While travel is still limited and business travel is significantly reduced, it’s impossible to predict how flying will change in the long term. That said, while travel trends might change, business travel will still be a necessity and it’s a question of when – not if – it will return.
We may well see that business travel changes, and a ‘new normal’ will emerge when flying is no longer limited by border closures. For example, perhaps fewer people will travel for business, or they won’t travel as regularly. From the perspective of corporate jets, however, that might mean there’s more demand, not less.
We might possibly see executives share corporate jets with less senior colleagues if companies look to transport more people from the business together on the same flights. If there’s less business travel overall, it’s likely that any voyages will be more important, and perhaps more countries and ground will be covered in a single trip, making planning an itinerary on commercial airliners significantly more challenging. Ultimately, we won’t know until international travel picks up again, but it’s interesting to predict what we might see next. We think we will probably see more private jet use.
Private jet charters
Last year saw unparalleled private jet usage. Families, individuals and companies used jet charter companies to repatriate people or goods before international borders closed. During the summer, when travel was permitted for vacations, there was increased private jet usage and charters as people looked to fly more flexibly or securely, or because commercial carriers were still operating limited services.
Many people used private jets last year and we expect that it will continue to be a trend when travel restrictions ease again. As more people have used or chartered jets, we think that there’s more of an appetite to continue travelling this way. People might charter a jet, or alternatively, families or friends travelling together might regularly club together to book a number of block hours for a jet to get to their destination. We think that more people will charter jets, and aircraft operators will need corporate structures in place for this activity.
Looking forward, people will want to take advantage of holidays and travelling when borders are open and a resurgence of travel may well be likely, with some people opting to charter jets or even buy jets.
Seeking tailored advice before the purchase of a jet is important, particularly as there’s no ‘one-solution-fits-all’ structure for jet ownership. Working with expert partners to receive personalised and tailored advice is key to successful ownership. Talking to advisors about tax implications, costs, management, jet use, financing and your needs means expensive surprises can be avoided. A service provider can then provide further information about structuring, day-to-day management, importation, registrations, VAT reporting and so on.
Every client has a completely unique ownership structure, which is designed to fit their personal situation. Working alongside a client’s advisors and teams, the ideal structure can be set up and administered for jet or helicopter ownership.
Andrew Wilson is head of marine and aviation at Zedra. Zedra is a global provider of active wealth, global expansion and fund services. The firm’s experienced teams deliver tailored solutions to clients, which include high net-worth individuals and their families seeking diversified active wealth solutions, as well as medium- to large-sized companies, asset managers and their investors.