The large private aviation provider just reported new business growth of 83 percent when comparing Q1 2013 versus Q1 2012. SherpaReport spoke to Bruce Peddle, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Flexjet to find the information behind the numbers.
Comparing these periods, sales of fractional shares grew 108 percent, while new jet card sales increased 48 percent.
Flexible Product Options
"The overall traditional mix of products is changing" noted Bruce. "Products are growing into more flexible options including cards and leasing. These allow people to adjust their flying commitments to suit their level of travel needs."
"At Flexjet, we are also focused on creating offerings that provide value and flexibility for our owners, such as the FlexShare and Coastal Connect programs," added Bruce "These products are contributing to the growth we experienced in the first quarter of this year."
During the Easter travel weekend, Flexjet recorded flying hours at levels not seen since the height of the market in 2007. As a result, Flexjet is now hiring pilots to satisfy the increasing demand.
"With the economy picking up speed, owners who have been tentative since the downturn have started to gain more confidence and are taking more and more trips," said Deanna White, President, Flexjet. "Having the Dow Jones Industrial Average reach a record-breaking 15,000 points is not only a significant financial milestone, but also very good for our industry. People are ready to get back to business."
Bruce (pictured above) also emphasized that Flexjet are focusing more on relationships with their clients. To this end, they recently hired Lori Carr as their first Owner Experience Officer. She is focused on executing highly personalized, end-to-end experiences for Flexjet's clients and owners. Flexjet also adjusted their sales force, so that the whole team can sell any of their array of aviation solutions, and therefore much better find a solution mix customized to a clients needs. Whereas before, they had one sales force selling jet cards and one selling aircraft fractions.
The company also proactively reached out to fractional owners as they saw some of them flying fewer hours starting in 2008. They transitioned some of these clients into a debit model jet card, offering a greater degree of flexibility than a fractional share.
Just last year, Flexjet appointed Deanna White as President. So there really have been a large number of changes throughout the company, and it appears that these changes, together with a recovering economy are driving the growth.