Business aviation industry experts remain optimistic that private flights will increase this year compared to 2019, citing business, relocation and repatriation flights as main factors that will drive growth throughout the year.
With the challenges presented by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), private jet travel has become more favorable as it offers increased safety and security by minimizing the exposure of passengers to crowds and the virus in contrast with commercial flights.
In addition, even with stricter travel policies around the world, private flights offer more flexibility and have fewer restrictions, allowing critical business, government and evacuation flights to continue operations.
Private Jet Inquiries & Bookings Increase Amid Outbreak
Private flight inquiries for departures from China increased by more than 150% at the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to Avinode, an online marketplace for private air charter. Italy followed with flight requests doubling compared with the same period in 2019.
Meanwhile, in the United States, charter companies saw up to 10 % increase in demand for private flights for both domestic and international travel. Before the US ban on European travel commenced, data firm WingX observed an over 40% increase on business aviation flights from London compared to the same day in 2019.
Summer Vacations to Boost Private Aviation
According to a market study by Private Jet Card Comparisons, nearly 50% of private fliers with upcoming summer vacations are still keen on traveling, with plans subject to change; 29% have yet to reconsider their summer plans; and 20% intend to have a summer holiday one way or another, even if their travel plans vary.
Private Aviation Will Still Be the Preferred Way of Traveling in Coming Months
In the next three to six months, 46% of private jet travelers plan to use business aviation to relocate family members, while 45% are planning to visit a second home, and another 35 % will still use their private jet access for important business trips.
Around 77% of private fliers have said avoiding exposure to coronavirus will continue to be a big factor in their decision to fly privately in the near future. Although some 39% have canceled their trips, a good 36% have added private flights primarily because of COVID-19.
Although most will use private aviation for business or relocation purposes, some 19% plan to use private flights to go to a hotel or resort, and 13% to fly into luxury rental villas and yachts.
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