The Future of Private Air Travel

Photo by Ethan McArthur on Unsplash

The private aviation industry is entering a new era, one of accessibility and affordability, efficiency and sustainability, artificial intelligence and UX design. With the evolution of technology, the democratization and digitization of private aviation, and the growth of experience-focused companies and eco-friendly business innovations, private jets are excelling in a variety of ways that commercial planes simply are not. This shift towards a new era begs the question of what the future holds for the new generation of jets. Companies like XO (merger of XOJET and JetSmarter) are leading this transformation in the industry.

Democratization

Given the shift away from private jet ownership toward shared jet charters, flying private is no longer reserved for the rich and famous. In recent years, companies like JetSmarter, originally founded by Sergey Petrossov and later merged with XOJET, have rolled out new and innovative solutions, making private air travel more accessible. Furthermore, the ongoing digitization of the global aviation market makes the booking process much easier, and the private jet sharing economy keeps the cost of flying relatively low. Ultimately, these two factors contribute to the democratization and growth of private aviation, and jet travel will only continue to build a better future through accessibility.

Digitization

It’s safe to say that the digital space has undergone a rapid evolution over the past decade, and the so-called “digital revolution” shows no signs of slowing down. As such, travelers today want a streamlined, intuitive, and digital process. What this means for private aviation companies is mainly one thing: opportunity. Through digitization and digital transformation, companies can increase revenues, reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction, and decrease lead times in software delivery.

Affordability

The democratization, and digitization, of private air travel is making luxury travel significantly more affordable. Jet sharing lowers costs to such a high degree that booking a seat on a private jet is often more affordable than booking a business-class flight on a commercial plane. Private jets can minimize costs through fewer pilots, lighter aircraft, reduced overhead expenses, and the shifting prices of fuel and insurance. It follows that members get to enjoy the benefits of flying private, such as the lifestyle that accompanies it and the luxuries it affords, without paying a hefty price tag.

Experience-focused

One of the most significant selling points with private air travel is the overall experience. Private air travel gives the passenger a seamless digital experience at the time of booking and a luxury private jet experience onboard. As technology continues to progress and the UX design process continues to improve, so too will the user experience from start to finish. For instance, jets are becoming faster and more economical, and there’s even talk of supersonic jets traveling faster than the speed of sound. There’s also been a shift away from exclusivity and toward the masses. In other words, passengers need only pay for the flight hours used, rather than sacrificing an arm and a leg to afford the one-off experience.

Environmental impact

As it stands, flying privately is already a modest environmentally friendly alternative to commercial flights. Private jets are smaller, lighter, and more efficient than their larger counterparts. While the environmental cost of air travel will never reach zero, the private aviation industry is making great strides in its commitment to eco-friendly innovation. Given the trend toward sustainable living and conscious consumerism, passengers want greener aircraft, and aviation companies are working hard to give the people what they want. Two of their current green solutions include testing sustainable fuel alternatives and offering options to offset carbon emissions, plus there are more initiatives in the works.

Overall efficiency

With societies becoming more technologically advanced by the day, the private aviation industry is making use of the influx of new technology to boost overall efficiency. As the demand for private jet charters increases, so does the need for more aircraft and terminals. XO’s designated fleet currently consists of 116 owned planes, plus the XO preferred-operator network gives members access to upwards of 1,500 additional private jets. These numbers are expected to grow substantially in the coming years, and the number of general aviation terminals will grow along with them to maximize both productivity and time efficiency.

Artificial intelligence

Taking the discussion of efficiency and technological advancements one step further, the development of artificial intelligence is changing the aviation industry in more ways than one. Both private and commercial planes are actively investing in AI technology to improve customer service, pilot productivity, and operational efficiency. For example, AI assistants are currently able to identify passengers, screen bags, assist customers with basic needs, and even predict maintenance issues before they occur. In terms of the future of artificial intelligence in aviation, there’s talk of AI-powered airport kiosks, security cameras, and body scanners. And, if you couldn’t guess it already, it seems like self-flying planes are not too far off themselves.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store