Will Davos beat Super Bowl LIII when it comes to private jets?

By Doug Gollan, January 21, 2019

The Super Bowl’s reign as champion of private jet travel may end this year, according to a prediction by Air Charter Service

While the U.S. government may not be contributing to the private jet count at the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos due to the current shutdown, Air Charter Service, a broker that sells jet cards and on-demand charter, says it will still be a record showing. The company predicts there will be 1,500 private jet flights over the week.

In a press release, Andy Christie, private jet director at ACS, said, “The global interest in the event led us to analyze the private jet activity over the past five years of WEF. Davos doesn’t have its own airfield and, whilst we have several clients who fly into the town by helicopter, the four main airfields that private jet users attending the forum use are Zürich, Dübendorf, St. Gallen-Altenrhein and St. Moritz.

“Working with WingX, we looked at private jet activity at those airports over the six days of each WEF week since 2013. Last year was the busiest year for private jets so far, showing an 11% increase (over) 2017, with more than 1,300 aircraft movements. If we see a similar increase this year, we could be looking at almost 1,500 aircraft movements over the six days.”

Private Jets: The Super Bowl vs. Davos

Christie said, “The week of the forum is unlike any other busy private jet event, such as the Super Bowl or Champions’ League final. It’s unique for the industry in that we receive bookings from a number of our offices around the world, rather than just the one or two offices in the region where the event is being held. We have had bookings from as far as our operations in Hong Kong, India, and the US. No other event has the same global appeal.”

Top countries involved in terms of arrivals in and departures out of the local airports over the past five years have typically been Germany, France, UK, USA, Russia, and UAE. There is also a trend towards larger aircraft, with expensive heavy jets the aircraft of choice, with Gulfstream GVs and Global Expresses both being used more than 100 times each last year. This is at least in part due to some of the long distances traveled, but also possibly due to business rivals not wanting to be seen to be outdone by one another, ACS said.

Last year the Super Bowl in Minneapolis matching the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots drew about 1,500 private jets. Projections for this year’s matchup with the Patriots taking on the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta is expected to draw similar numbers. In other words, it will be a nailbiter when it comes to seeing which event can claim the crown as tops when it comes to flying privately.

Jet Card Pricing Beats Charter For Big Events

Those of you who have jet cards with fixed rates and guaranteed availability have a nice advantage when it comes to booking trips to major events. As our past studies have shown, jet cards can typically beat on-demand charter during high-demand periods. When Floyd Mayweather fought Conor McGregor in Las Vegas the six most cost-effective solutions were jet cards. Depending on the program, you may not be subject to peak day rules, and mostly you will avoid surcharges sometimes imposed by charter companies, as well as extra fees to cover overnights and deadheads.

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