,” he says. “Our clients use business jets extensively as they understand that time is too precious to waste. Time is literally money for them.”


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JULY/AUGUST


2019


buyingbusinesstravel.com


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