Business aviation has begun the process of recovery and will soon become an integral part of the day-to-day business for more companies than before the COVID pandemic. With airlines’ reduced networks combined with the challenges of social distancing, companies are seeking safe and efficient travel for their management, technical and sales teams that only business aviation can offer. It has been proven, especially during the COVID pandemic, that flying privately is a remarkably safer and more efficient way of traveling. This is changing the very essence of how we will perceive the business aircraft in the future.
Changing the Perspective
The pandemic has allowed us to take a step back, examine and optimise our business model to focus exclusively on what we do best – guiding our clients as their trusted advisors through the complex process of selecting, outfitting or refurbishing their corporate jet. Camber doesn’t offer brokerage services and we are not linked to a specific designer or completion center, so we are completely independent, which allows us to provide objective and unbiased guidance for our private, corporate and head of state clients. We have been closely observing the market and have identified key changes in our industry due to the pandemic.
Safety is in Demand
With the COVID pandemic, travel has become more challenging than ever. Traveling by private jet means knowing each of the passengers you’re traveling with, having greater space in the cabin, direct flights and arriving or departing at private terminals. This form of travel is an attractive alternative to the airline travel. Corporate aviation offers efficient, convenient and safe travel between points that may not currently be served by the airlines.
Chartering Will Flourish
The pandemic has caused people and companies to seriously consider business aviation with demand increasing, especially amongst individuals and businesses that previously flew exclusively with the airlines. The stereotype of a private flight being solely for the rich, famous, and extravagant is being deconstructed. Each day more people are considering using private jets and demand for charter flights continues to steadily rise.
Individuals and companies that intend to fly privately on a regular basis are well advised to consider fractional ownership. Essentially, this investment provides guaranteed access to a specific aircraft type for a pre-defined rate on an annual basis. Some fractional ownership schemes allow a fractional owner to up- or down-size the aircraft type for a specific mission that requires different passenger capacity and/or performance than the contracted aircraft. Fractional ownership offers tax deductions in some countries that make this form of private aviation very attractive to businesses.
There is a More Effective Solution
Aircraft ownership begins to make economic sense once the individual or business sees a consistent annual requirement for 250 flight hour or more. The owner will benefit by having unlimited access to the aircraft and the flexibility of being able to travel when required. New aircraft offer the latest technologies combined with an OEM designed cabin that reflects an owners requirements coupled with the benefits of warranties and service packages.
One of the most interesting trends within the industry lies in the refurbishment of large cabin aircraft ranging from Bombardier Globals and Dassault Falcon business jets to ACJ and BBJ narrowbody aircraft, where the asset has been depreciated but the aircraft continues to be more than capable of offering many years of excellent service to its owner.
Interestingly, Camber has experienced first-hand a substantially increased level of interest in first-time buyers seeking not only to acquire an aircraft, but in many cases a pre-owned large-cabin aircraft to be customised to reflect their needs and sense of style.
We see tremendous potential in updating pre-owned jets in a very cost-effective way. Refurbishing these aircraft takes significantly less time and costs a fraction of the price of purchasing and outfitting a new aircraft. With a fresh livery and new interior, it is difficult to differentiate a well-executed refurbished aircraft from a newly outfitted one – important points to consider for the owners contemplating replacing their current jet and for new entrants contemplating their first aircraft.