Personalised experiences is tipped to be one of the biggest luxury travel trends of 2024. For HNW travellers this often involves private aviation. Here, Elena Enotiades, Head of Partnerships at Fly Victor, reflects on the company’s recent nomination at the 2023 Spear’s Awards for Private Client Innovation of the Year.
Congratulations for being nominated for the Spear’s 2023 Awards. What does it mean to have been nominated?
I’m delighted to see the Alto loyalty programme receiving recognition from Spear’s, especially following its recent upgrade. Now boasting a network of 24 luxury partners and enhanced frequent-flyer point offerings, Alto stands as the sole programme of its kind in private aviation. It is widely embraced by our customers and remains a key Victor USP. The acknowledgement from Spear’s is invaluable in raising awareness of our programme within its audience.
What do you think distinguishes the approach you take to your work?
Alto, which initially launched in 2018 as a frequent-flyer loyalty programme, has significantly evolved under my management. Over the last couple of years, we have introduced a complimentary concierge service and a luxury collective of Alto brand partners.
My work approach is highly flexible and reactive – which it needs to be given our discerning clientele. I’ve spearheaded the relaunch of an entrepreneurial vertical within an established business. Given the varied interests of our customers, beyond flights, there’s an element of trial and error and patience in identifying what products resonate, whether it’s F1 tickets, villa stays, or golf packages.
What makes you most proud of your career and your company?
My current role offers immense variety – no two days are alike, and I rarely operate on ‘auto-pilot’. The dynamic and supportive team, from colleagues to valued partners, makes work both challenging and enjoyable.
Victor provides a platform for creativity, encouraging innovative thinking in areas such as sustainability, team culture, and building an in-house concierge service.
What forces and trends do you think are driving your industry right now, and how do you think it will change in the future?
Interestingly we’re seeing customers increasingly handling their own travel requirements, as opposed to relying on EA’s or PA’s to assist with bookings. Around 80 per cent of our HNW database book their own jet and travel. Customers want to remain price savvy and still ensure they are securing the best deals. This type of autonomous booking demonstrates how dependable Victor’s high standard of customer service is.
The other important shift we are seeing at Victor is the increasing desire for our customers to choose to fly more sustainably. We have offered the option of Sustainable Aviation Fuel for all Victor jet charter bookings worldwide for around 18 months now, due to our partnership with Neste. We are seeing 1 in 5 customers voluntarily replacing around 30 per cent of their fossil fuel with Neste MY SAF™, which equates to an additional £959 on average per booking.
These important voluntary SAF contributions have resulted in an overall CO2 emission reduction of 538 tonnes. We believe that our partnership with Neste proves that a significant cohort of flyers want to take responsibility for their own carbon emissions – and will pay more – if offered a credible and transparent solution.
What do you think draws HNW clients to Victor?
Our commitment to providing the highest level of service to our members, whilst remaining transparent with them throughout the booking process. Our focus on transparency ensures our members know exactly what they are booking and at what price, whether that be a jet booking or a yacht charter.
Our HNW clients also benefit from a complimentary concierge service, as part of our Alto loyalty programme. As mentioned, we know that most of our HNW clients like to be in control by booking their jet themselves, so having this booking functionality in one concise marketplace, coupled with providing the only frequent flyer-points programme in private aviation, certainly has some appeal.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Forewarned is forearmed.
What would you personally hope to achieve in the future – for yourself or your company?
I’d like to develop our Alto loyalty programme further by continuing to add carefully curated brand partners to the network and hiring more reservations agents outside of the UK to serve the concierge arm of the programme in real time internationally. I would like to see Alto evolve in to the ‘go-to’ concierge service for HNWIs, regardless of whether they are flying with Victor yet or not.