Despite the Lockdown, the Private Aviation Market Is Taking Off

Despite the Lockdown, the Private Aviation Market Is Taking Off


In this dramatic crisis that has plagued airlines at all latitudes, there is a resilient segment that has been better able to withstand the elements and, indeed, find profitable margins in new market niches. We are talking about private aviation, and in particular business customers, where the aviation market is responding to the new needs of security, capillarity and privacy related to personal mobility in times of Covid. "The industry has never completely shut down, not even during the spring lockdown, when the terminals handled medical flights or so-called rescue flights bringing back citizens stranded in foreign countries by the pandemic", notes Chiara Dorigotti, CEO of SEA Prime, the company of the SEA Group that manages the Milanese private jet airports of Linate Prime and Malpensa Prime. "Since August, however, the sector has recovered, gaining market share in the general aviation business segment and winning new customers in the leisure segment where there is a strong growth of First-Time Flyers".

The terminals of Milano Prime, in short, which combined constitute the first Italian destination and the fifth European one, were the first witnessing the presence of a new clientele who got on private jets for the first time, attracted by the easy availability of flights, a more ramified network of destinations, and above all greater guarantees in terms of prevention of Covid risk, a factor that has proved decisive also for business passengers. "We have few tools to create a trend; we are a gateway to the city and business picks up when there are major events. Our resilience is therefore expressed by responding to emergent needs with new services", comments Dorigotti, who has a degree in Business Administration from Bocconi and job experience in various sectors, ranging from investment banking to telecommunications. In addition to strict sanitation procedures and the management of flows inside terminals, fast track services for sports clubs on charter flights now exist, and a business center was made available to those who intend to organize meetings directly at the terminal. They even provide a testing station.

"We give our clients the possibility, thanks to a partnership with the San Donato Group, to be able to book a Covid test to be carried out either at our facilities, at one of the Group's hospitals with priority access, or even at home or at the hotel", explains the manager. "The result is guaranteed to be available within 24 hours and the service is also open to operators, crews or ground staff, so that the entire supply chain can be made Covid-free. We are also trying to find, together with other international players, a shared standard on this to streamline bureaucracy and make travel by private aviation even more agile ".
Milanese, two children, she graduated in business administration from Bocconi cum laude ("I was handed the award by Giovanni Spadolini for being among the best graduates in my class"). Then she began her career in London in 1993 at an investment bank (now part of BNP Paribas), where she dealt with stock market listings and equity and bond issues. In 2000, she returned to Italy to work at Fininvest, to follow the development of the group's operations and its subsidiaries. After a short stint at Tiscali as Investor Relations and Corporate Finance Manager, in 2011 she joined the SEA Group and made it to the top of SEA Prime in 2014, where she has overseen integration into SEA and the process of rebranding and infrastructural development both at Linate Prime and Malpensa Prime.

by Emanuele Elli
Translated by Alex Foti

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