In the UAE, the average number of hours a UAE businessman flies on a private jet is between 100 to 150 hours per year. In KSA, this figure rises to between 150 to 200 hours.
These estimates come from Private Jet Charter (PJC), one of the world’s largest independent private jet charter consultants. The company which has a sizable market share in Europe and the Middle East, says that UK and European businessmen fly a lot less on private jets due to the economic downturn in Europe, barely between a range of 50 to 100 hours.
The benchmarking study reveals that Saudi businessmen travel the most in the Middle East due to the country’s vibrant economy and vast size, according to Hugh Courtenay, Founder and Chief Executive, PJC. “They tend to fly more on domestic routes by private jet. The availability of commercial options on domestic routes is limited countrywide, so the private jet option is the most practical solution.”
Ross Kelly, Managing Director for Middle East, PJC added: “There is a growing market for air charters in the Gulf compared to other developed markets such as the UK. Also, Gulf businessmen are more attuned to the concept of using a charter instead of buying a jet as they consider it financially more feasible.”
Kelly says his company advises clients in the GCC that only flying 300 hours or more would justify investing in a jet; otherwise, chartering one should be a businessman’s best option.
He said that Gulf businessmen prefer having a private charter to commercial flights as they appreciate the luxury and the hassle free environment that comes with a private charter, and adds that the notion of a private jet charter is more expensive than a commercial flight is not valid if a small group is traveling.
“It is an established fact now that charter is generally the least expensive form of business jet travel, especially if there are lots of round-trip flights in compressed time periods,” says Kelly, who recommends choosing a broker with a global network, in order to ensure a hassle-free service.
Kelly said: “Private Jet Charter prides itself on its access to the largest and most comprehensive fleet of private jets anywhere in the world.”
The average business jet flies about 400 hours per year, according to statistics compiled by the National Business Aviation Association.
Kelly says that Gulf businessmen are well-versed with the jet models available in the market, however, many of them have realized that buying a jet means locking money up, as opposed to the option of chartering.
PJC has a network of offices in the UK, Nice and significant presence in the Middle East, through a busy base in Dubai and strong presence in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. The organisation also has offices in the key charter hubs of Moscow and Florida.
Offering access to hundreds of airports with a wide variety of aircraft to choose from, PJC is an ISO 9002 – certified company with 24 years of leadership in the aviation field. It is a respected provider of VIP aircraft, executive jets, helicopter charter, corporate airliners and dedicated medical evacuation aircraft.