This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Everyone knows who flies in private jets: the rich, the famous or both. But what about breaking down the demographics a bit more? Are there any surprises when it comes to who actually flies private?
Surprise, surprise: Private jets are essentially only owned by ultra-high net worth individuals, or UHNWIs, meaning those with a net worth of more than $30 million.
VistaJet broke down the demographics of those who use private jets into two categories. Owners are those who own either an entire jet or part thereof. And members are “those known to be members of a private flying program.”
The chart shows us that essentially every private jet member is male and over the age of 60. A large majority are self-made millionaires with less than 10% being able to fly private based off inheritance alone. 35% of private jet owners are worth more than a casual $500 million.
The most popular industry (19%) for private jet owners to hail from is the finance, banking and investment sphere. The next most likely areas are real estate with 7% and, surprisingly, non-profit and social organizations with 6%. Owners’ top hobbies are a mixture of philanthropy, sports and politics (think Donald’s Trump’s 757).
Those on the higher end of UHNWIs are more likely to own their own jet and those on the lower end are primarily members, using private jet charting companies like NetJets and VistaJet. PrivateFly and VistaJet saw the average age of those who charter jets fall from 41 to 39 and 40 to 38, respectively — suggesting that costs of chartering flights have fallen and become more accessible due to technology.
In the world’s 10 largest markets there are about 17,000 private jets, with the US accounting for about 75% of those aircraft, according to Knight Frank’s Wealth Report. Europe and South America came in at a distance second and third. Africa placed dead last with just 481 registered private jets.
The two most important reasons for the wealthy to fly private are maximizing time, because time is money, and control in the event of meeting overruns or other business needs.
The Knight Frank report profiled some of the most popular private jet routes with flights between New York Teterboro (TEB) and Washington Dulles (IAD) topping the list and Los Angeles Van Nuys (VNY) to Las Vegas (LAS) coming in second. Knight Frank’s 2017 report said that flights between Miami Palm Beach (PBI) and Teterboro and between Geneva (GEN) and Paris Le Bourget (LBG) were also popular.
PrivateFly, a private jet chartering company based in Europe reported its most popular destinations for Q1 2018 as London, Paris and Los Angeles.
Rolland Vincent, Director of JETNET iQ, says in the Wealth Report that sales of new private jets remain relatively flat. But Richard Koe of WINGX Advance says that private jet activity is up by 10%. There was a 4.8% jump in flight departures in the US and 4.7% increase in Europe, according to the Knight Frank Wealth Report.
Featured image by Robert Alexander/Getty Images.
With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
- Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms apply.
- See Rates & Fees