Industry Trends

Uber Air is (Probably) Coming. What Does it Mean for BizAv?

In 2009, UberCab was founded. Fast forward a decade and Uber (NYSE:UBER) is a ubiquitous term for ride-sharing. The company has more than 22,000 employees worldwide and a market capitalization of $71 billion. Hailing a ride from a stranger is as easy as logging onto Uber’s app and paying a competitively priced fare. Uber has made it easier for customers to get where they need to go, but at the same time, initiated a downward spiral for traditional cab companies.

While the battle over cabs vs. Uber rages in the streets, business aviation companies smile knowing they’re protected from the same ride-sharing practices in the skies. For now.

Despite not being able to legally operate in the current aviation climate, Uber is gearing up for a piece of the BizAv market share. The company’s Uber Air segment is touted as the future of transportation — something to disrupt both air and ground modes of travel.

With a project launch date of 2023, what’s to stop Uber Air from doing to private aviation what UberCab did to taxi companies?

Is it even feasible?

The overwhelming takeover of ride-sharing by Uber wasn’t exactly a legal endeavor. Many cities and local municipalities around the world actually banned Uber from operating, only to have the company sneak in through backdoor channels. With enough money and a crack legal team, Uber’s strategy was a simple one: Become so integrated it’s impossible to force them out.

Uber’s strategy worked on the ground. What’s to stop them from asking forgiveness after an all-air takeover?

For starters, federally regulated airspace poses a much larger challenge to navigate than even major metropolitan streets. Without clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Uber Air can’t take to the skies at any altitude. Any attempt would mean flying in the face of certain government crackdown.

There’s also the question of appropriate airspace. Uber Air’s vision focuses on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which likens the company’s transport to drones, rather than manned aircraft — craft that operate at two distinct elevations. Early concepts liken the UAVs to helicopters and delineate the same minimum safe altitudes, but the unmanned nature of the vehicles still poses problematic in this airspace.

Finally, flying in cities is a hugely gray area. Everything from airspace to issues with noise abatement is uncertain.

There’s very little groundwork in place for Uber Air to take flight. Before common-use UAVs can hit the skies, the biggest obstacles are legislative, not technical.

How will it affect BizAv?

BizAv stands to suffer less from the “Uberization” of the skies, thanks in large part to the nature of air travel. Uber Air is a regional solution to air travel — the company gives the example of San Francisco to San Jose in its early presentation. Without tremendous innovation, Uber Air can’t compete with the range and speed of regional flights, such as Dallas to Phoenix, Houston to San Francisco, or New York to Chicago.

Uber Air will also rely on “Skyports” to dock, refuel, and pick up passengers. While the company has early cooperation in building these ports, they fall short of the capabilities of even a small airfield.

It’s unlikely Uber Air will compete with BizAv on a meaningful scale, because that is not its intention. Uber Air is a continuation of local transportation disruption. For now, regional BizAv appears safe and remains the practical solution for private air travel.

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring or selling a private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at sales@L-Lint.com, call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.

Private Jet Manufacturers Are Leading the Charge into Aviation’s Internet of Things

Like many industries, aviation is looking to the internet of things (IoT) to lower costs, improve productivity, and revolutionize the industry. The IoT is internet connectivity within everyday objects, creating networks of sensor-equipped, intelligent devices that can gather data, interpret it, and then act on it.

IoT is already beginning to transform the aviation industry. A Deloitte survey found that two-thirds of airline leaders believe IoT offers clear benefits right now, 86% expect clear benefits within three years, and 37% have begun to explore and implement IoT solutions as a way of managing costs.

Private jet manufacturers are among those leading the charge for improving aviation with 5G wireless systems. Airbus joins Delta Air Lines, Sprint, OneWeb, and Airtel in the Seamless Air Alliance to bring air travel into the digital future.

Below are some of the ways IoT will improve the airline industry.

Seamless traveler experience

Flights are much more likely to be on time once the industry switches to satellite navigation systems from radio and radar navigation systems. The Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS–B) system, a satellite navigation system, is already starting. Aircraft must have the necessary equipment fitted by 2020 in the U.S.; the 2017 deadline has already passed in Europe.

“Smart” airports will enhance the passenger’s flight experience with more efficient check-in, security, and baggage processes using biometric passenger verification and luggage tracking. Dubai already offers automatic identification at its airport. Thanks to IoT advances, security systems will know when to expect travelers to arrive, aircraft will be on time, and ground transportation will be ready when the passenger arrives.

Enhanced routes

When aircraft are connected to each other and able to communicate, they will be able to take “free routes” instead of predefined flight paths while avoiding accidents. Software will allow the aircraft to calculate their flight trajectories and avoid each other. More aircraft will be able to take the shortest route to their destination, reducing travel time, fuel usage, and carbon emissions.

Safety becomes more efficient

A sample scenario featuring IoT: An aircraft recognizes mid-flight that a part is not functioning properly. The aircraft messages the ground that the part needs repair upon landing. A 3-D printer at the arrival airport receives the message and begins printing the part. A self-driving vehicle picks up the part and takes it to the aircraft upon landing. A mechanic already has the documents — available in the cloud — needed to repair the part, while an engineer virtually oversees the work. The aircraft departs for its next segment on time despite the repair.

More aircraft in flight

Air transportation is becoming an increasingly common way to travel, particularly in developing countries. As demand for flights increases, pilots will also be in greater need — unless flights become self-driving and rely less on human labor. Additionally, the rising number of aircraft committed to shipping and the increase in drones will lead to busier skies. The IoT will create better air traffic management systems for the increased number of airborne vehicles.

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring or selling a private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at sales@L-Lint.com, call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.

Choosing Private Charters vs. First Class

How often do you charter a private jet? For most business professionals, the answer is once or twice per year — usually in dire circumstances. Ask this same group how often they fly first class and the answer will be much more frequently. This shines a light on a common misconception: First class isn’t always a cheaper (or better) option than a private charter.

The misconception is an easy one to make. How could chartering an entire jet be more convenient or affordable than lounging in first class on a commercial flight? As it turns out, chartering a jet has become easier, more convenient, and more affordable in the past decade.

The rise of charter options

Jet charters are easier to book than ever before. The availability of jet cards and competitive booking services have made a chartered flight just a few clicks away for most business professionals. In fact, revenue from chartered flights may top $33.8 billion by December 2020!

Like ride-sharing has disrupted car transportation, the availability of chartered flights is disrupting air travel. The effects are similar: lower booking costs, widespread appeal, and more reasons to choose private transportation, rather than settle for public.

With the rise of charter options, the first and biggest variable affected is the number of first-class seats booked each year.

But what about the cost?

Trip cost is the first (and only) variable many people consider when booking a flight. And many times, even when a chartered flight is priced competitively, it suffers from the perception of luxury. People assume hidden fees and costs beyond what they can see.

Cost shouldn’t be the only variable a flier looks at! There are several other key variables that are just as important — variables heavily in favor of chartering a private jet:

  • The convenience of a flight tailored around your schedule. Even first-class passengers are at the mercy of everyone else on a commercial flight. Chartered jets leave when you’re ready, dramatically reducing pre-travel time and stress.
  • Speaking of reduced time, travel time itself goes down when you charter a flight. Private jets cruise to altitude much faster than commercial jets and speed to their destination at Mach .80 or .90.
  • How much leg room are you getting in first class? It’s nothing compared to what you’ll get on a chartered jet. Plus, you’ll benefit from loads of other amenities no amount of money can buy on a commercial flight.

All these things contribute to the cost of a private charter. But instead of looking at cost alone, look at value. Consider that the cost of a first-class ticket is roughly one-third of a charter’s cost — then look at what you’re getting. Time, convenience, and luxury pay for themselves very quickly.

Also consider variables such as the number of people flying and when you’re booking a flight. Try booking four first-class tickets two days before a flight and compare that cost to a private charter! The difference in cost is likely to be marginal, with the benefits in favor of chartering.

Take to the skies in style

There’s a lot to love about flying first class. But it’s nothing compared to chartering a flight! Don’t assume a private charter is unrealistic for your travel plans until you truly stack up the variables. Remember, there’s a reason people buy private jets! The cost of air travel can add up fast if you’re always in the air, flying first class. Sometimes, the best solution is one tailored to your needs.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

Custom Jet Cards Are Here, and They’re Taking Private Aviation by Storm

When you step onto a private jet, you’re not likely holding a boarding pass. Instead, the key to the sky on a private charter is a jet card. And with the rise in private aviation accessibility, custom jet cards are quickly becoming the hot new trend. What’s all the rage about? For frequent fliers, a custom jet card is a great way to get what you want, when you want it.

A quick history

Jet cards became a necessity at the inception of brokered chartering. Because each charter involved different fees and rates, jet cards were introduced as a way to simplify things. And because chartering a flight can involve as many as 60+ different variables, jet cards were a quick way to set terms for holders. Simply put: They set fixed hourly rates and concrete terms.

Fast forward to today, and there’s an abundance of jet cards, offered by different broker services. Over 250 of them, actually! All of them operate roughly the same, with minor variations in how they’re used — for example, prepaying for hourly rate discounts versus jet-specific cards or cards valid for specific seating.

Now, the next iteration of jet cards seems to be upon us. Frequent fliers are buying cards that give them the options they want, the flexibility they need, and a value that’s too good to pass up.

Everything’s better when it’s custom

The custom jet card really made its debut in 2018, when industry leaders like Air Charter Service, DashJet, Jet Algo, and Prive Jets launched customizable programs. Each of the programs is generally similar, but thanks to customer-centric customization options, there are a wealth of possibilities for each. Some of the variables up for negotiation include:

  • Guaranteed availability
  • Fixed rates based on cost or usage
  • Custom service area rates
  • Lead time discounts
  • Fixed-rate charters and legs

Depending on how or where you fly, a custom jet card can be well worth the investment. And what an investment it might end up being! Depending on the variables you want to haggle over, custom cards can range between $20,000 and $150,000.

For someone who flies frequently, knows their schedule in advance, or charters the same route over and over, a custom jet card will likely pay for itself. For those with unpredictable flight schedules, choosing an available jet card may be the smarter option.

Pay close attention to what you’re getting

Because there are so many options available when it comes to charters, customizing a jet card can be a gamble if you don’t know exactly what you need. Here are a few critical aspects to consider when customizing a card:

  • What type of jet do you need? Some cards may not cover turboprops or only cover super-midsized cabins.
  • Who has your money? Look for card providers that utilize an escrow account instead of taking your funds up front.
  • Fixed hourly rates or dynamic pricing? If you fly into areas with frequent delays or inclement weather, dynamic pricing may be smarter.
  • Do you need availability on short notice? Paying more for a custom card may not be worth it unless you’re guaranteed availability.
  • Where are you flying? If you have a primary service area, a custom jet card may be worth the cost of locking down a low fixed rate.

There are many variables to consider before purchasing a custom jet card. Consider them all and start doing some math to see if things add up in your favor.

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring or selling a private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at sales@L-Lint.com, call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.

Welcome to the Golden Age of Super-Midsized Jets

Much like the shift to SUVs in the automotive industry, super-midsized jets are quickly rising to prominence within private aviation. These jets are sleeker, more efficient, and more luxurious than other models, offering the perfect mix of style and practicality for business and pleasure. And, since manufacturers have taken note, it’s a trend that looks to continue with the arrival of several enticing new super-midsized jets in 2019 and beyond.

The trend of super-midsized cabins

Thanks to the immense popularity of jets like the Bombardier Challenger 300, Cessna Citation X, and Falcon 2000S from Dassault, super-midsized cabins are in demand. In a recent 10-year forward-looking forecast for business aviation, industry experts believe this demand will gain steam. They’re looking at how manufacturers are already approaching their next big releases.

Companies such as Embraer have announced new super-midsized models (Praetor 500 and 600) to capitalize on their bestselling Legacy 450 and 500 super-midsized jets. Textron Aviation is also following suit with new options on their super-midsized 325 Citation Longitude business jet. More super-midsized announcements are expected to follow.

The trend is a mixed bag, according to forecasters. While many jet owners want the efficiency of a super-midsized jet, others cite larger cabins as a primary demand. The data also supports this. According to the forecast, as many as 32% of total units delivered over the next decade could fit the mold of larger jets.

Luxury Jet Airplane

Why such demand?

Super-midsized jets are the best of all worlds. They offer better fuel economy and faster charter times than large jets, with more amenities and spaciousness than small jets. They offer sublime luxury, alongside practical amenities. With transcontinental capabilities, few domestic destinations are too far for a super-midsized jet.

  • The average occupancy of a super-midsized jet is nine people, comfortably.
  • Flight times of up to nearly eight hours are capable, though usually much less.
  • The average super-midsized jet has roughly 112 square feet of baggage space.
  • Entertainment systems and Wi-Fi are standard on most models.

While all these benefits are key drivers for the super-midsized class, they’re not the only reason for a surge in popularity. As flight sharing and private charters climb into the spotlight, super-midsized jets are the most economical choice for domestic charters. This fact is one of the core reasons for a boon in upcoming super-midsized models.

The future is super-midsized

The focus on super-midsized jets stretches back to 2015, with the successful launch of the Cessna Latitude and Embraer Legacy 450. Since then and looking into the future, super-midsized jets are the clear market leaders:

  • Cessna Citation Hemisphere (on hold, expected 2019)
  • Bombardier Global 5500 and 6500 (expected 2019)
  • Bombardier Global 8000 (expected 2019)
  • Gulfstream G500 and G600 (expected 2019)
  • Embraer Praetor 500 and 600 (expected 2019-2020)
  • Dassault Falcon 6X (expected 2022)

The shift to super-midsized and larger is imminent within the private aviation industry, as evidenced by the lineup over the next year and beyond. This isn’t to say that light and heavy jet classes will disappear. The focus will simply remain on the in-between: super-midsized jets that offer fliers a little bit of both worlds.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.