The Engel & Völkers Group has expanded its service portfolio to include the brokerage of business aircraft and private jets worldwide. The new business division Engel & Völkers Aviation is specialised in aircraft sales and charter. “Engel & Völkers clients are wealthy, with sophisticated demands and expectations. They lead luxury lifestyles and enjoy travelling – both for business and pleasure. We are seeing a growing need for this service amongst our real estate and yachting clients. This opens up significant opportunities for our company and means that we can now offer customers even more services from one single source,” said Christian Völkers, Founder and Co-CEO of Engel & Völkers AG, on the future potential of the new business division.
Customised air travel and consultancy
Engel & Völkers Aviation offers its clients personally tailored charter flights around the world via its website. The portfolio ranges from small propeller aircraft through to large super jets. With access to a pool of around 4,000 planes on its own booking platform, Engel & Völkers Aviation offers clients access to a worldwide charter fleet of private and business aircraft. In addition to aircraft charter for individual trips and aircraft trading, Engel & Völkers Aviation is also brokering business and private aircraft for long-term charter and through fractional ownership schemes. Moreover, the business division provides comprehensive consulting on legal and taxation issues, aircraft management, structured finance as well as risk management and insurance.
The E&V Aviation division is headed by Bart Boury as CEO, who has many decades of experience working in the aviation industry. He has broad expertise and a professional background in starting up new aviation ventures, as well as in business aircraft management and operations and aviation tax and legal consultancy. Mr. Boury is a qualified lawyer and holds additional Masters Degrees in Air Transport Economics and Air Transport Law.
Pricing scope: up to 60 million dollars for a long range large cabin jet
Prices for business aircraft charter and acquisition vary greatly. A short-range turboprop aircraft costs approx. 2 million dollars (approx. 1.8 million euros) and has an hourly charter rate of 850 euros. For a Light Jet buyers must figure on investing between 4.5 and 8.9 million dollars (approx. 4 to 7.9 million euros) and with an hourly charter fee between 1,250 to 2,000 euros. When it comes to ‘midsize jets’, prices vary from 11.5 to 17.5 million dollars (approx. 10.3 to 15.6 million euros), where such a jet can be chartered for an hourly rate ranging from 2,250 to 5,500 euros per flight hour, transporting ten people to destinations of up to 3,000 to 4,000 kilometres away. The acquisition of a long-range large cabin jet or ‘bizliner’ costs up to 60 million dollars (approx. 53.5 million euros) and up to 15,000 euros per hour on an all-in charter basis.
Trend: Increasing numbers of business aircraft and private jets in use worldwide
Air travel aside from regular scheduled airlines offers direct and personalised connections, as well as the absolute height of comfort, flexibility and exclusivity. Companies are increasingly using business flight charters or entering into ownership of their own company jets, as this option can sometimes be less costly than booking large teams on scheduled flights. Another key aspect is the more efficient use of managers’ valuable time that comes with private jets. Wealthy holidaymakers and second home owners are also flying more and more by private jet, enabling them to reach exclusive and often exotic holiday destinations by direct flight. The demand for private and business flights amongst affluent clients is correspondingly high.
According to the Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier, the number of business aircraft and private jets in use worldwide is growing all the time and will continue to do so. Bombardier forecasts that the fleet of around 15,200 aircrafts in the year 2013 will have risen to around 32,450 by 2033 (only, light, medium and large jets are taken into account). “After the worldwide economic slump, the business and private jet industry is progressing well on a prolonged and gradual recovery from the steep industry downturn of 2009-2010,” said Bart Boury. However, in Mr. Boury’s view the long-term market drivers of business jet industry growth remain solid: the global economy and wealth creation. According to a study by the consultancy firm IHS Global Insight, global GDP growth is expected to increase by an average of 3.2 percent per annum over the next 20 years. The growing number of billionaires is also contributing to growth, as a significant number of billionaires uses or owns private or business aircrafts. According to Forbes magazine, there were 1,826 people worldwide in 2015 with a fortune of at least one billion dollars. In 2014, there were 1,645 billionaires.
Growth with a regional focus
“Nevertheless, the global market of business and private jet use varies geographically as each region is in a different stage,” said Bart Boury. The majority of buyers and charter clients are based in North America, followed by Europe. New demand is also emerging as a result of increased prosperity in more and more countries. In recent years this has seen clients from China, the Middle East and South America join the fray. In addition to companies, more and more entrepreneurs, business magnates, and high net worth individuals are choosing to own an aircraft or make use of a charter service. “Our entry to the aviation market comes at just the right time. Our global network in 39 countries and our uncompromising level of professionalism will help us to enter into this new market very quickly,” Christian Völkers concluded.