Gogo increased private jet subscribers during 2020 after 91% usage drop in April

By Doug Gollan, December 21, 2020

While thousands of airliners remain grounded, Gogo reports its private jet subscribers increased this year despite the COVID-19 downturn

Despite one of the most difficult business environments in aviation history, Gogo expects to end 2020 with more business aviation air-to-ground (ATG) subscribers than when the year began. Gogo entered 2020 with 5,669 ATG subscribers online and is expected to end the year with more than 5,700 subscribers online.

“We have an incredibly strong and resilient business,” said Sergio Aguirre, Gogo’s business aviation president.

Private jet charter operations are back at nearly 100%. On charter flights specifically, activity online and megabytes consumed has increased dramatically

– Gogo business aviation

He added, “This year has been such a difficult challenge, but our rapid recovery proves that inflight connectivity and entertainment are must-haves for today’s private aviation passengers.”

According to a press release received by Private Jet Card Comparisons, a combination of factors enabled Gogo to have a year-over-year increase in subscribers.

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Primary was new installations – the AVANCE L5 and L3 – which continued to occur throughout the pandemic and customers who unsuspended their service as travel became less restricted.

There was also a significant increase in new system installations in the third and fourth quarters compared to the second quarter, including a notable increase in AVANCE sales in December versus previous months. Gogo now has more than 1,150 AVANCE L5 and more than 500 AVANCE L3 systems installed and flying.

Private jet recovery

Gogo saw the deepest impact of COVID-19 on its customers’ operations in mid-April when flight activity was down 91% from the high in mid-February.

It has bounced back significantly since then to approximately 80% of the pre-COVID highs. Private jet charter operations are back at nearly 100%. On charter flights specifically, activity online and megabytes consumed has increased dramatically.

At its lowest point in early-May, 22% of Gogo’s subscribers suspended service, while another 22% downgraded their service plans.

Today, 78% of those who suspended their service have unsuspended. Additionally, 92% of those who downgraded plans have either returned to their original plan or upgraded to a higher plan.

Combined, 75% of those who had suspended or downgraded their plan have moved back to their original plan or upgraded.

“From an operational standpoint, like everyone else, we had to make some significant modifications to adjust to the pandemic, and we did that fairly quickly,” Aguirre said.

He noted, “We have not missed a single delivery on new equipment or on any repairs during the pandemic. Our people really rose to that challenge, and we continued to innovate.”

Gogo 2020 private jet enhancements

During 2020, Gogo also developed and introduced several significant product and service enhancements. Those include:

  • Lowered service level from 10,000 feet above ground level (AGL) to 3,000 feet AGL. This provides an additional 15-20 minutes of connectivity time on most flights.
  • Introduced Cloudport – a small, simple device that enables automatic over-the-air updates to Gogo Vision content. It eliminates the need for operators to update their system each month, saving time physically.
  • Launched Gogo MIX, which allows operators to customize their inflight Wi-Fi networks and connectivity preferences and deploy changes remotely.
  • Launched Gogo Vision 360, which offers unlimited streaming of on-demand movies, TV programming, and news clips. It also offers digital magazines and a state-of-the-art 3D moving map, all at a fixed monthly price. That eliminates the unpredictability and often high costs associated with inflight streaming video and audio.  Gogo Vision 360 is integrated into every AVANCE system and is available on passengers’ personal devices. 
  • Released AVANCE 4.2 software upgrade, which includes the new 3D moving map and other elements embedded within Gogo Vision 360.

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