The combination of explosive growth in high net worth individuals and commercial flights becoming more of a problem will drive demand, says VistaJet chairman
ASIA'S private aviation industry is expected to get a boost amid a growing number of high net worth individuals and the limitations of commercial airlines.
The huge land mass in Asia, as well as the lack of direct connections by commercial flights, will spur the demand for private plane charter in Asia, said Swiss' VistaJet Holding SA chairman Thomas Flohr.
"The combination of explosive growth in high net worth individuals and commercial flights becoming more of a problem will drive demand in the future," he said after the launch of its service in Skypark FBO Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Subang Airport's fixed-base operations facility.
Flohr said high net worth individuals, who do not want to deal with the inconveniences of commercial flights, are likely to look at chartering their own planes.
He added that the growth in the number of high net worth individuals has been exploding in India, China and Malaysia in the last three to four years.
"There are 9,500 business jets in the US today, while China, a country of similar size with 1.3 billion population, has only 30 business jets, leaving a lot of room for expansion.
"We want to be at the forefront of this development and lead the expansion," Flohr said, adding that VistaJet plans to use its base in Skypark FBO to capture the Asian market.
Meanwhile, Flohr said the high price of fuel has not affected the business jet charter firm's operations.
That's because fuel costs make up about 11 per cent of total operating costs, and is too small a component for it to impact its profitability.
VistaJet owns and operates a fleet of 19 aircraft that are less than three years old and highly fuel-efficient.
Anticipating a growth in demand for private jets, it has ordered 35 Bombardier business jets, with an option to buy another 25.