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Green Column by Sharad Agarwal
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Business Travel: Will Private Jet Become More Popular Than First-Class?

Whether you run your own company, are a CEO, or need to travel frequently for meetings, at some point, you'll probably have to fly for business purposes. For decades, first class has been the best and most luxurious way to fly, full of business professionals and wealthy travelers. Compared to coach where you're often cramped and pressed for leg room, some first class options include reclining beds, spa treatments and your own personal mini bar, making it the ultimate way to travel. Or is it?

Benefits of Private Jets

Splurging on one of the world's most lavish first class cabins is very tempting, but for those who can afford it, chartering a private jet is becoming a more popular option. While it's can be expensive, flying private does come with its own set of advantages:

VIP service – with a smaller number of passengers, you get a more personalised customer service experience. Private flights also tend to offer great catering options.
Faster flights – commercial airliners sit an altitude of 35,000 feet, but private jets fly higher, meaning they can use faster, more direct routes.
Less time traveling – say goodbye to check-in, security, and time spent standing around waiting for your luggage to appear on the baggage carousel, as you can arrive and board just before you fly.
Flexible times – forget traveling on the airliner's schedule and pick a time a day that suits the needs of your business trip.
More airports – around 500 airports are available for commercial flights, while private jets can land at more than 5000.
Privacy – you can prep on the plane before landing, or even hold a meeting while you're still in the air.

With these benefits, it's easy to understand the appeal of chartering a Fly Victor private jet. No more waiting, no more inconvenient red-eye flights, and no more overcrowded planes and terminals. However, many people don't even consider flying privately, as they expect costs to be astronomical. While traveling on a private jet can be costly, if you know where to look, it doesn't have to break the bank.

Price Comparison

Depending on the airline and the type of amenities you're looking for, the price of a first class ticket can really vary, with some of the most opulent options costing upwards of $10,000. Of course, there's a lot of cheaper first class seats out there, too. However, on average, for domestic flights in the US, first class cost at least $500 extra when compared to an economy ticket.

To a charter a private jet, on the other hand, generally carries a hefty price tag of thousands of dollars, but there are ways to secure a lower price. If you can be flexible with your dates and are happy to book at the last possible minute, then there are sometimes bargains to be had. Alternatively, searching for empty leg flights – return journeys without any passengers – can result in massive savings of 75%. In fact, when comparing first class seats with commercial options, chartering a private jet can be cheaper than flying with a budget airline.

Of course, booking an empty leg flight or last minute isn't always a viable option, especially if as a business owner, you need to provide clients with advance notice. The good news is, to open up the market and compete with larger commercial airlines, some private plane operators are offering a subscription service. While you're probably used to paying for a streaming subscription, as a frequent flyer, you can now pay a monthly membership fee, which could save you a lot of money in the long term, making private travel a more realistic option.

The Future of Business Aviation

Experts behind the Global Jet Market 2015-2019 research have predicted that the business jet market will be worth $33.8 billion by 2020, compared with $20.9 billion in 2013. This sector growth is linked to a higher customer demand in North America, Asia and the Middle East. Such an expansion in the industry will lead to increased competition, which could in turn, see business travelers benefit from lower prices.

However, commercial airliners are undergoing a makeover, too. The plane of the future could include cafes and gyms as standard, meaning cramped flights could soon be a thing of the past. But, if you're looking to impress clients, need to make multiple stops on your journey or fly along routes that aren't on offer with commercial flights, then a private jet will always come up trumps.

So, are private jets going to become more popular than first-class? Well, it's clear that flying private definitely has its benefits, such as more airports, more convenient flight times and faster journeys. Also, experts agree that the industry is set to boom over the next few years, leading to more competition between operators. With subscription services and the possibility of cheaper prices, more of us could soon be hopping on private jets.


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