Why rappers and GTA V could save business aviation


Grand Theft Auto V allows game players to fly in a business jet.

The business jet market needs to target younger buyers. Rappers and Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) can help solve this.
Grand Theft Auto V allows game players to fly in a business jet.

Grand Theft Auto V allows game players to fly in a business jet.

Male models love the business jet industry, as when they get too old for underwear shoots, it is only a matter of time before they get to audition for the role of “grey haired man” on different business jet advertisements. Flick through any business jet magazine and you will see many examples of this.

It is a fair representation though. According to Wealth-X, the leading source of intelligence on ultra-high-net-worth individuals, the average individual business jet owner is a 64-year-old self-made married man with a net worth of $390 million.

Wealth-X, however, says that the average age of all male billionaires is 58 years.

Six years may not sound like a lot, but if you consider that most aircraft are replaced after three to five years, the industry is missing out on a lot of sales.

When the NBAA launched its admirable No Plane No Gain campaign in 2010 the combined age of the three people fronting it – Neil Armstrong, Arnold Palmer and Warren Buffett – was 241 years. At a time of economic uncertainty, grey hairs may be reassuring (and all of them are clearly impressive individuals), but perhaps we now need to target younger buyers.

Business jets clearly appeal to the aspirational Generation Y. In 2010, the pop combo Far East Movement had a Billboard chart topping record called ‘Like a G6.’

According to one member of the band they were aware of Gulfstream’s GIV because (as I am sure you know) it had been referred to in the song ‘Forever’ by Canadian rapper Drake: “Started off local, but thanks to all the haters I know GIV pilots on a first name basis.”

Key Nash, a member of Far East Movement, said they decided that a “G6 was flyer than a G4.” Significantly, the band had not heard of the G650 at the time.

One thing that might help is that Grand Theft Auto V – a recently released computer game which is breaking all sales records – features business jets and helicopters. On second thought, as players are encouraged to steal them and hide them in hangars, perhaps it is not such a great advertisement.

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