Who flies by private jet? A look at today's typical customer

Rebecca Smith
Many fliers book their private jet a week or less before their flight
Many fliers book their private jet a week or less before their flight (Source: PrivateFly courtesy of Cessna)
ho flies private jet?

Well, according to PrivateFly’s bookings, the average jet user is a 41-year-old male, who opts for a small “air taxi” jet from London to Paris.

The private jet booking platform has unveiled the characteristics of the typical private jet frequenter, using data from users over the past 12 months.

Read more: Meet the woman who wants the private jet market to go greener

The 2016 private jet flier:

  • A 41-year old male, and travels with three or four other passengers
  • He flies from London to Paris (the most enquired route)
  • He flies in a Citation Mustang, a small four-seater “air taxi” style jet (prices start from £3,500 for a one-way flight from London to Paris)
  • He books his flight at late notice - just a week before take-off
  • He’ll take off at 11am on a Friday, the most popular time to fly

And London was the most popular location in Europe for the whole of last year. PrivateFly said that while Paris Le Bourget airport handles more private jet flights than any of the captial's individual airports, London's private jet movements are spread across a whole range of airports, from Luton to Stansted to London City.

Adam Twidell, PrivateFly's chief executive, said there's "a growing crossover between the profile of the private jet user and the airline passenger". He added that the "critical mass" of private jet users are successful business owners or families "happy to pay a premium for a better travel experience".

PrivateFly chief executive Adam Twidell
PrivateFly chief executive Adam Twidell (Source: PrivateFly)

The entry-level end of the market is becoming increasingly competitive, so that's expected to become even more apparent this year.

Read more: Private jet usage has gone up 25 per cent, London Southend reports

Membership schemes allowing people to make use of jets without owning them have become a popular option, with the likes of jet-sharing companies Wheels Up and Rise.

“Some of the findings may come as a surprise to those outside the industry, particularly the popularity of small jets and short distance flights," Twidell said. "It goes without saying that today’s private jet customer is driven by the time-saving and convenience of private air travel which, while more expensive than airline travel, is not only for oligarchs, celebrities or the super-rich travelling in large and lavish jets."

And for some, it's also a convenient way to bring their beloved furry friends on board. According to PrivateFly's fourth quarter report, four per cent of those who travelled brought a pet along for the flight.

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