- Flying billionaires are different than they were a decade ago, global private aviation company VistaJet recently told Business Insider.
- Their preferences have evolved with the rise in discreet wealth, and it’s influenced private jet travel.
- Billionaires no longer show off their wealth and they prioritize health. When it comes to business, they’re reviving face-to-face meetings and looking to invest in ideas that make a positive difference.
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Private jet travel and flying billionaires have taken a new direction in the past decade.
That’s according to Matteo Atti, the executive vice president of marketing and innovation for global private aviation company VistaJet. He recently spoke with Business Insider about the evolution of flying private and where it’s heading.
The trends and preferences he’s seen among billionaire clients all tie back to one to one thing: a rise in discreet wealth.
Here’s what Atti had to say.
1. Billionaires are done with flaunting their wealth
„Money used to mean that you have to show it off,“ Atti said. „The excess has completely gone; billionaires are more demure.“
Consider the fact that quiet, timeless designs are taking over interiors of private jets, Atti said: „In the 1990s, we would’ve seen a million designers. It becomes dated easily.“
Flashiness is becoming less ubiquitous among the ultra-high-net-worth crowd, as showing off wealth is no longer the way to signify having said wealth. Inconspicuous consumption is replacing conspicuous consumption – the rich are forgoing material goods to invest in immaterial means as a way to signify status.
2. They’re prioritizing health and wellness
One way the rich are investing their money discreetly is in health and wellness, which Vogue said in 2015 had become a luxury status symbol. A variety of luxury wellness offerings in the hospitality and travel industries have cropped up to meet this demand, Business Insider’s Katie Warren reported, and luxury wellness treatments and services have also been on the rise.
This trend has even manifested in private jet travel. Health and wellness is a huge priority for flying billionaires, according to Atti. Most meals ordered on board today are basic and healthy as opposed to extravagant, he said, and guests have also reduced their alcohol consumption.
3. The ultra-rich are getting personal again
„The element of the one-to-one conversation is coming back,“ Atti said, adding that billionaires are going back to meeting in person. „Face-to-face communication is picking up again,“ he said, even if it requires a private jet to get to said meeting.
According to Atti, this is partly because they want to communicate less over tech for security reasons. It’s another form of discreet wealth – in an age of constant connection, some of the ultra-rich are sparing no expense in the search for more privacy and security. While meeting in person may seem less clandestine, online exchanges or calls are more vulnerable to those seeking information.
Chartering a jet also allows the rich to fly anonymously, protecting their privacy, Business Insider previously reported.
4. They want to invest in talent that makes a difference
When it comes to investing in new talent, billionaires want to be seen as a patron of good ideas, according to Atti.
„They’ve always been about legacy,“ Atti said, referring to legacy names like Rockefeller and Gates. But now, legacy „only matters if the individuals are doing something positive. Are they worth anything without their name?“
Ultra-high-net-worth individuals want to see their equity has shifted as they want to be part of more things that truly make a difference, he said. Choosing a purposeful and impactful investment over an investment in a status name is yet another way the rich are conveying their wealth more subtly.
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