Private jet airports - a new media space taking off?

28 Jun 2013  |  Tom Goddard 
Tom Goddard

Airport operators are increasingly investing in pre-flight facilities for wealthy, private jet travellers - and with it a whole new advertising opportunity has arisen. Here, Tom Goddard, executive chairman of Adlux explains how luxury brands can really target their in-transit audience.

Who really is the typical private jet passenger? Such a question will most probably evoke images of global celebrities and high-profile businessmen; the likes of Simon Cowell, Philip Green, Victoria Beckham or the Ecclestone girls.

Although many private jet passengers certainly include high profile celebrities, royalty and high-ranking government personnel, only 15% of these are what you'd categorise as V.V.I.P - the remaining 85% are C-Suite and business decision makers, as well as high-net-worth individuals and their families.

However, in their own right, the majority 85% have an exceptional consumer power and influence in business decisions.

With extraordinary growth in the past five years, the private aviation sector has boomed, and it looks like it will continue to do so. People are flying internationally more frequently, expanding into and exploring new markets, and plenty of new businesses have set up, offering supporting services - from private jet bespoke cleaning through to on-board jet spa services.

Acknowledging the myriad of benefits that private aviation has to offer, corporations including Coca- Cola, General Motors and Johnson & Johnson account for over 50% of private jet travel, using either the company jet or chartered jets as a time and cost efficient way of getting their executives travelling around the world for meetings.

The most expensive aircrafts are owned by the likes of Apple, Dell and Google. In the next 10 years over 10,000 new business jets are expected to be delivered at a cumulative value of $250 billion. But what is so special about private jets?

Aside from the obvious glamour and luxury, flying privately allows a flexibility, convenience and ease unparalleled by commercial carriers.

Private jets offer passengers the freedom to mould their flight schedule to their often-hectic work schedules whilst benefiting from the reliability of flying privately with potential delays and cancellations minimised.

96% of private aviation city pairings are not even catered for by commercial airlines; for example, you can't fly from London Heathrow to Marrakesh, or Geneva to St Petersburg - meaning private aviation delivers more business connectivity. After all, time is money, and who needs a travel-weary CEO heading their company?

We have all grown up viewing Hollywood films where the star - a dashing and glamorous young man or woman - zooms straight up to their own private jet in the latest Aston Martin or Ferrari and quite literally hops onto a jet. As ideal as this may seem, it is not an accurate portrayal of real life.

In a post 9/11 world where security measures have been ramped up to maximum, both international and domestic flights now incur instances where these exclusive passengers are required to go through the rigorous and necessary security procedures and spend time in private jet airport lounges.

As a result, many of these airport operators have spent millions of pounds in the past three years renovating and refurbishing their facilities with high end interiors and additional facilities relevant to each region to match the luxury experience on board; in some cases these private airports even include five star boutique hotels, dining facilities and even luxury prayer rooms in The Middle East.

As part of all this development they are increasingly looking to luxury media specialists who deliver entirely appropriate brand experiences.

London Luton - ADLUX TV

ADLUX, for instance, has developed a global media network covering high value locations in Europe, Russia and The Middle East, and is expanding its network of platforms across Asia Pacific this year. They are in a unique position of having exclusive access into these environments allowing advertisers to tap into the wealth of 'high-net-worth individuals' and 'c-suite business decision makers' to whom these spaces are a captive arena.

The luxury environment of the private jet lounge offers a refuge from the hustle and bustle of commercial airports and 'in your face advertising' - a sanctuary where ADLUX's media formats include showcase posters and a bespoke TV channel dedicated to engaging passengers - and an opportunity to effectively communicate a brand's message exclusively to their target audience, in a trusted 'in my own world' environment.

This is a sector with huge consumer spending power that has yet to be fully optimised. The average commuter in London is exposed to 130 adverts from over 80 different products in a 45 minute period. In an entire day, the average person is likely to see 3,500 marketing messages.

Research has shown that 99% of these adverts make little or no impact. Private aviation lounges however offer a unique space where media is consumed differently; a calm, sophisticated and leisurely 'pause' from the chaos of every day life, where only a maximum of six brand messages can be consumed by a relevant audience.

Sirs, I enjoyed reading yours and Mr Goddards overviews in your article on FBO's. A couple of observations if I may. The Industry is still below pre 2007 levels with only large and heavy jet destinations keeping the market buoyant. The general thought is that we are probaby two or three years away from proper growth in all size of jet.

Each global region supports a different type of traveller. For example the USA has over 5,000 GA airfields so transportation is more akin to taking an expensive taxi. This reflects the audience available to advertisers which is in general more mid executive and indeed sales teams.

Within Europe the majority audience is less CEO but more Director level. Practical travellers who are influential but look to do face to face deals and convert four days or work into four hours.
In terms of media our branding of the London Heliport into the Barclays London Heliport illustrates the fact that these executives do not necessarily have the time or inclination to watch lots of video content with sporadic advertising. Messaging via subtle branding with clever interaction suits this audience and their travel habits.

James FD Rolls
Travelling Media International LTD
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