Spanish online magazine “Directivos&Gerentes” published a report on Drivania and Private Aviation. Below you can read some extracts from their article. For the original Spanish version follow this link.
When senior executives need to travel, it is important to take care of even the smallest details. Often, ground transportation services are the most feared by secretaries, personal assistants, and travel agents. Although it may seem minor compared to other expenses such as airline tickets or hotels, a mistake in a ground transfer can ruin the entire trip.
Drivania provides the peace of mind of knowing that the transportation of corporate travelers is in good hands. It’s not just a chauffeur-driven executive car, but an entire end-to-end transportation service that anticipates any problems that may arise.
Today we speak with Frank Davidson, SVP of Sales at Drivania and Private Aviation specialist.
What market segments does Drivania cover and how do they differ from each other?
Drivania offers chauffeur-driven executive car service in more than 600 destinations and 1,000 airports worldwide. Its target customers are top executives, CEOs, or luxury travelers.
Our focus is on three market segments: corporate travel, holiday or luxury travel, and the one I personally manage, which is private aviation clients. These are segments that, despite their differences, sometimes overlap with each other. It is common for a corporate travel client who has been satisfied with Drivania’s services to also book holiday transfers with us, or for a top-rank business traveler to use our private aviation services for trips.
What are the peculiarities of private aviation compared to other market segments?
The private aviation client is extremely demanding, even more so than the corporate or luxury traveler, and the smallest mistake is very costly. For this very reason there are many private aviation brokers who prefer not to offer ground transportation services to their clients, for fear that something will go wrong and that will cause them to lose important accounts. Brokers who book Drivania do so because they have the absolute guarantee that everything will go well, and they can offer this to their clients as an added value to the private flight.
Everything that is usually required in ground transportation services (professionalism, punctuality, discretion, efficiency, etc.) is demanded at the highest levels in the private aviation segment. Sometimes clients ask for chauffeurs that have evasive driving training to prevent incidents, or for armored vehicles in risky destinations.
You mentioned that discretion is important. Do you know your passengers by their name?
Sometimes. Obviously, in those cases when there’s a name, the company follows strict confidentiality policies so that it’s not revealed. It’s not only important businessmen and women traveling with Drivania, but also famous people: politicians, actors, athletes…. Many of the passengers have security teams in charge of their protection that run background checks of the chauffeur and do double-checks of the vehicle before the passenger gets on board. Drivania provides chauffeur and vehicle details well in advance.
Some high-profile clients travel using pseudonyms, so sometimes there are bookings under the name “Mickey Mouse” or “Frodo Baggins”. Most often it’s just the jet tail number and the FBO (or fixed-base operator that manages the flight) details, though. Bookings may also be made under the name of the security chief, PA, or any other person traveling with the main passenger.
Do you deal directly with private aircraft owners?
As with corporate or luxury travel, there are very few times that one deals directly with the passengers or owners of the aircraft. Consider that these are usually Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWI), people whose wealth is estimated at 30 million dollars or more in liquid assets, and they have specialized staff in their day-to-day management team.
Drivania works directly with the corporate flight departments of large companies that own private jets and need to manage the travel of their top executives. This would be a very typical case where business travel and private aviation segments overlap, and where transportation is required not only for the owners and corporate travelers, but also for the flight crew, something Drivania also specializes in.
Drivania also deals with private aviation operators, which are companies that own aircraft, but can also manage the jets of UHNWI when their owners are not flying.
Finally, many bookings come through brokers. As mentioned before, brokers often do not feel comfortable offering ground transportation due to the high degree of unpredictability involved, and only do so when they have the guarantee that there will be no mistakes.
How big is the private aviation market?
According to recent data from specialized media, there are over 22,000 private jets worldwide, which make more than 3 million flights a year. Of these, around 700,000 flights are made in Europe, which accounts for 25% of the market share, compared to the dominant North American market, which accounts for 70% of the world’s private aviation. The potential is therefore enormous.
It is also a market in which a lot of work is done by referral. Companies know each other and know who offers a good service and who still has room for improvement.
What is the main value that defines Drivania?
Trust. Trust that everything will go smoothly; trust that there will be no drawbacks; trust that Drivania will react immediately to any unforeseen event; trust that the chauffeurs will be professional and discreet.
Drivania offers the VIP client many assurances: the car will be new, the chauffeur will be vetted according to strict quality standards, and the service will be of quality in every way.
Trust is what sets Drivania apart from competitors.
Originally published in “Directivos&Gerentes” on March 21st, 2023.
For the original Spanish version follow this link.