CB SkyShare: New normal is the normal
Many of the changes the pandemic has forced business aviation to enact are here to stay and, “to use an over-employed term”, the new normal, Cory Bengtzen, CB SkyShare, told Corporate Jet Investor.
As founder of US-based corporate jet flight share solution, Bengtzen has been on the frontline of Covid-19 prevention in the sector. He said: “For example, using a product like Microshield 360 on all our aircraft will be our policy moving forward, even after the pandemic abates. Likewise, keeping a vigilant watch on our pilots ’health just makes business sense.”
Prolonged disruption to commercial aviation could see the continued emergence of first-time fliers in the corporate sector. Bengtzen said: “First-time fliers to private and business aviation have always accounted for a portion of our demographic for new business. However, this year, we’ve noticed that number has more than doubled. We’re seeing a new avatar here — the business owner who may have been able to afford to fly private before, who was fine in first-class and flying her/his employees in business classnow seeks all the advantages of private flight.
“While it may be wishful thinking for our industry to expect this segment to continue to grow, we anticipate the disruption that commercial aviation is experiencing to last for another two to five years. Thus, as that new avatar grows in scope, we may be seeing the biggest boom in new potential clients for business aviation in more than three decades.”
At CB SkyShare the last few months have been positive. The company reported its best charter month ever in July 2020 and said that number had continued to grow. Whilst September and October were the firm’s best jet-share months ever.
Good performance, especially now, can in large part be down to practical use of technology. Bengtzen told CJI tech already played a huge part in CB SkyShare’s business model. “Competing with the well-funded ‘big boys’ requires digital agility to work smarter. As with other business sectors, technology helps us to interface with our multiple locations, customers, and partners while staying safe.”
Bengtzen added: “Zoom and Google Hangouts have become the foundation of our morning ops meetings, business development, flight-by-flight surveys, and new customer onboarding. Additionally, we’ve taken the opportunity to invest in new software platforms in almost every segment of the business, from flight operations to aircraft cleaning and sanitation to sales and marketing.”