New study tracks on-demand private jet charter preferences

Word-of-mouth and online directories are the top sources for finding private jet charter brokers and operators, according to a new survey.

By Doug Gollan, April 1, 2024

Frequent bookers of on-demand private jet charters are likelier to use word-of-mouth to find operators and brokers. At the same time, occasional users are slightly more apt to use online directories.

The results are from the Air Charter Guide publisher Aviation Week network.

Private Jet Charter sources

61% of frequent charter users ranked word-of-mouth as their top source for operators and brokers, while 46% said online directories and 38% used Google searches.

Online directories (55%) were the top choice of less frequent private flyers, with word-of-mouth at 52% and Google search at just 27%.

Emails (84%), phone calls (60%), and text messages (17%) were the most likely means of communicating with private jet charter operators and brokers.

Only 24% of the over 300 respondents said they have a regular operator they work with.

Moreover, no operator had more than two mentions of the open-ended question.

Respondents said aircraft information (74%) is the most important feature for charter booking websites, followed by response time (65%), price comparisons (64%), contact information (57%), trip request capability (46%), and photos (30%).

Regarding booking, 80% of respondents said pricing information was most important.

However, frequent users cited interior images and passenger amenities next (55%), while occasional flyers cited range details (47%) in second place.

Crew details ranked third for both groups at similar 44% and 45% levels.

Charter Operator or Broker?

61% of respondents say they book with operators, followed by 31% who use brokers, and 15% who use jet cards and fractional ownership programs.

One-third (33%) of respondents said they have used private aircraft to transport cargo, and 29% said they have used private jets for medical transport flights, followed by pet transport (27%) and large groups (18%).

40% of respondents said they have used empty legs, although only 8% use them regularly.

Some 22% of respondents charter one to five times per year, 13% book charters weekly, and 7% use private jets monthly.

Over a third (34%) said they are not current private aviation users and are not considering it, while 21% say they haven’t used private flights but are considering it.

Just over a quarter (27%) said they were users, 15% were Part 91 flight departments, and 14% were travel agents.

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