Where have private jet travellers departing from London's major business aviation airports been travelling to for the past two summers between June through September? How does London compare with other top European private aviation hubs like Geneva and Paris, and what are the emerging travel trends for summer 2019? These are questions that Geneva-based LunaJets has posed, and using WingX data, it has found the answers.
For the past couple of years, Nice, Ibiza, Cannes, Malaga, Olbia and Palma have been the six hottest summer destinations for jets departing from London's most popular private aviation airports: Luton, Farnborough and Biggin Hill. In 2018, 1,903 flights took off from these three airports for these six destinations, representing nearly a 10 per cent increase on 2017. VIPs based in the UK have chosen these French, Spanish and Italian hot spots for their summer vacations for the past two years. When examined more closely, the number of departures for Cannes and Ibiza are virtually flat from 2017 to 2018, down one per cent and two per cent respectively; whereas Olbia and Palma have attracted even more vacationers in 2018 than the previous summer, with a year-on-year increase of 29 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.
With numbers just in from WingX Advance for June 2019, Ibiza has slipped again from the same period one year ago, and Olbia and Palma continue to grow in popularity for private aviation travellers flying out of London.
Over the same period, travellers departing from Geneva and Paris have been jetting off to Nice, Cannes, Olbia, Ibiza, Figari and Toulon, showing just as much interest for the Mediterranean Sea and the French Riviera as their fellow travellers from London, but with a slightly greater penchant for French destinations over Spanish ones. They prefer Corsica (Figari) and southern France (Toulon) to Malaga and Palma. Paris figures for June 2019 show that top destinations along the French Riviera are up, while Ibiza is down 30 per cent on June of last year. From Geneva, the number of flights to Mediterranean destinations looks flat or slightly down in June 2019 compared to June 2018.
Nice is a popular European getaway year-round, but more so during the summer as almost half of yearly private jet charter flights from London, Geneva or Paris to Nice happen during the summer.
LunaJets' clientele seems to be confirming these trends, with a few exceptions. Most vacationers departing from London on a private jet hired with LunaJets in 2017 and 2018 flew to Olbia, Ibiza, Palma, Malaga, Cannes and Mykonos, with Figari becoming trendy among Londoners' in 2018.
While LunaJets' flights represent a smaller sample size, they follow the industry trend, with the exception of Mykonos.
Here, the idyllic Greek island attracts the elite from London, Paris and Geneva. Looking at the trends for this summer, head of sales and development Alain Leboursier says: “Following our record-breaking summer of 2018, we are on the same pace this year. For this month of June, the number of sold flights has grown 23 per cent compared with June 2018, and bookings to these hot summer destinations are up by almost one third for this July versus last year.”
Aiming to be where its clients are, LunaJets has built a large network of partnerships offering personalised assistance for matters ranging from coordinating airport car transfers and helicopter rides to luxury concierge services including special requests for staff, rentals and reservations. The Swiss company has local offices and partners in Ibiza, Mykonos, on the French Riviera, in Monaco and Saint-Tropez, in Palma, Olbia and other destinations, where experienced agents are able to assist clients in every detail of their holiday planning.
Deliciously Sorted Ibiza, for instance, arranges free transfers from the airport to any final destination on the island for LunaJets' clients. Partners like Proton Air & Tourism Services assist clients upon arrival in Mykonos, as does The Vincci Club in Palma de Mallorca and the company's local agents.