It’s no secret the pandemic sent shockwaves through the travel industry.
Since March, all kinds of travel – whether for business or pleasure – has ground to a halt.
Even as some countries manage to get the pandemic under control and ease lockdown measures, many people still don’t feel comfortable traveling – least of all on crowded commercial flights.
That’s why business and consumer travelers are turning to private charter jets in droves. Private flights and partnerships might just be what the travel industry needs to pull through and continue growing post-pandemic.
Demand for Private Charter Jets Has Skyrocketed
Requests to book private flights surged after the COVID-19 pandemic struck almost immediately.
In March, private charters were called to help with repatriations, humanitarian aid transport, and medical flights.
Conde Nast reported that certain private charter companies saw a 20% request increase in March compared to the same month for 2019. Qatar Executive, the country’s flagship airline private wing, experienced a 26% jump.
Only 3% of folks who fly private said they planned to cancel upcoming travel plans.
Still, private travel wasn’t immune to global quarantine measures and travel restrictions during April and May. Come June, however, private charter requests exploded. Many private jet charter companies saw up to a 125% acquisition increase for June 2020 compared to the prior year.
Most of the requests come from newbies too. Many private charter companies are noticing that over 50% of secured bookings are coming from first-time flyers.
To put that into perspective, only 10% of travelers who had the financial means to fly private were taking advantage of the opportunity before COVID-19.
In a global economy, the demand for travel isn’t going to disappear. However, many people still don’t feel comfortable traveling commercial either – especially if they’re in an at-risk group or have vulnerable family members.
Private Charter Jets are Safer Than Commercial Flights
Many travelers – both consumer and business alike – are turning to private flights for safety reasons.
- Private terminals: Private flights take off and land at special terminals away from the most crowded parts of the airport. In many cases, you can drive straight up to the jet and walk right on.
- Quick customs: You don’t have to deal with boarding passes, checking luggage, or long queues for customs. Once you land, an agent will either come onto the plane to check your visa or you’ll meet with them one-on-one in a private room away from the crowds.
- Social distancing: You’re in control of who gets on the plane. It’s just you, the pilot, and minimal cabin crew. The enclosed space and recycled air on commercial flights pose a huge risk for spreading illness.
- Fewer touchpoints: Flying private allows you to skip the congested and potentially contaminated TSA checkpoints. You’ll never have to touch one of those gray bins or take your shoes off.
- No layovers: Most commercial flights involve layovers where you encounter passengers from all over the world and increase your risk of exposure. Newer private jets can fly long-haul distances without stopping to fuel up. Even if your private flight must stop halfway, you can stay away from the crowds in your private terminal.
To top it off, private flights can take off and land from lesser-known and smaller airports outside metropolitan areas – keeping your exposure risk low.
Which Countries Have Restrictions on Private Flights?
Despite the growing demand, private flying in the middle of a pandemic isn’t all fun and games.
In April, ten passengers from the United Kingdom traveling on a private flight were refused entry for flouting France’s lockdown rules after touching down in Marseilles.
It’s become a common scene for folks to use private charter jets as a loophole to avoid closed borders and the shutdown of commercial travel.
You should always educate yourself on the local regulations before booking your private flight. Lockdown measures are dynamic right now and can change overnight. Stay in touch with your pilot about your concerns and potential quarantine rules.
At the time of writing, the following countries have restrictions on private flights in place:
- United States
Keep in mind these restrictions vary widely by country so check the most up-to-date status before booking your trip.
What Does the Future Hold?
Even when the pandemic subsides, people won’t forget the comfortable and easy experience of private charter jets.
Everyone has the same gripes with commercial flights: They’re long and drawn out, expensive, and a huge pain. Plus, pandemic or not, commercial flights are not the most sanitary environment.
It’s hard to see a world where the demand for private flights drops to pre-pandemic levels.
Jettly is committed to the safety of our pilots, crew, and passengers. Search our available flights and request your free quote now!