- The 2019 World Economic Forum kicked off in Davos, Switzerland, this week.
- The Air Charter Service expects that roughly 1,500 private jets will shuttle attendees to and from the conference this week.
- The WEF challenged the ACS projection and said the organization 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 analyze 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 organization’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 $60 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 $61 million and has a range of nearly 7,800 miles.
There are currently more than 560 G550s in service around the world.