Dare to Quantify New Horizons for European Business Air Travel
A new study conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton, in collaboration with the Institute for Air Transport and Airport Research of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), uses a novel approach to estimate the time savings of business aviation (BA) in Europe compared to commercial flying. Because business aviation flying (the use of private jet aircraft for business purposes) is on-demand and point-to-point, it offers substantial time savings over commercial flying, which is subject to delays because of congestion at major airports, doesn’t let a traveler leave on demand, and often requires connections and layovers to reach a destination. Those time savings have a direct economic impact which can make the use of business aviation a prudent business decision for many passengers.
Our analysis is the first to quantify those time savings, instead of only qualitatively discussing them.
So how did we do it?
We worked with a data set of all 800,000 BA flights in Europe in 2014. We then used Rome2Rio, a multimodal transportation search engine that supplies travel times for a given origin and destination, to build matching commercial itineraries. For example, in the case of a trip from London to Paris, Rome2Rio provides several routes and associated travel times. These might be taking a taxi to Heathrow airport, flying to Charles de Gaulle airport, and then taking the train into the center of Paris; or maybe riding the London Underground to a rail station and connecting to a Eurostar train directly to an inner arrondissement in Paris. For each flight, we compared these travel times against the actual BA trip: a nonstop flight from London City to Paris Orly with assumed (fast) taxi rides to and from city centers. We selected the best (fastest) commercial option to stand against the BA flight, taking travel time difference as the savings. Using Rome2Rio’s API, we were able to retrieve itineraries between all cities in our data set of BA flights and wrote scripts to parse the data, match commercial and BA itineraries, and compute travel times.
What does this mean for business travelers?
We found that the average time savings per trip was 127 minutes, while 20% of BA trips saved over 5 hours. These are considerable savings: if a technician makes 3 flights to visit 2 factory sites in one day, she’s saving 6 hours over commercial flying. Without BA, she’d be unlikely to even make it to the second site, and probably wouldn’t be able to return home that evening, incurring a business lodging cost to her employer and a personal cost to her from being away from home. For BA flights between Europe and the United States, we found the average time savings to be even greater: 214 minutes per flight. The time savings analysis was accompanied by a detailed assessment of BA’s employment impacts, where we found BA is responsible for 371,000 jobs across Europe.
For more information or if you have any questions, read the full report here or contact Dr. Christoph Wollersheim (Wollersheim_Christoph@bah.com) or Dr. Sven Maertens (email@example.com)