As noted, private aviation is an easy target for the federal and state governments to tax, because most people perceive it as a luxury. Many of those who fly privately—and the board members who advise them, including VanAllen Group founder and managing director Peter Agur would disagree, noting that private-aviation clients’ circumstances and the state of commercial air travel make flying privately a near necessity.
The reasons people use private aviation—charter, jet cards, fractional, whole ownership—continue to amplify. Life continues to become more crammed. Time to do business is more compressed. Time for family is more challenged. And the best source of reallocation of time is air travel.
Depending on how often you fly, days or weeks could be lost with commercial air travel, and that’s time that could be spent in business or with family. The reasons people gravitate to private aviation are more compelling than ever. Never before have privacy and speed—the compression of time—been in as great a demand as they are now. The demand for privacy continues to grow because of the resources available to make private information public. Commercial air travel has low standards of time and privacy. It is counter to what people who prefer private aviation are seeking to achieve.
The metric for whole ownership for a company used to be 350 flight hours per year. Over the last 15 years, it has dropped to 250 hours. This is reflective of the growing cost of time and the value of privacy.