The private jet industry is growing faster than ever, and there has never been more choice available on the market. But how did we get where we are today?
Here, we cover the evolution of the private jet industry over the past century including a brief history, the main factors that have boosted the industry and what we believe the future has in store for private jet charter.
Four factors that have boosted the evolution of the private jet charter industry
Why are so many people choosing to charter private jets rather than purchasing their own?
They offer a more cost-effective alternative to owning a private jet
Private jet charters offer passengers the same flying experience as owning a private jet without any of the associated maintenance or hangar fees. It is no wonder that so many people are choosing to charter instead of own.
They allow you to make unscheduled and last-minute trips
When you have an urgent or last-minute trip come up, it is often difficult to find a seat in business class for the dates and times you need. Instead of fussing around with connections and cramped seating, booking a private jet charter is easier and more reliable – and you don’t need to worry about last-minute detours or schedule changes.
They enable more people to experience affluence
In the past, only the most affluent people were able to step aboard a private jet, but with the growth of private jet charters more and more people can experience this luxury. This is especially important when trying to impress and win new clients – what could be more impressive than picking them up in a private jet?
They offer an immeasurable increase of luxury over business class
While business class and first class commercial flights attempt to replicate a true luxury experience, they simply cannot compete with a private jet. While many frequent travellers may not be able to manage the cost of owning and maintaining a private jet, the ability to charter one for last-minute trips is very attractive.
A look at the history of the Private Aviation Industry
People have long wished to travel in seclusion and style. Here is a brief timeline of the history of the private aviation industry.
1930s: The first private prop planes were developed in Germany, aimed at affluent families, and costing around $1 million USD.
1950: JetStar was released in 1950, designed by Lockheed for ten passengers and two crewmembers.
1963: Learjet released the Learjet 23, modelled on German military fighter jets. This year, Dassault Falcon also premiered their first executive jet, the Mystere 20.
1966: The Gulfstream II was released, setting the standard for large cabins in the private aviation industry – it could seat 19 passengers.
1970: Boeing unveils the 747 VIP Private Jet, with an even larger cabin.
1971: Cessna’s Citation 500 becomes popular. Despite its slower flying speeds, it was easier to fly, and therefore very popular.
1980: The world’s first private jet airport is opened, Le Bourget Airport in Paris, France.
1990s: The concept of fractionalized jet ownership begins to become popular around the world.
1993: Cessna’s Citation X was released and is still one of the fastest in the world.
2005: The Dassault Falcon 7X is launched, and was the first fully fly-by-wire business jet.
2008: Gulfstream’s G650 is launched, with the longest flight range of any private aircraft.
2014: Manufacturers begin to develop supersonic private aircraft that run using biofuels.
What does the future hold in store?
On the most affluent end of the spectrum is the VIP Boeing 787 Dreamliner, recently showcased at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington.
The plane in question is a bespoke customised 787, available for charter for up to 40 passengers for a fee in the neighbourhood of 65,000 USD per hour. It boasts a 2,400 square foot cabin, including a master suite complete with a king-sized bed, walk-in closet, and a full- sized shower. Passengers can even relax in a lounge and dining area, complete with couches and a 55in flat screen display.
This lush aircraft can travel non-stop for 18hr 30min. That’s a range of nearly 10,000 miles, which is the equivalent of New York to Singapore, or London to La Paz.
As you can see, there is a long history of private jets available for both private ownership and private jet charter. While the Dreamliner is an option for a select few, we are sure to see a whole new wave of smaller private aircraft on the market in years to come.