With business aviation on the mend, unusual perks become a way to attract new fliers
Business aviation has seen a rebound in the last two years, with more private flyers joining on-demand charter and jet card programs. But the industry has consolidated during the downturn, and intense competition between providers has caused some to adopt a new approach to business.
Some are pursuing a hybrid business model that combines the best qualities of fleet ownership with lower financial investments for the client. Many are incorporating value-added benefits like competitive pricing and other perks such as five-star resorts, wineries, golf tournaments, and other major-league sporting events in order to attract new clients.
XOJET, the third-largest private-aviation firm in North America, has developed both strategies. The company owns and operates the country’s largest fleet of Citation X and Challenger 300 super-midsize business jets and delivers access through three on-demand charter programs with flexible terms and reasonable entry costs. The XOJET Preferred Access™ program, for instance, starts at $200,000, compared to the hefty acquisition costs and long-term investments of a fractional-ownership program for the same aircraft.
XOJET has also developed partnerships with eclectic, high-end firms that should interest its corporate and high-net-worth clientele, according to Shari Jones, the company’s chief marketing officer. “We’ve chosen only service-oriented and like-minded brands to offer our clients an unrivaled travel experience,” she says.
The list ranges from Butterfield & Robinson, the world’s premier active-travel company; to Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial space line, which is expected to soon offer space travel from its Spaceport America in New Mexico; to the Yellowstone Club, the world’s only private ski resort complete with a five-star lodge located in the Montana Rockies. XOJET’s newest partnership, with the L.A.-based luxury-travel and lifestyle concierge team Element, now gives XOJET Preferred Access™ clients the ability to book tables at sought-after restaurants, gain access to sporting events like the Super Bowl and the Masters and to film premiers and private concerts, and use private concierge services for private dinners, wine consultation, and personal shopping.
XOJET also partners with other service providers to deliver a complete travel experience. Savoya Transportation Company provides first-rate ground transportation in 60 countries, with a focus on safety and security. Travel Management Company operates the newest and largest privately owned fleet of Hawker 400XPs and Hawker 800/850XPs, for regional air travel. Creative Artists Agency, the leading entertainment and sports agency, offers XOJET clients a range of marketing and consulting services.
“We really thought about these partners to see how they can deliver value to our clients,” says Jones. “It’s only one component of our new ‘Take Command’ branding, but gets to the heart of how we really think about our clients’ best interests, whether it’s our approach to flexible pricing, offering space travel, or providing access to exclusive experiences.”
XOJET, 650.676.4700, www.xojet.com