Flight hours fell about 20 per cent in 2009 at NetJets Europe, Ms. Williams says. But they started to creep back last year and have continued to move steadily upwards this year.
“The market is really going to bounce back in 2013. It’s a strong model. We’re starting to see growth in some territories,” she says.
But not everyone is convinced that fractional ownership is a sustainable model for the private jet sector. Alex Berry, marketing director at Chapman Freeborn, one of the world’s largest aircraft charter brokers, says the fractional model is expensive, with many of the world’s wealthiest flyers opting for charter flights that require no long-term commitment.
“The heyday of business aviation was between 2004 and 2008, but many people considered themselves overcharged on fractional schemes so have been shifting their business,” he says.
“Customers have no commitment to you other than the last flight. They say what they want and we go and find the best deal possible.”
Switzerland-based VistaJet is proving to be one of the most successful of the branded charter schemes.
Founded in 2004, VistaJet promises access to a business jet from just about anywhere within Europe, the Middle East and Asia for a fixed hourly rate, provided the customer buys a minimum number of flying hours in advance.Page 2 of 4 | Prev Page | Next Page