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Elite Traveler – ET Insider – October 10, 2007


ET Insider – October 10, 2007

Elite Traveler Insider –


October 10, 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, 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.


1. Air France Joins the First Class Fight

2. Elite Traveler 2008 Editorial Calendar and Media Kit Now Available

3. Beckham a Teammate, Not a Seatmate for LA Galaxy Players

4. Private Jets Take Over Pittsburgh with a 41% Jump in Passengers

5. Fish where the Fish Are… Tax Return Data Shows the Path

Does Elite Traveler work? Ulysse Nardin sold “at least” two $86,000 Sonnerie en Passant watches from its ad in Elite Traveler’s January/February issue

1. Air France Joins the First Class Fight

Facing more competition from long-haul premium airlines that have been increasingly focused on super high yield first class passengers (the round trip fare New York – Paris in First Class is more than $12,000 for a single seat), Air France Group Chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta recently hosted about 100 journalists from around the world to provide an update on what the airline refers to as “Europe’s leading hub.”

Of particular focus was the experience for premium passengers where the airline achieved 20% growth in its high-yield connecting revenue on an passenger increase of just 6.9% for the year ended in March, according to Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, President and COO of Air France.

With statistics like the above showing that the health of a premium airline is truly a tale of what happens in the front of the plane, Air France recently introduced a series of enhancements particularly targeted to its L’Espace Premiere (First Class fliers).

Aboard its fleet of Boeing 777s, the airline has introduced some of the most stylish First Class seats I’ve seen: four or eight Burgundy and Beige leather covered pods that convert into fully flat beds. The size of the cabin is very intimate and is arranged 1x2x1 so that couples or families traveling together can converse, but a single traveler still has decent privacy. Introduction of the A380s will increase First Class seating capacity by as much as 25% across the fleet it is estimated, although details are still under wraps.

The cornerstone of the French carrier’s play for more traffic in the front, however, is cutting down the hassles of commercial air travel that have been a boom for the private jet business.

Operating out of four terminals at its Charles De Gaulle hub, L’Espace Premier customers now have a single check-in point at Terminal 2E where they are greeted curbside by a personal assistant with bellboy who assists with baggage. They are then walked to a private lounge area in the main check-in hall that is walled off, where they are seated in one of several small living room style areas while their assistant checks on special needs and handles check-in and immigration formalities.

The first real taste of the special service is the walk through the “Magical Door” next to the oft-winding lines at passport control, where there is a complete bypass of any formalities. After that, there is a special line for security and a few steps more to a lounge offering the typical array of lights snacks and beverages one would expect.

Then, regardless of which terminal the passenger’s flight is leaving from, the personal assistant accompanies them by sedan or van to the foot of the aircraft where they are walked onboard and personally introduced to the cabin crew that will serve them.

The service has been in place since April, and one of the managers notes that most of the requests are about changing flights later in an itinerary. The primary feedback is that the customers appreciate having somebody dedicated to them to ensure they never have to face the horrors of airport lines, crowds and strip searches.

With a newfound focus on First Class, Air France officials said what they have done so far is really just the start. Next year with the re-opening of the full Terminal 2E (it was the site of the partial collapse in 2004 that caused the closure of the area where boarding gates are located), plans are in the works for a significantly larger First Class lounge that will enable the airline to offer a wide variety of dining options and other amenities.

A second half of S3 (Satellite 3) will also open next year, enabling the airline to expand its special services. Among the added frills for Premier passengers will be personal assistant service upon arrival and for connecting passengers, as well as the ability to bring members of their traveling party to the lounge (right now it is too small, so the airline tries to make exceptions, as many families and business groups end up split between First and Business or even Economy).

A recent group had three First Class passengers and eight more in Business Class, or as one Air France official noted, “a lot of revenue making it very important to accommodate them and make them happy.”

Of course, the question remains if Air France will join Lufthansa/Swiss and now Austrian Airlines, offering private jet transfer service for its long-haul passengers who are connecting but don’t want to suffer the indignities of the economy-like seating that is marketed as Business Class for regional routes, or perhaps just have onward itineraries that could be more conveniently accommodated on a private jet.

Air France officials were tight lipped on the subject, only saying it is being studied; however, it was pointed out that the airline is aware of the growing popularity of private jets, noting that Le Bourget – just miles away – is Europe’s busiest private jet airport.

With British Airways set to improve its experience for connecting passengers with its brand new Terminal Five at London Heathrow next spring, and Lufthansa continuing its aggressive pursuit of the small but highly lucrative First Class market, one would assume that Spinetta and his team may have a couple more surprises to woo these super big spenders.

Does Elite Traveler work? Two readers of Elite Traveler just made real estate purchases with Ginn Sur Mer for over $15 million!


2. Elite Traveler 2008 Editorial Calendar and Media Kit Now Available

If you would like your product to be presented to the world’s wealthiest luxury consumers, check out the 2008 Elite Traveler Editorial Calendar and Media Kit.

You will be able to see issue by issue various themes we plan to cover, enabling you to best target your pitches to our editorial team.

You will also find the latest media comparisons and information about the booming private jet market, plus reader spending information that is bound to come in handy as you put together your marketing plans.

As always, please let me know if there are any specific questions you have!

Does Elite Traveler work? Felix S. Sabates, Chairman of Trinity Yachts recently bought six Girard-Perregaux watches that he had seen in Elite Traveler.


3. Beckham a Teammate, Not a Seatmate for LA Galaxy Players

The rules in major league soccer in the US state that players are not to travel by private jet so as to not seem different from the fans. That just wouldn’t do for superstar David Beckham. The LA Galaxy got a special dispensation to fly Becks and the squad via private jet because Beckham is so mobbed by fans and there are security concerns. No reports on whether Posh will be traveling with Becks sans the rest of the Galaxy.

Does Elite Traveler work? A reader booked the Presidential Suites at The Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC directly from the pages of Elite Traveler.


4. Private Jets Take Over Pittsburgh with a 41% Jump in Passengers

We often talk about the boom in private jet travel focusing on places such as New York, Los Angeles and London. But private jet travel is growing exponentially everywhere, so courtesy of The Pittsburgh Gazette, we bring you the following report below:

There aren’t many places in Western Pennsylvania that can boast about playing host to Tiger Woods, Ben Roethlisberger, Sidney Crosby, Al Gore and a host of other athletes, politicians and celebrities.

Atlantic Aviation Service’s Business Aviation Center at Pittsburgh International Airport is one of them. And the company is looking to add to its growing customer base. Atlantic Aviation Services, joined by local politicians and Allegheny County Airport Authority officials, opened a new 30,000-square-foot jet hangar and 7,250-square-foot charter terminal and office center at the airport this summer.

The Dallas-based firm believes the $5 million expansion, which doubles its space, will further enhance its ability to serve corporations, sports team charters, private operators and general aviation enthusiasts.

Atlantic Aviation already has lined up three corporate tenants for the new hangar, which can hold anywhere from two to 12 jets, depending on their size. Officials also are hoping the charter terminal will better accommodate the sports teams that use it, including the Steelers, Penguins, local universities and visiting squads. Current corporate clients include FedEx and Bayer.

Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato said the center is a key component of the region’s economic development efforts, offering corporations a place to house their jets and easy access to them.

“In this global economy you need these types of facilities,” he said. “It is key to us remaining competitive.”

The facilities also help the region compete for events like the U.S. Open and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which produce a lot of corporate and private jet traffic. “These are the types of facilities you put in those proposals,” Mr. Onorato said. “This goes a long way in allowing us to be competitive in those proposals.”

The expansion complements a $13 million facility featuring a 20,000-square-foot hangar and a fixed base operations center, which Atlantic Aviation opened in 2001 on land that for many years housed the airport’s main terminal before its midfield terminal opened in 1992.

The facilities have been used by the Steelers and Penguins as well as a number of politicians, including George W. Bush when he was a candidate, Dick Cheney, Mr. Gore and John Kerry.

Even as the doors opened on the new facilities yesterday, Atlantic Aviation and airport authority officials were talking about another possible expansion.

“Let’s just say we’re looking at the possibility,” Atlantic Aviation General Manager John L. Carlen said. “We’re always exploring avenues to increase business.”

Last year, about 50,600 passengers took off and landed from Atlantic Aviation facilities in Pittsburgh, a 41 percent increase over 2005.

The company provides fueling and deicing, maintenance, ground transportation, catering, and hangar and ramp space for corporate and private jets and charters. About 90 percent of its business involves corporations. The other 10 percent involves sports teams and celebrities.

Airport authority Executive Director Kent George does not believe the expansion will affect Allegheny County Airport, which also caters to corporate and general aviation traffic.

“The county airport is very busy. Corporations come in and out of there all the time,” he said.

Does Elite Traveler work? Elite Traveler delivers. Your leads are extremely qualified and we have closed a significant amount of business from your magazine. Jared Cullop – President, VPI Marketing


5. New Magazine Household Income and Readership Data Release

According to the most recent tax data, as of 2005, the average taxpayer making over $500,000 per year earns approximately $1.7 million. This group of taxpayers in 2005, numbering 828,323-around 0.6 percent of those filing tax returns-hauled in around $1.4 trillion in income that year.

To put the above figure in perspective, the $1.4 trillion in income received by the richest 828,323 taxpayers is roughly equal to the combined reported income of the poorest 81 million taxpayers, or 60 percent of the total number of returns in 2005.

Each issue of Elite Traveler is read by over 575,000 readers who earn at least $400,000 per year with an Average Household Income of $5.3 million.


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