Social media is having a profound effect on the UK travel industry, according to one start-up which has launched a new, bespoke private charter service to answer a growing desire for private travel, which it puts down to the ‘Instagram Effect’.
Wings, which can charter from any Scottish airport, including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Prestwick and Aberdeen, has been launched by entrepreneur Douglas Hopkins, who has been a pilot for more than 30 years, 13 of which were spent working on private jets. He says the service is tailored to suit all lifestyles and budgets – making private jet and helicopter travel no longer exclusive to the rich and famous.
Hopkins says there are a number of reasons private charters are increasing in popularity, including the Instagram Effect.
Individualocracy – the desire for personalised, tailored products and services. Consumers are tired of the low-cost, ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to travel and expect an individual experience, which they are happy to pay more for. This is supported by findings in the ABTA Travel Trends 2015 Report that more than 20% of British consumers are actually planning to spend more on their holidays in 2016.
Even wealthy clients are mindful of the cost of private charter and still want to feel like they are getting best value
The rise in destination celebrations has increased significantly, especially with the Baby Boom generation, who are happy to pay a little more for a trip of lifetime to celebrate a particular milestone with family and friends
The ever increasing popularity of city breaks
The Instagram Effect – as many consumers try to emulate the lifestyle of their favourite celebrities or influencers on social media. Private charter is no longer for the elite and has become much more accessible over the years
Time poor consumers are happy to pay a premium for private travel as it allows them to avoid check-in delays, save time by planning their own schedule and keep journey times to a minimum by using the airport nearest to their home
CEO Hopkins said: “I am delighted to finally launch Wings, which is set to reinvigorate boutique-style travel. The travel industry is changing and customers rightfully expect personable service, attention to detail and the utmost in luxury jet charter, which Wings offers, supported by extensive knowledge from over thirty years’ experience in the business.”
To charter a private jet for six people from Edinburgh to Luton costs around £4,750 but, according to Wings, it could be much cheaper on specific dates and an empty leg single trip could cost as little as £500 per person.