Yes, it is that time of the year. Just weeks away separate us from 2021 and, every year, Fort Lauderdale-based private jet provider Monarch Air Group shares its projections for next year’s business aviation industry. The 2020 trend for this segment was adapting and remaining flexible to the pandemic’s challenges, with a diversification of services being one of the key elements. What will define 2021 for the business aviation market?
For starters, the management of the outbreak should be used as an opportunity for differentiation. Service diversification will continue to be a driver for success, and the use of technology by senior customers will remain a steady trend.
The outbreak has affected travel, air transportation especially, in a historical way. What private aviation providers learned in 2020 will be key for delivering an even safer and comprehensive service. Companies and passengers alike were caught off guard, and they both participated in the new normal sensemaking process. Those firms who understood that process would be able to co-create value with their clients moving forward.
“I can’t think of a better time to allow customers to really be part of the travel experience than today. That openness and transparency will generate immediate brand loyalty, especially considering the rise in first-time private jet passengers in previous months. The private jet charter industry will continue improving and thriving amid future crises if companies understand true communication value. Feedback, both given and received, is a true gift”, said David Gitman, president of Monarch Air Group.
There are plenty of variables that can affect a business. Economic instability, political uncertainties, tensions in the middle are just quite a few. These can affect the price of fuel, decrease the demand, and raise the costs for private aviation providers. Those companies with the capacity and experience to offer a wider array of services will consequently be more prepared for uncertainty. As you know, a private jet can also transport more than just passengers.
There is a constant demand for the transportation of valuable goods, all sorts of cargo, medical, and even repatriation flights. What type of company do you want to lead? Remaining flexible during 2021, getting out of your comfort zone, and training your staff for new duties and responsibilities will allow your private jet business to better prepare for a whole new year of great opportunities.
Technology is perceived differently than ten years ago. If you do not pass the expectation test, users will move fast on to the next provider. It is no coincidence that a handful of the world’s largest companies are tech-based; technology makes it easier for the customer. No surprise here.
What is rather unexpected is a new travel trend led by baby boomers. The pandemic has changed how they are using technology. Those who were not familiar are discovering the world of technology and, in a way, technology brings everyone closer together. This generation of customers uses chat and video features, sending texts, and is super active on social media, marking a shift in the travel industry, specifically, from this demographic.
Baby boomers also are traveling more than ever these days. They opt for shorter trips, mainly domestic, and when traveling internationally, they opt for warmer places.
For companies, internally, technology investment will also contribute to more security in transactions for your customers, decreasing the possibility of cyber-attacks and scams, better systems for your employees, and flawless management of costs that will only contribute to the overall health of your charter company.
According to Monarch Air Group, other topics that will also be a trend within private aviation leaders during 2021 are the rise in first-time travelers, the sustainability discussion, the escalation of carbon offset programs in the industry, and new global destinations for business and leisure travel during the new normal.
In essence, as with any industry, companies that take the role of early adopters, in the use of technology or introduction of measures to make the flight even safer, for instance, will tend to have the advantage over those just watching. If 2020 is an example of what is coming down the road, then remaining flexible throughout 2021 and having the capability to adapt and assume some calculated risks should be part of your business plan. More doing and less observing should be part of every private jet provider’s strategic goals.