Peder von Harten, Nicholas Air on cutting through the noise


Peder von Harten, NICHOLAS AIR on:

  • How demand has soared, investment has followed
  • Why customers are more educated now
  • Why supple chains present a real challenge
  • What happens if the industry fails to deliver


The private aviation sector must be careful to ensure it delivers on its commitments and puts customers first – something that has not always been the case in recent years as demand has soared, but some operators have been hamstrung by some supply chain challenges.

That was the perspective offered by Peder von Harten, president, Nicholas Air, speaking at Corporate Jet Investor Miami (31 Oct – 2 Nov, 2022) in a Fireside Chat called ‘Cutting through the noise’. He was interviewed by Corporate Jet Investor editor Alasdair Whyte.

Privately owned Nicholas Air was formed in 1997 as a boutique private jet club. It is known for being fiercely protective of its independence and doing things differently. Von Harten highlighted the approach the company had taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when many other operators reduced their offering.

He said the company had only one meeting: on March 16, 2020, which lasted some 10 minutes. “We didn’t change a thing. We felt that our company and our people should keep coming to work and providing a service. We had a level of conviction on how we run our business. We considered whether people would hunker down or find alternative way to travel and we decided it would be the latter. We still ordered aircraft in that time. I wish we had ordered more. But we never changed a thing – we carried on as usual.”

But he said one of the biggest challenges facing the sector was around supply chain. He described the sector as at an inflection point on how fleets can be supported going forward. He noted that there are challenges and increased prices right through the supply chain with even some raw materials scarce. “It is very difficult to have a crystal ball. It could be an interesting situation for those with large fleets.”

He acknowledged that billions have flowed into the sector in recent years but argued that the industry does not need new Jet Card firms or aircraft dealers – it needs new entrants able to fix the problems in the supply chain. “Where is the investment in the things that help aircraft stay in the air? We have to deliver on our commitments – we can’t go back and not honor a contract – we have to live up to our promises.”

He argued that a new generation of customers are far more educated on the sector now: they know what they want, how they want it and what company structure they want to deliver that. “There has been a resurgence in private aviation – it is no longer taboo. But these customers are very clued up. So, the sector needs to ensure the aircraft are on time. Some customers have been burned. You have started seeing delays. That is a really big challenge we have to alleviate as much as possible.”



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