Companies in this industry provide on-demand, nonscheduled domestic and international transportation of passengers and cargo. Major companies include US-based Air Transport Services, Atlas Air Worldwide, and NetJets, along with Switzerland's Jet Aviation Management (part of US-based General Dynamics), and the UK's Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways.
The US and Europe remain the largest markets for air charter services, but industry growth is expected to come from emerging markets in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Demand for private planes is increasing in countries such as China and India as their ranks of high net-worth individuals and large corporations grow.
The US air charter services industry includes about 2,400 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $21 billion.
Demand is driven by corporate profits and the needs of the US military. The profitability of individual companies depends on effective marketing and customer service. Large companies have advantages in fleet size and name recognition. Smaller companies can compete effectively by serving small local markets and offering lower prices. The industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies account for about 70% of industry revenue.
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Major services include domestic passenger travel (about half of industry revenue in the US market) and international passenger travel (20%). Other services include domestic and international freight transport and specialty flying services such as air ambulance and firefighting support.
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