Monday, October 28, 2019

Leaving on a jet plane

Almost 8,000 new private jets are expected to be bought by multinational companies and the super-rich over the next decade, each of which will burn 40 times as much carbon per passenger as regular commercial flights, according to a report by aviation firm Honeywell Aerospace. Despite their huge carbon footprint, demand for new private jets is expected to continue to grow next year, according to the report. Over the next decade, the number of new private jets taking to the skies is expected to cost buyers a combined $248bn (£193bn).

Gaetan Handfield, senior manager of marketing analysis at Honeywell Aerospace and author of the report said. “People like to have the newest and best jets.” 

Brian Foley, an aviation analyst, concurs with Handfield, saying demand for new jets is being driven by people’s desire to “buy the latest and greatest” models. “People want to be the first to take a new product, it’s like iPhone mania but for jets,” Foley says. “We think deliveries will continue to increase in 2020/21, but then start to come down in 2022 as there is a lag time in private jet market response to the economic slow
Foley says the global super-rich account for between 15 and 25% of the world’s private jet market, while the majority are bought by multinational companies and about a quarter are bought by companies that organise “sort of timeshares” of planes, such as NetJets, a global firm offering customers both fractional aircraft ownership and private jet leases.

690 new business jets are expected to take to the skies in 2019, a 9% increase on 2018, as businesses and the wealthy refresh their fleets with new models released by three of the world’s biggest private jet manufacturers. Almost two-thirds of the jets are expected to be delivered to customers in the US and China, while Europe will account for about 20%.

One-fifth of the new jets is expected to be ordered by “super-emitter” celebrities and other members of the richest 1% of the population, who use the planes to fly between their homes in the world’s most desirable locations. The jets are also bought by big companies to ferry executives across the world. There are currently more than 4,600 private jets operating.

Handfield said a new range of jets produced by Bombardier, Gulfstream and Cessna are proving popular with buyers, as they have extended range that can allow executives to fly as far as New York to Beijing non-stop. Larger cabins also allow more luxurious conditions. “They have really big cabins, with four-to-five zones so you can have a bedroom, a place for crew to rest, a place to work, a dining area and a place for entertainment,” he said. Canada’s Bombardier recently introduced the Global 7500, the world’s largest and longest range business jet. “Within its luxurious interior are four true living spaces, a full size kitchen and a dedicated crew suite,” the company’s website says. “Elevate your flight experience and discover the uninhibited freedom and tailored luxury of the Global 7500 aircraft–a new class of business jet.”

Bombardier claims the Global 7500 has the largest cabin of any private jet. “The only business jet large enough to accommodate four true living spaces with an available Master Suite and full size bed, dedicated crew suite and kitchen.”
John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: “Honeywell joins oil companies in predicting a never-ending demand for business as usual. The business being 7,600 new business jet deliveries over the next decade, rapidly expanding the most carbon-intensive form of transport on Earth. As private jets boom, the planet busts. To put it bluntly, it’s us or them.”

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