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Elite Traveler – ET Insider – March 6, 2007

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ET Insider – March 6, 2007

Elite Traveler Insider –

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March 6, 2007

Elite Traveler Insider

By Douglas D. Gollan, President and Editor-in-Chief, Elite Traveler Magazine  

Welcome to the latest issue of Elite Traveler Insider, the bi-weekly newsletter designed to update our top partners on trends in the private jet lifestyle. This information is provided to offer a better understanding of how to target these globetrotting elite travelers, their impact on your business and other trends that affect you. Remember, that private jet travelers are paying up to $10,000 per hour to fly by private jet, so these super rich consumers could be and should be your best customer. We talk about them and how you can get more of them and more from them.

CONTENTS:

1. What’s Rich? Not $200,000…

2. First Order for Private A380 Super Jumbo…

3. Dassault Jet Orders Increase 400% in 36 Months.

4. From Bollywood, Maybe They Should Call it Bangalore Hills…

5. Private Jet Travel Booms to Scotland…

6. Traffic Jam at Naples Airport — Would the CEO of GE Please Move Your Jet?

7. Stoned! A $40,000 Shopping Spree in Norway…

“We have made two significant sales based on leads from your magazine… The total value of the pruchases is over $15 million!”Myles Newell, – The Ginn Company

1. What’s Rich? Not $200,000…

Recently I was watching a television talk show called The Factor. Comedian / finance writer Ben Stein, when asked about taxing the rich, told the host, “$200,000 today is not rich. These people can barely make ends meet.”

Unfortunately, many marketers treat the Affluent as one income segment. That said, I did see one hotel group this fall that had two targets: Super Rich with a HHI of $1 million + and Mass Affluent at $100,000 +. The group was targeting the Super Rich to stay in their hotels while the Mass Affluent would hopefully stop in and buy $15 mixed drinks.

I think more and more luxury marketers in the future will divide their media budgets between Super Rich and Mass Affluent.

“I’ve seen a lot of people reading Elite Traveler; they love the magazine they can’t believe our FBO gives it away for free” Carol Hammonds — Hammonds Air Service, Houma, LA

2. First Order for Private A380 Super Jumbo…

Private jet bragging rights among the ultra rich have just taken a quantum leap to a lavish flying palace that is being created inside the biggest passenger plane ever built.

The plane is the Airbus super jumbo A-380, the double-decker that can carry up to 800 passengers if it is configured with only the cheap seats. There will be just 82 passengers in the private version.

Airbus will not identify the individual who ordered the $300 million plane. That price, incidentally, is only the starting point.

Edése Doret, a jet interior expert who is designing the A-380 for the customer, will only say that he is a “Head of state.” The New York-based Doret, who has customized jets since 1988, says his work will add another $150 million to the total cost

.

The price tag includes the cost of modifying the fuselage for an “Air Force One Stairway” which allows passengers and crew to enter the plane directly from the ground through the cargo bay. That stairway leads to a lower spiral staircase which takes passengers to the entry lounge. Another, wide sweeping staircase leads passengers to the grand lounge on the upper deck.

Doret says the buyer’s family and friends will occupy the upper deck, which by itself is 147 feet, five inches long, longer than the length of the Wright Brothers’ first flight. In addition to the grand lounge it will have a 600-square-foot master suite and other bedrooms, a Jacuzzi, a family dining room, a game room and offices. All of it, says Doret, “will be in a desert-like environment.”

According to Doret, that environment will be created by curtains that resemble Arab tents and a mosaic built with fiber optics that will look like shifting desert sands. The lower deck has an additional dining room and work space as well as seats for the crew and staff.

This is Doret’s biggest job (which will take about a year and a half), but he is working on a number of projects that are for the super rich. “There are a lot of billionaires out there,” he says. And above and beyond the cost of buying and customizing the A-380, its owner will face operating costs of about $25,000 an hour, including the crew of 16.

“Very beautiful magazine, our CEO’s wife loves it when the new shipments arrive, it’s her favorite magazine” Ronn Nelson — Northwestern Mutual Air, Operations Milwaukee, WI

3. Dassault Jet Orders Increase 400% in 36 Months…

From $20,000 handbags to $25 million private jets, the uber luxury market is booming. On the jet end of the market, Dassault Aviation won record orders last year for its Falcon private jets for the second successive year, as the French group benefited from the global surge in demand for private jet travel. New orders increased from 123 to 158 and have risen steeply from the low point of only 40 in 2003.

“I love to see our client’s reaction; they go crazy for the magazine. It inspires us here to make it rich some day” Jennifer Masse — Sun Western Flyers, Bullhead City, AZ

4. From Bollywood, Maybe They Should Call it Bangalore Hills…

The Maybachs and Rolls Royces are already filling up the driveways faster than Beverly Hills. Wealthy Indians buy up a storm at Louis Vuitton boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo and New York as part of India, Inc.’s global expansion.

So what’s next? Until a couple of years ago, India was home to just two dozen private planes. There are 130 private planes now. Aviation industry sources say that in the next 10 years, India would be home to one of the world’s largest number of private jet owners — possibly second to only the United States.

Experts estimate the demand for private jets to grow at almost 50 percent on a year-to-year basis. Last year, the government granted almost 100 permits to import private jets and helicopters, according to published reports in India.

Leonard Knaapen, a senior executive with Bombardier, says the rising number of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) in India makes it an attractive market. “India has the third largest number of millionaires in the world after the US and Germany. This will translate into big business for us,” Knaapen told local media.

As Indian multi-nationals seek to emulate their US cousins, it is worth noting that 98 of the Fortune 100 companies operate fleets of private jets, with discounter Wal-Mart having a 15 strong fleet.

A senior official with another private plane manufacturer says over 150 private planes would be sold this year. Naturally, Elite Traveler can be found aboard private jets in India as one of our over 90 countries where we reach the most elite consumers in the world through our unique BPA audited distribution!

“Our clients enjoy reading the magazine cover to cover. They enjoy the high quality and look forward to the Hotel, Spa and Resort issues which are an extra perk” Jeanette Wuisman — Landmark Aviation, Dallas, TX

5. Private Jet Travel Booms to Scotland…

Therefore, it is interesting to note Edinburgh Airport has enjoyed a near-doubling in private jet usage over the past five years as time pressures and increased security for scheduled flights push more executives to use what was previously seen as an indulgence. The number of private jet movements at BAA’s three Scottish airports increased by 50% to 7,319 between 2001 and 2006, according to the airport operator.

Edinburgh saw the greatest increase with an 84% rise. It is the base for local business leaders such as Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Fred Goodwin as well as visiting tycoons and dignitaries such as Bill Gates and Prince Andrew. Glasgow enjoyed a 35% rise in private jet landings over the period.

Private jet users can circumvent the usual lengthy security queues and fly directly to their chosen destination, a bonus in Scotland where journeys too often include a change at one of London’s busy airports.

But the convenience comes at a price. A typical private operator would charge about £4,500 to fly from Edinburgh to Paris, compared to a British Airways business class fare of £500

.

NetJets, the private jet company owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway group, recently revealed plans to set up a staffed base at Aberdeen airport. The company has licences to fly to 16 other Scottish airports including Islay and Edinburgh.

A NetJets spokesman told a Scottish newspaper that the rise in private jet usage had been prompted by concerns about falling service standards on budget and mainstream airlines, and the inconvenience of tightening security measures: “Every time an important individual gets stuck at a Scottish airport, he’s thinking, ‘maybe I should be spending the extra money flying privately.'”

“Once, the private jet was what you would do if you were the kind of person who wasted money. Now because of the time savings involved it is the fiscal conservative who is using private jets.”

“Fascinating, they always want to buy something they see. The products offered and destinations are just what my customers are looking for!” Mary Bullock Bagosy — Galaxy Aviation, Orlando, FL

6. Traffic Jam at Naples Airport — Would the CEO of GE Please Move Your Jet?

As noted above, 98 percent of Fortune 100 companies have fleets of private jets, so when The Business Council, an exclusive group of multi-national CEOs, selected The Ritz-Carlton Naples for a meeting of its members at one point there were over 40 private jets in the landing pattern for Naples airport!

In all, over 100 jets arrived in the space of several hours to the by-invitation-only event, including the heads of Dell, General Motors, CVS, Xerox, American Express, Cargill, and Johnson & Johnson.

Members are tightlipped about why they chose Naples for their winter meeting and what they’ll talk about while they’re here. They meet three times a year to discuss issues of concern to them and for a free exchange of ideas.

The airport called in more than a dozen volunteers and used virtually every employee from every department to help make sure the arrivals went smoothly. Maintenance workers and IT technicians became airport runners. Even Ted Soliday, the executive director of the Naples Airport Authority, which runs the airport, spent his afternoon on the airfield. He described himself as a “runner,” “gopher,” and “wing man” in an interview with a local newspaper.

Of course private jet travelers are generally a very discreet bunch. The corporate jets, many of them G5s, didn’t have logos. So identifying the CEOs and their companies was tough. Even the airport crews weren’t sure who they were helping. One employee spotted a DuPont logo inside a plane, after the door opened to let passengers out.

By 5 p.m., the Airport Authority had shut down the taxiways and closed the ramps, and they became parking lots for corporate planes. Of course, while the meeting ended Friday, dispatchers said many executives were expected to stay through the long holiday weekend adding to the Naples economy.

Naples and all of Florida are Elite Traveler territory with over 12,000 copies distributed to private jets via our BPA audited circulation.

“Our facility exclusively distributes only Elite Traveler because it’s the best high-end publication. We have lots of clients who request it.” Jim Allbaugh — Career Lab, Parker, CO

7. Stoned! A $40,000 Shopping Spree in Norway…

She may have been in Norway to discuss the plight of the poor at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies, but Sharon Stone dropped over $40,000 in 20 minutes shopping in the Nordic state. After ringing the cash register for two mink coats costing just under $20,000 each, she picked up a $1,500 raccoon fur hat and then a simply $2,000 necklace. That’s what we call elite shopping!

 

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