Private jet use is more popular than ever – and first-time buyers are driving record sales
A worker cleans a GulfStream Aerospace Corp. business jet. G650 on the opening day of the Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, UK on Monday July 18, 2022. The airshow, one of the biggest events in the global aerospace industry, takes place until July 22.
Jason Alden | Bloomberg | Getty Images
FARNBOROUGH, England — The use of private jets shows no signs of slowing down.
Business has been booming for some time for major private jet manufacturers as companies have been unable to keep pace with soaring demand since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. .
Last year, the use of private planes reached its highest level ever. Aviation data research firm Wingx recorded 3.3 million business jet takeoffs in 2021the most for a single year and 7% higher than the previous record of 2019.
A boom in wealth, stronger leisure demand and the gradual easing of Covid-19 restrictions have appeared to boost the business aviation industry in recent months. But the resilience of the rebound was to be tested this year.
“We’ve seen very robust and significant activity over the past 18 months or so, continuing here through the third quarter,” said Scott Neal, senior vice president of global sales at major aircraft maker Gulfstream. “So really a sales record for us.”
Speaking at a press briefing at the Farnborough International Airshow on Tuesday, Neal credited the company’s investment in expanding its new private jet fleet with attracting customers to the brand in a way they don’t. had never seen before.
This includes first-time buyers, he added, “which is a large and growing part of our business.”
Neal declined to divulge an exact percentage of first-time buyers of Gulfstream’s private jets, but said the emerging trend was “a significant component” of their customer base in terms of sales on an annual basis.
“Believe it or not, for a good number of our early buyers, their first plane was a G650,” Neal said, referring to a private jet model popular among the super-rich.
“We are currently very busy across the world from a sales perspective,” Neal said.
“The same thing from an operations perspective,” said Derek Zimmerman, president of customer support at Gulfstream, during the same briefing.
“Fleet flying hours are at record highs, fully recovering from the impact of the pandemic. That was probably true late last year and it’s certainly continued this year,” he said. said Zimmerman. “So I think all around we’re seeing really strong signals right now from the market.”
The air show, a five-day trade exhibition that kicked off Monday, is taking place during an extreme heat wave.
The UK had its hottest day on record on Tuesday, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).
The Met Office Posted its first ever red extreme heat warning due to extreme temperatures expected to affect much of England.
Certainly, heat waves have become more frequent, more intense and longer lasting due to the climate crisis.
The use of private jets has a disproportionate impact on the environment, and emissions from private jets in Europe have grown at a faster rate than commercial aviation in recent years.
Data from the non-governmental organization Transport & Environment shows that private jets are up to 14 times more polluting than commercial planes per passenger, and up to 50 times more polluting than trains.
In fact, in just one hour, a single private jet can emit two metric tons of carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, the average person in the European Union emits 8.2 metric tons of CO2 equivalent over an entire year.
Activists have called for a substantial reduction in the use of private jets by individuals and businesses and have proposed a tax on tickets and fuel on private fossil fuel jets until a ban is put in place. place in 2030.