Survey reveals private aviation use on the rise


A new SherpaReport survey reveals more than 44% of respondents plan to use private aviation more in the future, and over 30% intend to continue maximizing its benefits.

“Although WingX has shown that private aviation flights have dropped 5% in the last year, our survey suggests experienced flyers intend to stay and even increase their use of private aviation,” said Nick Copley, president of SherpaReport.

Respondents to the survey are SherpaReport members. Of the 235 survey respondents, 38% use private aviation for personal reasons and 31% for personal and business combined. 91% say they fly on private aircraft with friends and family, with the family dog often being mentioned as the VIP flying companion.

Survey results show that respondents use a wide portfolio of private aviation options. Whereas about 45% currently use jet cards and jet card memberships, about 37% use charter aircraft, just under 19% are fractional aircraft owners, over 9% use shared or semi-private flights, over 8% own their own aircraft and 6% use their company’s owned aircraft. Among all respondents, over 39% also fly commercially.

“The myth that private aviation users only fly privately is simply not true. The elite do fly commercially at times as well,” said Copley. “Whereas someone may fly privately within North America, they may decide flying commercially makes most sense for a cross-Atlantic flight, for example. Deciding when to fly privately and which product to use for what circumstance – jet cards, charters, or fractional ownership, for example – is challenging. This is exactly the advice we, at SherpaReport, offer – customized, data-informed knowledge that guides people and companies in how best to optimize the various private aviation options.”

By far, the number one reason people choose private aviation, according to the survey, is the time savings, custom schedules, and lack of waiting lines, with over 70% of respondents choosing this.

“Looking to the future, the survey also reveals that about a quarter of respondents plan to transition from charter and jet cards to becoming fractional owners, while about 6% declared intent to purchase an aircraft, suggesting both those forms of ownership will increase in popularity,” said Copley.

Many respondents indicate more affordable options would be enticing, while 31% are interested in new aircraft models entering service and a further 10% are interested in eVTOLs (electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft).

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