'Poorer' millionaires will be behind growth in private jet travel as traditional markets get bogged down by regulation and economic headwinds, according to the boss of one of the world's leading aviation charter companies.
Despite the worldwide growing number of "ultra-high net worth individuals" (UHNWIs) - defined as those with a fortune in excess of $30m (NZ$41.2m) - it will be the lower end of the market that will drive demand, said Mark Briffa, chief executive of Air Partner.
He forecasts "cash-rich, time-poor" people looking to swap asset purchases such as "flash watches and fast cars" that are a traditional symbol of wealth for "experiential" spending on luxury travel as "people are willing to pay for a superior experience".
Briffa said that while the typical owner of a private jet remains a 60-year-old man, there is a "new breed of charter customers far younger than the typical jet owner, just as likely to be male or female, who are after a personalised service, something exclusive and unique".
These are the people who are likely to give up the first-class cabin on a traditional airline and take a private jet instead, said the boss of the FTSE-listed business, who predicts half of the company's future customers chartering private jets will not have done so before.
While he expects this sector to take off, bankers on "roadshows" - a traditional source of business for private jet operators as they tout deals on whistle-stop tours of continents - will continue to suffer as flotations are pushed back or even abandoned in choppy equity markets.
Regulation in China - including a crackdown on conspicuous consumption - also means this region is expected to see little growth, despite the nation's expanding economy which means the country now has the second most billionaires, and is rapidly catching up on the US, which leads the table for UHNWIs.
The private jet industry is increasingly having to look to new markets as its traditional customer base dries up.
Data from GlobeAir, an air taxi operator, said that in the four years from 2012 and 2016, 97 business aircraft were delivered in the UK, a drop of 29pc on the preceding four years. Across Europe the number was 788, a drop of 30pc.