CJI Middle East & Africa 2020: VVIP aircraft are ‘tools for safe flight’




VVIP business aircraft are the tools for continued safe expansion of corporate travel in the aftermath of Covid-19, Rob Dicastri, CEO, Royal Jet, told Corporate Jet Investor Middle East and Africa delegates at this week’s online conference. Especially when it comes to attracting tourism back to holiday resorts and tourist destinations.

“There is a chance that these game-changers could really change the game and bring a new type of customer to us,” said Dicastri.

“These types of customers, these resorts and groups who need tourism, they can’t bring those people in on a Global, a Gulfstream or a Falcon because it’s not big enough. It’s not big enough to have enough people on it to make it really work. It’s the 30, 40, 50 seat ACJs and BBJs with the space that can really make this work. Where you’ve got social distancing and you have privacy, but you have enough people to make it make sense financially.”

Dicastri, based in Dubai, provided insight on the panel Opportunities in the VVIP Market alongside fellow industry experts Tobias Laps, Executive Vice President, Comlux and Jean-Noel Robert, head of Business Development, Airbus Corporate Jets. The Middle East has long been an important region for the VVIP market and despite the Covid-19 global pandemic these opportunities remain, according to the panelists.

Dicastri continued: “The thing about the smaller aircraft is that they are already the ones getting busy with the people booking them out themselves because it is much easier to book a smaller aircraft just with your own family or your own company. So, I’m not saying that these aircraft aren’t already returning, but if you want to bring in groups which are consolidating groups together you need the bigger, VVIP aircraft.”

Robert said: “I can point out one change that Covid-19 has made, I’ve never seen Rob so positive! What is for sure, is if you fly an ACJ, the space you are going to have, whether it is one person or 10 , you are going to have it whether it is a one-hour flight or 12 hours. That is something that adds value and people are beginning to realise its importance.”