- The 2019 World Economic Forum kicked off in Davos, Switzerland, this week.
- The Air Charter Service expects that roughly 1,500private jets will shuttle attendees to and from the conference this week.
- The WEF challenged the ACS projection and said the organisation expects private jet traffic to fall 14%.
- The most popular aircraft are large private jets from Gulfstream and Bombardier.
The 2019 World Economic Forum kicked off in Davos, Switzerland, this week. As the world’s business and political leaders descend upon the Alpine town, their armada of private jets fills the tarmac at nearby airports.
The Air Charter Service expects that roughly 1,500 private jets will shuttle attendees to and from the conference this week. According to the private-jet leasing company, that’s up from the 1,300 private jets that serviced the WEF in 2018.
“The global interest in the event led us to analyse the private jet activity over the past five years of WEF,” Andy Christie, private jet director at ACS, said in a statement. “Davos doesn’t have its own airfield and, whilst we have several clients who fly into the town by helicopter, the four main airfields that private jet users attending the forum use are Zürich, Dübendorf, St. Gallen-Altenrhein, and St. Moritz.”
Oliver Cann, the head of strategic communications at the WEF,pushed back against the ACS’s projections. Instead, Cann argued in a post on the organisation’s website that it expects private jet traffic to drop by 14% from 2018.
While the ACS’s figures used data from four airports, the WEF projection is based only on traffic data from Zürich and St. Gallen-Altenrhein airports.
According to Christie, the most popular aircraft are Gulfstream GV and Bombardier Global Express planes. These are large, ultra-long-range private jets that typically cost more than $US60 million per aircraft. With the ability to make discreet transoceanic flights at high speed, these aircraft are common among business leaders:
The Gulfstream GV debuted back in 1998. In 2004, Gulfstream introduced an updated version of the plane called the G550.
The G550 costs more than $US61 million and has a range of nearly 7,800 miles.
There are currently more than 560 G550s in service around the world.
The Gulfstream can hold up to 19 passengers with sleeping room for up to eight.
The G550 was later supplanted as Gulfstream’s flagship model by the G650 in 2008 and the G650ER in 2014.
There’s room for 19 passengers or sleeping room for 10. The G650ER boasts a range of more than 8,600 miles.
There are more than 300 G650/G650ERs in operation, at a cost of $US70 million apiece.
The Bombardier Global Express debuted back in 1998. In the years since, it has spawned a family of large private jets.
Those include the Bombardier Global 5000, …
… Global 6000, and …
… the newly introduced Global 7500, which entered service in December.
Before the arrival of the Global 7500, the $US62 million Global 6000 served as the Canadian jet maker’s flagship product.
The Global 6000 has a range of more than 6,900 miles.
It boasts room for 17 passengers.
The Global 7500, originally known as the Global 7000, is Bombardier’s most expensive offering, at $US72.8 million.
The Global 7500 has a range of just under 8,900 miles.
Its interior boasts room for up to 19 passengers.
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