Even the sky is not the limit: the people who are not bothered by the congestion at Ben Gurion Airport
Exploding from the queues at the airport?
There are people in Israel who do not even know what you are talking about: Meet the circle of private aircraft owners and Gal Peleg, the man behind JETSETTER, the company that sews aircraft deals for tens of millions of dollars
Tuesday, 05 July 2022, 10:11 Updated: 10:35
Share on Facebook
Share on WhatsApp
Share on Twitter
Share on Email
Share on general
Private plane model K-9 (Photo: Walla !, Keenan Cohen system)
The real estate and car sections arouse interest when news is published about those who bought a car for NIS 2 or 3 million or a house for NIS 50, 60 or even NIS 100 million, but quietly away from the headlines it turns out that a turbulent market for private jets is growing in Israel. Those whose price is tens of millions - no, not in shekels - in dollars
. In 7th place in the world, very close to Austria in 6th place. This ranking is led (not surprisingly) by the United States.
And in Israel, where dozens of private planes are active, there is a ratio between the number of planes and one of the highest populations in the world, "says
Gal Peleg, CEO of JETSETTER
, Which specializes in the purchase, sale and management of private jets against the background of the seventh private aviation conference held in Israel.
More on Walla!
From Field to Spoon - What is important to know about baby food?
In collaboration with Gerber
Gal Peleg CEO of JETSETTER (Photo: Liat Mendel)
The corona is over, Ukraine has begun
Peleg, a former fighter pilot with a rich resume on the "sports car" of the Kfir and C7 fighter jets, admits that in the past, as a commercial company pilot, he used to look "from above" at private pilots, but only when he entered the private aviation world in 2007 did he realize how complex The world in which the pilot is no longer a screw in the machine, the one that gets the flight path and times, but the one that operates this whole operation from end to end.
And this story of the rise in demand for private jets?
It is not only here in the neighborhood, the market all over the world as a pharmacy, with a huge tide in demand that has long bypassed the situation that prevailed until the economic crisis of 2008, a period that was until recently called the "golden age" of private jets.
If then about 14.5 percent of all private planes in the world (about 22,000) were for sale at any given moment, today the figure is only 3 percent - that is - a huge demand that brings even less sought-after models to be sold at prices that are 2 and 3 times higher than before. two years.
Where does that increase in demand come from?
It turns out that it was the Corona that raised the bar of these private jets and brought not only global caliber businessmen to find a solution in them, but also large commercial companies that recognize the solutions that these jets provide for business uses, and own a plane used by senior management.
These aircraft allow them maximum flexibility in setting flight times and destinations, eliminating the dependence on commercial aviation which is further limited in the Corona period and also on the awkwardness that accompanies regular flights during this period, especially in the areas of boarding and disembarking processes.
And even when the corona calms down and the waves of variants are replaced by a passenger tsunami that knocks on the doors of the terminal - even there the rich find private jets as a refuge from the nightmare called Ben Gurion Airport during the holidays, holidays and everything in between.
"Nowadays, there is a stronger incentive for anyone who can fly privately," explains Peleg, which connects to another phenomenon experienced by the aviation world - more and more companies are shrinking luxury classes and replacing economy classes - the people who inhabited those first classes and business classes and flew there for work. , Convert these flights to zoom meetings or business flights on private jets.
In video conferences they are not dependent on the schedule of a commercial airline, will not be late for a meeting due to a missed connection, or will come to a board meeting in jeans and sneakers because their suitcase went to another airport.
What did the war in Ukraine do to this market?"
I ask Gal. Understanding that when oligarchs close to the Russian government can not really fly and their assets "on target" it is time to realize the planes in the hot market.
"It's definitely going to be a story," he explains, one that requires no simple steps to complete such complex deals.
Starting with the need to check the registration of the aircraft and its ownership structure, in order not to find yourself in fact violating sanctions in doing business with those marked on these lists.
And although we are seeing an increase in sales or messages that aircraft owners want to get rid of, whether due to the need for liquid money, or to evade the confiscation of the aircraft or even due to the fact that these aircraft can not be maintained due to stopping aircraft operations and maintenance in Russia.
"Is there a 'reality' due to this situation? You could say yes, the sale itself is done cheaply - but people approach this story very carefully."
Not only the plane, but also the pilots and maintenance - a cost that starts at close to a million dollars a year, in addition to the purchase price (Photo: Liat Mendel)
Rich enough not to want them to know about it
So who's Jetster's customer?
Give me a profile of who buys a plane
, I'm asking for a split.
His first sentence is "people rich enough to afford to own a plane" may sound simple and one that does not answer the question of who buys a plane and not who owns a plane.
But Gal knows what he means.
"You see, the minimum maintenance cost for a small to small-medium aircraft is between half and $ 900,000. A medium-sized plane - $ 1.5 million, a large plane will cost $ 2.2 million and these are just the basic and ongoing costs of the plane."
And how do you actually advise someone in the process of purchasing an airplane?
Well first of all find out if he really needs one - usually for someone whose flight profile does not exceed 400 hours the recommendation is to rent a plane and not buy one.
By the way, if any of you have already thought about the patent of buying a plane and renting it out while not in use - forget it - do not charge a fee for using it.
Only commercial companies are allowed.
But even when there is a justification for the plane to my surprise the story is not at all about clarifying needs.
In the first stage, the most important questions in general concern the question of the registration of the aircraft, under which company, which ownership or which country, that is - under which flag will the aircraft be registered.
These are important for the type of use of the aircraft - however, an Israeli registration is not exactly the recipe for a safe passage everywhere and beyond that there are also very significant tax aspects when writing a check for $ 60, 70, 80 million and up.
Then you can set the budget and funding.
By the way financing, ordinary banks?
They really do not know how to eat such funding, for that go to the heavy guns - Dietcha Bank is one of them - which holds an entire department for these things, a department in which Peleg's word and people in his milieu are worth much more than a capital statement.
And this word is important "a lot of times we get rejected by customers when there is a suspicion that it is a type that can lead to damage to the trust, prestige and name of the company."
Who are these people?
"Mostly people who have not had a plane before" he says and smiles (and if that sounds strange to you - these people always had a plane before, sometimes several at the same time, like Sherry Arison for example), "or those I have not heard of before".
But if you thought that was the end of the story?
Wrong, far from it.
Now begins the journey that Peleg describes as "a 16-slot sudoku", since the characterization of an entirely new aircraft is a procedure without a deliberate hand, may be endless in its adjustment and construction options, understanding how to connect real needs to performance, range, appropriate aircraft size and this Even before we were swept into the realms of customization requests tailored to each client specifically.
And although the head automatically runs to all sorts of fantasies about unfounded demands like Swarovski stone drawer buttons, having Italian in the shower or a conference table that turns into a giant catan board - it turns out the average customer is much less eccentric.
"Yes, we have one who is known for always taking his surfboards with him, and the one who flies everywhere with the bike and there is also one who will always fly with his dogs - but most people are actually quite practical."
Why does Israel refrain from providing logistical support to the private aviation system? (Photo: Walla !, Keenan Cohen)
The whole world is participating in the celebration, Israel is sitting on the sidelines
"The private jet has changed its status from a means of indulgence to a legitimate means of transportation in the world, which allows the economy to continue to move even at full downtime," says Peleg, referring not only to the use of aircraft by businessmen, but also to the enormous envelope of logistical support.
An envelope that, unfortunately and surprisingly, the State of Israel finds it difficult or sometimes actually refuses to support, contrary to the economic logic behind it.
Unfortunately, in doing so it directs maintenance companies to transfer maintenance activities to other countries that benefit from this income, and surprisingly because the State of Israel is a global hub of knowledge and expertise in aviation and suffices to mention the unmanned tool industry, advanced components like F35 fighter wings and many electronic systems Originating in Israel.
The aerospace industry, for example, has been considered a leader in the field of private jets for decades, designed the G280, which is manufactured by Gulfstream and is among the best Super Mid Size aircraft in the world, but even though it, despite the shell, capability and knowledge can not always be handled in Israel.
In the private aviation industry, the Civil Aviation Authority is accused of sweeping preference for commercial companies and imposing difficulties on private operators in almost every aspect.
"We have all the tools and potential to turn Israel into a private aviation hub," says Peleg, and this is the only time in meetings with him that a tone of despair is heard in his voice. "Beit Shemesh engines" which are a name in the field of aircraft but there is no support from the government, there is no promotion of infrastructure that will allow the development or viability of such a field and tens of millions of dollars remain outside the business cycle.
And just to understand the magnitude - an initial inspection before buying a plane is about $ 80,000 (by the way, such an inspection includes prior consent that any defect found will be repaired by the seller).
Next, the cost of a large audit that is conducted once in 5, just the audit itself - stands at $ 1.5 million.
And that is before replacing everything that needs to be replaced.
And despite everything, an optimistic stream - probably part of a worldview that takes shape when you see things from a height of 15, 20 thousand feet and up as a matter of routine.
The rapid growth in the new rich class, the changes that the Corona has implemented in the way businesses do business and leaves the necessary flights as corporations and companies prefer to do in the shortest amount of time, and even the commercial aviation world that just fails to take off. But for a fighter pilot - it's just another challenge to get through with a hand on the stick, a hand on the throttle and an eye on the horizon.
Ben Gurion Airport