Supplier Spotlight

Latest video

Gulfstream Aerospace celebrates flight test program milestone

Gulfstream Aerospace has reflected on the first ten flight tests for the Gulfstream G500 and Gulfstream G600 jets. The jets are twin-engine, with the G500 replacing the G450. The G500 has a range of 5,000 nautical miles (9,260km) at Mach 0.85, with nonstop flights connecting distant cities such as Istanbul to Cape Town, Los Angeles to London, and San Francisco to Tokyo. The G600 can fly 4,800 nautical miles (8,890km) at a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.90, and seats up to 19 passengers, with room for nine to sleep.

19th September 2017

Dassault's Falcon 5X jet takes its first flight

Fractional-share provider PlaneSense has completed a five-yearly functional test of its emergency fire extinguishing system in its 40,000ft2 hangar at its Portsmouth International Airport headquarters in New Hampshire.

29th August 2017

This month (October), Business Airport International would like to know, which of these statements best describe your awareness of GDPR?

Industry Opinion

« back to blog listings

Why do airports need to invest in business aviation?

Investing in general as well as business aviation facilities will yield higher, more lucrative traffic, and could help turn an airport in to a business aviation destination, reports Kathryn B Creedy.

Investing in general and business aviation facilities will yield higher, more lucrative traffic, said Adam Twidell, CEO at PrivateFly, to assembled airport and government representatives during the recent Caribbean aviation meetup in St. Maarten. Such investment will also help make an airport a business jet destination, he claimed.

“We’ve found high net worth individuals return again and again to the same destination,” said Twidell. “We’ve also found that they are strong advocates and actually attract other private jet users to that destination because they like to go where there are other private jet users. So, not only are you attracting high net worth individuals, but they in turn attract other high net worth individuals.”

While commercial aviation may provide the most lift to Caribbean markets, it does not make the same economic contribution.

“I want to make a case for investing in private aviation,” Twidell said. “Private aviation brings in more than US$1bn per year in additional spending to a destination, with a single jet providing an additional US$69,000 in spending. This is why you want to become known as a private jet destination – these are global travelers with deep pockets, but you have to know what is needed to cater to the private jet user.”

Twidell pointed to the experience of the island of Ibiza, which concluded it couldn’t solely rely on low-cost passengers. A decade ago, it launched a program to attract high net worth individuals and decided to invest in excellent FBO facilities. Today, it has enough business to occupy three FBOs including Ibizair, ExecuJet and SkyValet, and moved into the top 25 destinations in Europe, attracting higher spending travelers who are building bigger villas and starting businesses.

He explained that such passengers want privacy and to have that, they want to control their environment – it is not enough to just have a runway. Destinations need to invest in fixed-base operations with 24/7 service and customs and immigration.”

Twidell also covered the trends in private aviation: “The average age of users is relatively young at 41 and unfortunately still largely male, but 10% are traveling with children and combining business and leisure activities with their company paying for part of the trip and the traveler paying for the rest.

“The average load has also increased to four passengers. Private jet fliers breed success or perhaps success breeds more private jets usage. Either way 95% of Fortune’s most admired companies are business aviation users and 86% of those companies are among the best places to work.”

He also noted 80% of private flying is on propeller aircraft, popular alongside small and medium jets, with the number flying on global jets relatively small. However, the size of the aircraft in use is now growing along with the length of missions.

“We are also seeing a trend toward multi-generational trips, where grandparents are taking their grandchildren on holiday but need to avoid the commercial airport experience,” said Twidell. “Private aviation users are cash rich but time poor, which means they prize flexibility. We are seeing a rise in the number of travelers wanting to go to remote destinations and have unique experiences that could be threatened with change as they become more popular. Cuba is a good example of that.

“Travelers want to save time and avoid the hassle and be closer to their destination, using airports which minimize ground transfer. They want to book and fly more quickly. One third of bookings fly within two days of booking, with the balance flying within the week – the amount they are paying has risen 26% this year.”

Twidell also noted that private aviation works well with airport operations since it tends to provide additional income, and arrive and depart, during commercial aviation troughs.

September 25, 2017



There are currently no comments.

If you would like to post a comment about this blog, please click here.
Read Latest Issue

Exclusive Articles

Sixty seconds with Claudio Lasagni, CEO at Air Service Basel, on how and why the FBO is partnering with local companies to boost its own brand.
Click here to read more

Investing in general as well as business aviation facilities will yield higher, more lucrative traffic, and could help turn an airport in to a business aviation destination, reports Kathryn B Creedy. 
Click here to read more

Robert Walters, business development director at London Biggin Hill Airport, explores how business airports should be striving for efficiency in every service they provide, and how they can prepare for the growing demands of business aviation.
Click here to read more

Submit Your Recruitment Ad

Recruitment AdTo send us your recruitment advertising or to receive information on placing a banner please email

Submit your industry opinion

Industry BlogDo you have an opinion you'd like to share with the business airport community? Good or bad, we'd like to hear your views and opinions on the leading issues shaping the industry. Share your comments by sending up to 500 words to