First class vs private jet charter – a pointless debate

First class vs private jet charter – a pointless debateA long-lasting discussion between who reigns luxury aviation in regard to comfort, privacy and customer service has been promoted for years by some players in this segment. What do they seek? Don’t they understand that they’re comparing two very different services? It’s the comparison that especially private aviation providers love to publicize, without considering that both sectors have different clients, needs and expectations.

Although on a different scale than the low-cost airline market, luxury aviation as a whole is increasing yearly, with major investments by legacy carriers in cabin configuration and the overall inflight experience. For some years now, there are some airlines that have separated from the pack and are considered as luxury commercial carriers, like Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways, Cathay Pacific and Emirates, within others. They offer high-end amenities, not just seats that recline 180 degrees, like a separate room with a bed and shower. Here, luxury and comfort are the main drivers.

Private aviation is also increasing in demand and accessibility; however, the main drivers of this trend aren’t built around luxury. Sure, some private jets are the epitome of extravagance, though its passengers aren’t opting for executive flight for the looks. It’s due to the flexibility the market provides and the ease of the overall travel experience. Passengers can arrive at the terminal 15 minutes prior to takeoff and they can choose the departure and arrival locations.

Private jet providers like Fort Lauderdale based Monarch Air Group understand the need to connect with the frequent executive flyer instead of convincing first-class clients to navigate a different segment. These clients just seek a different experience and, quite frankly, those rooms aboard the super-luxury commercial carriers are hard to outshine. Hence, not even price or privacy plays a role at this level (both are expensive and offer discretion).

A whole different topic is how each airline or private charter separates itself from the competition. Attributes such as customer service is common language for both markets, but while number of destinations and connecting flights are decision drivers for luxury commercial passengers, aircraft availability and flexibility policies (last minute changes in itineraries, destination or inflight amenities) are factors that make the difference in private flight.

Comparing private aviation and commercial first class to gain a competitive advantage is a very shortsighted strategy, one that might resonate only with the majority that has yet to fly in either segments far from your real target audience. The aviation market is a dynamic ecosystem with no spare parts, and each player has a role to play and a gap to fill.

Whether its luxury, time-efficiency, comfort, flexibility or comfort, there’s a set of qualities that define private jet charter and commercial first-class and mixing them up with an educated clientele won’t result in a change of segment, but rather your client flying tomorrow morning with your main competitor.

Established in 2006, Monarch Air Group is a leading provider of on demand private jet charter, aircraft management and long-term aircraft lease. Among Monarch’s customers are Fortune 500 corporations, small and medium size companies, private families, leading entrepreneurs, Government agencies and world leading NGO’s.