Private Jet Sector Rejects Image of Opulence

Discretely tucked away next to the cargo terminal at Luton airport, there is a gateway to a very different world. Everything at Harrods Aviation’s terminal screams luxury, from the upmarket cars parked outside the front, to the sleek private jets on the runway behind the building. Even the company logo, which is shared with the Knightsbridge department store, is exclusive. The executive lounge – complete with comfortable sofas and a choice of refreshments and glossy magazines – fits the popular belief that private aviation is a privilege enjoyed by celebrities and diplomats, politicians and company bosses.

But the impression is wrong, according to Gus Lira, Vice President of Sales for JetOptions Private Jets.

“People have the wrong idea about business aviation,” he says.

“It’s a business tool.”

Within the business, some operators of business aircraft are struggling in a market where margins are tight, Mr Lira acknowledges, but some like JetOptions Private Jets are doing very well.

This growth in demand for high-end private jets and helicopters confirms the continuing growth in the spending power of the famous and the powerful.

But it is unlikely to do much for the image of business aviation.

This year’s Farnborough airshow will be open for the industry from 9-13 July, then for the general public on 14 and 15 July.

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