The share economy is changing the private aviation sector. See what else is shifting in the industry.

The accessibility of private aviation via technology and digital communications has led to an increase in new customers.With new ways to access the private aviation space, companies have seen an increase of interest into a niche market that was once only reserved for the wealthiest among us.

2017 was the biggest year of growth for the sector since the Great Recession, with global private jet bookings increasing by a whopping 51 percent from the previous year. Even the average spend per flight increased by nearly 20 percent.

A new year of operations marks a new set of opportunities and challenges. On top of encouraging sales numbers, 2017 evidenced some new trends in the business and private aviation market, from the addition of new payment methods to a shift in the frequent flyer profile. Monarch Air Group projects what trends will cement throughout 2018 and what others will come into play in the overall market.

New Clients Will Experience Flying Private

Ever heard of the once-in-a-lifetime travelers? Well, these are individuals, couples, groups and families ready to experience flying on a private jet for the first time.

The accessibility of private aviation via technology and digital communications has led to an increase in new customers. The offer of empty leg flights also helps, granting the opportunity to charter an aircraft for under 70 percent of its original cost.

These new clients will serve to boost the sector’s image through word-of-mouth, thus demystifying that business aviation is only for the super-wealthy.

Charters Will Lead the Business Aviation Growth

Considered by some as a luxury, private aviation budgets are reduced or eliminated during tough times as businesses opt for cheaper means of transportation.The charter segment has been able to withstand the uncertainties of the business aviation market the past years with fair pricing models, transparent information, and friendly payment methods, adapting to the clientele instead of the other way around.

And 2018 won’t be the exception. Private jet manufacturers, an important piece in the business aviation puzzle, have seen a decrease in deliveries, and private jet airlines must yet account for the cost of flying empty to return to base. The charter business model, with planes distributed around the globe, allows for a lighter costs scheme that enables companies to anticipate demand.

Bitcoin as a Payment Method Will be a Must

Exploring new ways to adapt to market trends will produce dividends for private jet providers. Getting on the Bitcoin bandwagon would be wise, as the cryptocurrency gains ground on almost every continent. Monarch Air Group of Fort Lauderdale is one of the latest to offer the payment system for booking a flight in a move towards increasing accessibility and levels of customization.

On a different level, adding instant quoting systems and generating a reliable app to book flights should be the starting point of today’s private jet market.

Diversification as the Key to Withstand Shaky Economies

In every industry, companies need to find ways to stay afloat when the economy is uncertain. Considered by some as a luxury, private aviation budgets are reduced or eliminated during tough times as businesses opt for cheaper means of transportation.

In times like these, private aviation providers need to find ways to stay airborne in spite of the external turmoil. How? Exploring new business lines like aircraft management, renting charters for relief missions around the globe, or developing a fractional pricing scheme. The sky is the limit for business creativity.

Consolidation of the Very Light Jet Segment

The Honda Jet—a U.S. manufactured plane from the Japanese firm—and the Cirrus Vision from the traditionally piston-engined Cirrus Aircraft are now in the mix when referring to this sector. These two new players are turning heads when speaking of overall operational costs, although both very different aircraft in price and performance.

Experts project that Gulfstream, Bombardier, and Embraer are likely to recover their usual delivery quota somewhere near late 2018, but until then the cheaper, more personal jets should continue their rise.