An opinion piece by Davide Paladino, Vice President Sales
Information is beautiful, information is powerful. As the late Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, once said: “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating.”
In the online world of today, we are faced with a colossal volume of data to process daily and the decision of which nuggets of information to trust and which to discard. Access to transparent and reliable sources of information is more important than ever to enable our decision making.
Transparency is the most important single attribute of a culture of safety. Whenever we dedicate ourselves to something that we are unfamiliar with, we automatically spark our curiosity (and sometimes brings out our ignorance) to learn more about it. We tend to invest ourselves in trying to connect the dots that create the relationship between context and facts in order to make the information meaningful.
The concept of ‘transparency’ has penetrated the business world during the past few years, becoming a buzzword adopted by many brands. I wonder how many truly deliver transparency beyond incorporating it in their marketing slogan. Without clear action, it doesn’t hold much water, especially if it doesn’t translate into the way companies do business with their consumers.
According to Edelman’s 2019 Brand Trust research, 81% of respondents indicated that they ‘must be able to trust the brand to do what is right’ to support the purchase of their product or services. So, what does this mean in the context of private aviation? How does Victor use transparency to offer a real solution and meet our customers’ expectations? And how does our transparent business approach create added value for our customers in today’s environment?
I started my career in private aviation a decade ago. Despite bringing little knowledge of the industry, I soon realised that it’s a highly fragmented market. In fact, there are more than 20,000 jets in operation worldwide divided between a few hundred carriers. And so, the on-demand jet charter market offers almost limitless aircraft choice to fulfil any charter requirement, which can create information overload if presented in abundant quantity. Without the tools to make an informed decision, it can be a drain on the customers time to determine which aircraft is right for them.
When I joined Victor in 2012, I found myself immersed in a start-up destined to disrupt this highly fragmented market with its wealth of innovative ideas, particularly in relation to making jet charter easier to navigate. Our transparent booking process puts the consumer in control. It’s a simple, and perhaps obvious, idea but it wasn’t being done in the industry.
We define transparency as the free, uninhibited flow of information that is open to the scrutiny of others. It means open and honest communication which creates a safe environment for both the company and the consumer and builds trust between both parties. The consumer can’t understand something you hide from them and we believe they should have full and open access to all the available information relevant to their booking or quote. This is an important pillar of our business practice, and we avoid using any confusing language that may hide information from them.
At Victor, transparency means disclosing who the aircraft operator is and the aircraft tail number to our customers before they book so they know exactly what to expect when they arrive at the private terminal. We continually gather feedback from our customers flight experience so that when we provide quotes, we can highlight operators and aircraft that have been highly rated and recommended. We also share the operator safety ratings to demonstrate their adherence to internationally recognised standards. This carefully considered approach to sharing quotes offers the tools to empower our customers to make informed and efficient buying decisions.
Alongside these tools, each account manager, like myself, is on hand to guide, advise and take the stress out of the process. As a team of ‘can-do’ individuals, we pride ourselves on continuing to improve the exceptional service Victor has become renowned for.
But there can’t be enough done to take transparency a step further. We – and most certainly others in our industry – can learn from our mistakes only when we are truly honest about them. One example is the topic of climate change. The ticking time bomb has dominated the news for a long time and it is no secret that the aviation industry has, for too long, ignored the elephant in the room. No matter how neglected these challenges are within the industry, at Victor our environmental impact and innovations have a seat at the board table. We recognise that by taking bold actions, there is much to gain. Time is of the essence and there is very little to lose. There’s no simple answer to how we decarbonise private aviation (other than by stopping flying altogether), but we do know offsetting is part of the mitigation. That’s why every Victor flight is 200% offset at no cost to the customer, contributing to our carefully chosen carbon reduction projects. The transparent communication of a pressing issue triggered greater awareness amongst our customers, sparking some of them to top up their contribution to 400% carbon offset.
If you’re new to jet charter and would like to learn more, read Victor’s Guide to Jet Charter or speak to an aviation expert today on +44 (0)20 7384 8550 or +1 877 275 9336.
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