PrivateFly Sees Sales Climb 51 Percent, Expects More Growth in 2018

Last year saw more growth in business aviation activity than at any other time since the financial crisis a decade ago. Charter broker PrivateFly expects this upward climb to continue in 2018, particularly among millennials. The company says it saw sales increase by 51 percent year-over-year, and that the average spend per flight rose 19.7 percent.

It also said customers are getting younger—the average age was 40 throughout 2017, versus 41 in 2016, and it fell to 38 in the second half of the year. PrivateFly founder and CEO Adam Twidell expects further market growth this year, “driven by on-demand business jet charter, as opposed to outright or fractional ownership.”

U.S. Business Aircraft Flying Ends 2017 with a Gain

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U.S. Business Aircraft Flying Ends 2017 with a Gain

Analysts at the business aviation services company are calling for a 3.3 percent gain in flying this month.

Consolidation of businesses has been a key theme over the past few years, and Twidell expects "we’ll see more mergers and acquisitions with charter brokers" this year. He believes both the customer and the industry would “benefit from less fragmentation in this segment.”

Payment transactions are another area "ripe for disruption" this year, Twidell said. He contends that “blockchain financial technology has the potential to become a much more mainstream solution in our industry. Payment in bitcoin and others might still be a niche, but [cryptocurrency's] popularity is growing rapidly.”