Although some may consider private aircraft ownership to be a vanity asset and a mark of wealth, the truth is that private aircraft ownership is a necessity for many businesses.
The driving factors for industry leaders and those who are charged with protecting capital to invest in private aircraft can be distilled into four key factors: Privacy, Security, Efficiency and, yes, Luxury.
A 2017 study by Ledbury Research of London, commissioned by aircraft manufacturer Airbus1, shows that the world's billionaire population is growing.
Most of these individuals, the study finds, are concerned with preserving wealth for the next generation or maintaining their business and family legacy. Though they do invest in comfort, convenience and luxury items, they are less likely than younger generations to spend their wealth on status items and are more concerned with discretion.
"While the media likes to paint billionaires as exhibitionists, this is an inaccurate picture. Most are discreet individuals," Ledbury Research reports.
For these individuals' enterprises, privacy can be the primary priority for buying business aircraft. Avoiding the hassles and exposure of large airport terminals, in favor of smaller, local airport terminals, can reduce stress and provides greater discretion.
The need for privacy is a key driver of private jet use," Ledbury Research states.
Security concerns also play an important role in the decision to buy a private aircraft. Not only do high-net-worth individuals want to keep their business dealings private, but they often travel with an entourage of family and staff, as well as security personnel.
Flying on a private aircraft can also be more efficient. Certainly, there is a shorter queue at an FBO checkpoint than an airport checkpoint, as well as other time factors to consider.
Owning a private aircraft allows corporate executives to fly on-demand, and at short notice, instead of being locked in by airline scheduled flights.
Private aircraft can also allow more convenient landings, with some business airports located closer to the end destination.
One of the greatest efficiency gains come from capitalizing on flight hours for meaningful meetings and phone calls. Discussing sensitive business information in public spaces, like a commercial aircraft cabin, can be ill-advised, even if flying first class.
For this reason, business magnates prefer to own and fly on private aircraft that include conference room settings and state-of-the-art communication facilities, including live TV and high-speed satellite-based Wi-Fi.
The greatest luxury of all for high-net-worth individuals is time, which is what makes having a private aircraft on-demand so appealing.
"The demands of business and wealth mean they have little free-time to enjoy themselves. What time they do have is often considered a luxury, and they value ways in which they can get more time, as well as great service that allows them to enjoy it more," Ledbury Research states.