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How jet sharing is increasing access to private aviation

Miami-based private jet provider Welojets explains how the seat sharing business model is an enticing option for those entering the private aviation ecosystem.Private aviation offers various ways to travel. For instance, the most common one, the on-demand charter model, allows passengers to book an entire jet to any destination. Another popular option is fractional ownership, similar to owning a timeshare in real estate, which allows to own a share of an aircraft, thus securing at least 50 hours a year of flight time.The other option, less popular these days due to shortages of new and used private aircraft in the market, is buying a jet. Apart from the hefty purchase price, raging from a couple of million dollars to almost 80, the cost of maintaining the aircraft, as well as its expensive insurance, crew salaries and increasing fuel fees, might make it unappealing. Furthermore, in order to financially justify the decision, an owner needs to at least fly close to 400 hours a year, which is an important amount even for developed business aviation markets.Jet sharing in private aviationJet sharing is the latest model that has been adopted in the global industry, with major success especially during the pandemic, when commercial aviation was entirely grounded. This model responds to the desire of leading private charter companies like Welojets to increase accessibility to the industry, while still offering top-notch service. Although some more traditional players in the industry have stated that this concept is closer to commercial aviation than private flying, Martin Baldoma Jones, CEO of Welojets, thinks quite differently."Adapting to customer expectations is the essence of private aviation. With a pandemic in place, many travelers needed a safe and reliable means of transportation, and jet sharing responded to that need seamlessly. A more cost-effective model, jet sharing delivers the same private jet experience as on-demand charter, with the sole limitation that you cannot entirely choose who is flying in the cabin next to you," states Baldoma.Latin America has been a pleasant surprise for the company, recently launching during late December (the start of the summer in the southern hemisphere), a jet sharing program between Buenos Aires in Argentina and Punta del Este in Uruguay, one of the hottest leisure, celebrity-flooded, locations in South America. Welojets registered in week 51 of 2021 an impressive 74% increase versus 2020.For only 500 USD, passengers can enjoy the full range of amenities that private aviation has to offer on a modern HondaJet. Welojets will also explore this option in the European summer in 2022, with Madris -- Ibiza, London -- Ibiza, and Paris -- Nice as the projected routes. "Jet sharing is also a good point of entry for those with desire to explore private aviation. 2021 registered an important increase in first-time flyers thanks to the pandemic, and this model can help continue that trend for the entire industry worldwide," says Baldoma.2022 BizAv outlookWhile 2021 was the year that private aviation demonstrated its value and resiliency to the world, 2022, with increased global vaccination drives and reduced travel bans, could be the year of the return to face-to-face activity. This is especially relevant for business travel, as after more than two years of lockdown multinational firms will try to find ways to physically connect with its main stakeholders.Leisure travel on the other hand started to surge in late 2021 to warm locations, with passengers escaping the arrival of winter. That trend should continue well into 2022 and regain pre-COVID levels also for the international realm. "A sense of normality is expected for global travel in the upcoming months," anticipates Baldoma. He adds, "not only for the booming domestic markets in the U.S. and Europe, but also for international long-haul private charters, as commercial aviation will remain somewhat unavailable and unstable in various locations. Availability is the best ability that private aviation brings to the table."
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