NewsOctober 17, 2018

Why, When And Where The Super Rich Fly Their Private Jets

According to the 8th Annual Readers’ Choice Survey from Business Jet Traveler, here’s an interesting look into why people fly privately, what they want in their private jets, where they are going, who they fly with and their favorite aircraft. This survey garnered 1,487 responses, an increase of 24%. The magazine says its readership is made up of 35,000 C-level executives, high-net-worth individuals and families who utilize private jets.

Though private jets often get the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” treatment by the media, the number one reason people fly privately is to save time, slightly ahead of the ability to use airports that airlines don’t serve. A distant third was a more comfortable flight, slightly ahead of the ability to work and hold meetings in-flight, privacy and security.


In terms of what private fliers want from their airplanes, range, the distance a plane can fly, was tops, followed by economical operations, cabin size, speed, preference for a manufacturer and then cabin amenities and technology. Also, of lesser importance was aircraft age, maybe a sign that the used aircraft market will be able to sustain a recovery.

If you still have that image of a flight attendant topping off your champagne glass while bringing you more caviar, 52% of readers said they don’t even order catering for their flights and 24% eschew flight attendants.


How many passengers their typical trips involve?

1) Three to five passengers (53%)

2) Two passengers (27%)

3) Alone (8%)

4) Six to eight passengers (10%)

5) Nine or more people in the cabin (2%)


Private jets used by ;

1)  North America – the epicenter of business aviation accounting (71%) of flights

2) Western Europe (9%) of flights

3) The Asia Pacific (4%) of flights

4) South America at (3%) of flights

5) Intercontinental flights (7%) of flights


Which aircraft are the favorites of Business Jet Traveler’s readers?

1) Boeing’s BBJ (76%) in terms of airliner sized private jets.

2) Gulfstreams G650/650ER (62%) in the ultra-long-range jets category. Its sister the G450 was the most popular large cabin private jet.

3) Bombardier Challenger 300/350 (34%) in super midsize cabin jets.

4) Cessna Citation Latitude (34%) was dominant in midsize jets.

5) Cessna Citation 525 M2 (39%) beat the Phenom 100 (34%) in the very light jet category.

6) Beechcraft King Air (74%) dominated twin turboprops.

7) Pilatus PC-12 (63%) ranked tops with single-engine turboprops.


In terms of best fractional programs;

1)  NetJets ranked first in aircraft model choices and availability of aircraft on short notice.

2) Flexjet won for customer service, peak day policies, residual-value and overall satisfaction.

3) Jet Aviation won for aircraft model choices, jet card, and membership programs.

4) JetSuite for best peak-day policies and first in customer service and value for price paid to win the most categories.

5) Sentient Jet was tops when it came to the availability of aircraft on short notice and was voted first for overall satisfaction on the strength of garnering exclusively excellent and very good ratings.

Looking towards the future, the publication asked readers, would they be willing to fly on a pilotless aircraft? While 4% said definitely, and 8% gave a maybe, 34% said probably not and 37% were emphatic checking off the definitely not box.