We talk to experts from PrivateFly and P&WC about the emergence of online booking and how the sharing economy is changing the charter aviation game.
Double-digit Growth in Charter Services Demand
The charter industry has proven to be one of business aviation’s most resilient sectors over the past decade and one of the strongest drivers of this success has been the growth of online booking services offering real-time access to hundreds, if not thousands, of available charters. Many of these services are available through a simple-to-use cellular phone application.
Charter’s acceptance of innovations in digital technology and communications has helped produce some enviable gains, with some markets posting annual double-digit percentage growth. With customers increasingly seeing the benefits of the sharing economy, this growth in demand is expected to continue for many years to come.
Giving the Customer Control
“The sharing economy improves the customer experience by empowering the customer,” explains Adam Twidell, a former military and corporate jet pilot who co-founded charter booking service pioneer PrivateFly with his wife Carol Cork in 2008. “It was clear to me that while customers were generally fine with the private jet experience they were not happy about pricing. Customers didn’t know how much they should be paying."
Customers using charter services are willing to pay, Adam says, "but they want to know they are getting value.”
Using the PrivateFly web platform or App, customers can verify what the flight will cost as well as the aircraft options. "By offering the customer complete transparency we put them in control of their purchase,” Adam explains.
He says this control is becoming even more important as customers become more knowledgeable about aviation, and increasingly ask for more detailed information; not only about the cabin interior but also concerning the aircraft type, age and national certification, as well as the pilot’s experience and the aircraft’s engine.