Demystifying why business aviation shouldn’t be considered only for the wealthy and larger corporations in Africa is the objective of this piece. For too many years, maybe a decade, this market has been tied to luxury and excessive prices in the continent. In fact, it’s still an active trend, although there’s a shifting understanding within young entrepreneurs and small to medium business owners: private aviation is all about the flexibility, agility and cost effectiveness it brings to the table. Yes, the winds are changing.
The most valuable commodity in today’s fast paced, sharing economy globe is time. Less time to deliver a product to a city without commercial airline connections or where ground transportation takes 3 days to get there instead of 5 hours. Less time to get a team of mechanics to repair a damaged conveyer belt at a gold mine. The mine will lose millions of dollars each hour without production, so fixing the issue as soon as possible is paramount. Private aviation kicks in as the perfect solution, granting the possibility to operate at almost any airport and to takeoff as soon as the passengers arrive at the departing location.
It’s still normal for people to envision large luxurious jets as the standard means of transportation within private aviation, although smaller aircraft, turboprops or piston engine planes, are the ones driving this industry upward. And not only in Africa, but also in the largest private aviation market in the globe, the U.S. In fact, the Pilatus PC-12, arguably the world-leading single engine turboprop, according to Argus International’s first quarter TRAQPak report, led all aircraft types by flights in 2017 with more than 226,000 in that country. This should remind us just how important are turboprops for business aviation at a global scale.
“Smaller companies should see this as an investment instead of a cost, mainly because the process of a service or a product, from manufacture to delivery, will be much faster, leaving the opportunity to dedicate time delivering other goods to more clients in the same time span and therefore increasing revenue in the short and long term”, states Harold Okwa, Executive Director of Jetseta, Nigerian based private aviation provider.
Furthermore, even larger corporations with the aim of reducing costs can still do so by flying on other types of private aircraft. It’s true that larger business jets provide great range and comfort, with their wider cabins and spacious storage compartments, but for flights lasting less than two hours and when there’s a need to operate in short runways, then lighter jets, turboprops or piston aircraft can be a game changer.
Small and medium sized companies have always been willing to search for underdeveloped markets with little to no connections to larger hubs, trying to aim to those places where large multinational corporations still haven’t found interest in investing. Private aviation can help make their ambitions come true, with a safe, transparent, reliable and flexible service. We know of some African entrepreneurs that have added private aviation as a driver to their yearly strategic planning, but today, it’s still kind of a well-kept secret in the continent. The winds will change eventually.
Established in 2016, Jetseta is a private jet provider in Nigeria with main hubs in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt, offering access to private air travel and helicopter shuttle services through a mobile app that seamlessly connects travelers to private aviation at attractive fares worldwide, on the go.