Air taxi service Globeair has experienced a growth in the number of its departures in the last 12 months, and believes this is part of a bigger shift in the market for private jet use.
The company saw significant growth in 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 with a 31 percent rise in flights in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. In addition, its revenue was €21.3 million in 2016, up 19.6 percent on 2015.
Globeair believes that this indicates something larger about the market, however. The number of very light jet departures in Europe has increased dramatically over the past 12 months, even while the number of departures for mid and heavy jets has dropped. Coupled with new research on the falling number of European private jets that are up for sale and the number of private jets being delivered to Europe, the carrier believes that more people are choosing not to buy or own their own aircraft and instead want to charter or take an air taxi instead.
The carrier has recently purchased two more Citation Mustang Jets to increase its fleet to 16.
Chief marketing and sales officer of Globeair, Mauro De Rosa, said that the growth was as a result of “entrepreneurs and executives… switching on to the idea that private jet charter is not just for the super-rich… they see the value of using business aviation to speed up their deals and lift their companies to higher levels of efficiency.”
He added: “Compared to the past, what is remarkable is that not only large corporations, but also local enterprises and promising start-ups, are making greater use of the air taxi industry.
The three departure countries that Globeair saw the biggest increase in cross-border revenue flights were France, the UK and Switzerland, where they saw rises in departures of 19 per cent, 36 per cent and 5 per cent respectively on 2015.
|Departure countries||Number of Globeair departures in 2016||Number of Globeair departures in 2015|
|United Kingdom||1906 (+36%)||1401|
“Our product is time-saving. We are not selling a flight, we are selling time,” says Bernhard Fragner, CEO of GlobeAir. “These are short haul flights, point to point. We can go to very small airports – there are plenty of them across Western Europe. Last year we flew to 784 airports across Europe.”
Fragner explained the decision to choose the Cessna Mustang Jet as a combination of factors:
“Cessna built a reliable aircraft and it’s easy to maintain – you find service centres and spare parts. And it’s a good mix of three main components – the airframe by Cessna, the avionics by Garmin, which are very reliable and the engines by Pratt and Whitney. We also learned that the average passenger on board for short haul in Europe is one point something passengers, so having four seats on the aircraft is actually a surplus.”
In addition, Globeair buys its Mustangs on the secondary, pre-owned market at good prices.
“We are very aware of where the Mustangs are, and we buy them with low usage and where the owner is disposed to give us a good price. So we sourced the first few from Cessna, and then afterwards we sourced the rest as distressed assets with low hours. Our business model is that someone else has to take the first depreciation – the first half, let’s say.”
Fragner pointed out that although Cessna ceased production of the jet, except on demand, “…in total they built 479, and only one is not any more in service, so there are plenty we can buy later if necessary. I am not worried.”