We spoke with the leaders of two private-jet companies to get their take on the state of global meetings and travel in 2011. Here’s what they had to say.
CEO, Private Jet Services Group
“A recent white paper prepared by Private Jet Services Group reports 12 percent year-over-year growth in business group/meeting charter demand. With the upward trend in commercial airfare, the reduction of discounted seat availability, and airlines’ add-on fees, our customers report an ever-narrowing differential in the cost of private air travel. Coupled with service and safety benefits, many groups choose to fly privately—particularly when their destinations include points outside the U.S., where current events, natural disasters, or simply a scheduling change at the office may necessitate a quick change in itinerary.”
Founder, JetWay Private Air
“International travel has increased by about 12 percent over the past 12 months, as U.S. businesses in particular go outside a stagnant U.S. for growth opportunities. We see this in a pickup in our bookings and with higher industry numbers. As well, we see more intra-Europe and intra-Asia private travel, after clients fly commercial to the continents.
“We do have instances where flying privately is cheaper. Flying 10 to 12 people to Siena, Italy, from New York, with stops in Rome, Milan, and Florence over a 10-day period with the same jet, crew, onboard catering, and airport/fueling fees, averages $2,000 to $3,000 less per person than flying first-class. The savings in time: incalculable.”