Millennials don’t shop the way previous generations do, not even when it comes to private aviation.
This article will have two parts. The first will focus on the priorities of Millennials. These are, in brief:
- Environmentally-friendly aircraft
- Ride-sharing and other flexible, innovative travel structures
- A focus on experiences over traditional consumer goods
The second part will focus on how the private aviation industry can meet the expectations of Millennials. These include:
- Intuitive digital interface with all functions (chartering, subscribing, seat selection, meal and amenity selection, and more.)
- Marketing tactics that feed into the expectations listed in Part 1
- How these insights help you orient your aviation entity’s UX (User Experience.)
Many of the following insights are gleaned from a survey by the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) titled How Millennials See the Future of Aviation.
Let’s explore one of the most significant findings in the survey first. It indicated that Millennials hope that flying will become both greener and easier as their generation comes to dominate the consumer market. Dominate is the right word, by the way. Millennials are on the verge of representing $200 billion in buying power, meaning they will be the market with the most buying power by 2018.
The expectation of greener aircraft jibes with market research findings in other industries. Many Millennials noted in a Nielson survey that sustainability and eco-consciousness were among their priorities when they went shopping.
There are more reasons to think that airlines will come under scrutiny for eco-consciousness. The survey discovered that Millennials view transport as one of the key factors in environmental damage. As a matter of fact, 40% said that climate concerns will have the biggest impact on the development of personal air travel.
What Millennials Like Most About Private Aviation
According to the survey, 62% of Millennials who were asked noted that private aviation was attractive because it offered flexibility and freedom. Private aviation offers Millennials the ability to travel where they want, when they want.
What Obstacles do Millennials See to the Future of Private Aviation?
The survey discovered that Millennials seem to have confidence that that technology will develop solutions to any mobility issues aviation companies might face. However, they still have concerns surrounding safety, trust, and as always, cost.
Here are a few related notes worth knowing about. There were indications that technologies that worked for Millennials on the ground aren’t necessarily sure-fire plans in the sky. The survey noted that 60% of Millennials said they were happy to use ride-sharing services, but this figure dropped to 46% describing themselves as ready to use automated ride-sharing air services.
Part 2: How the Private Aviation Industry Can Meet Millennial Expectations
What Can the Private Aviation Industry Learn From the Millennial Emphasis on Sustainability?
These findings give private aviation entities like flight departments and private jet charters a way to approach their marketing strategies. While private aviation typically advertises itself on the merits of a luxury experience, you can add a Unique Selling Point (USP) to your brand by stressing the efficiency of your engines, hybrid technology, or even sustainability practices in your organization that go beyond aircraft design. This also applies to any research and development with which your organization may be involved.
For inspiration, let’s explore the following approach taken by Stratos Jet Charters. Stratos began working on eco-friendly solutions as a result of the desire of its clients to offset carbon emissions. Stratos partnered with TerraPass, a social enterprise that focuses on offsetting carbon emissions. Basically, when customers opt-in to a charge of less than one percent of their entire fee, TerraPass will direct that money to:
- Farm power
- Capturing gas from landfills
- Harnessing clean energy from wind power
- Capturing methane from abandoned coal deposits and mines
- Investing in practices that make better forest management possible
Are you thinking to yourself, “my aviation org emphasizes green practices, how come I’m not getting the credit?” It’s all about the exposure.
Are you using SEO practices to rank for terms such as sustainable private aviation? Can you publish sophisticated, well-produced videos that go out on the most popular digital platforms about your practices? These are just a few of the methods that will become indispensable when it comes to bringing the Millennial generation into the world of private aviation. Many private aviation entities aren’t even aware of how important green solutions are to Millennials.
Mobility, Flexibility and Opportunities in the Digital Space
The second major appeal of private jet travel, for Millennials, was mobility and flexibility. This is a valuable insight for all private aviation entities. It tells you how to organize your user experience, or UX.
The digital world, particularly on mobile devices, is redefining UX. It’s about developing an experience that is as intuitive and streamlined as possible. All digital users have high bounce rates. Check your UX for snags in the funnel where any potential customer could bounce.
Finally, focus on communicating the experience over the product. Private aviation is about how you want to arrive at your destination, and what the journey will be like. The future of private aviation lies in telling that story to Millennials.