The popularity, and availability, of private jets has steadily risen over the past years. More people have realised the benefits of faster, more comfortable, and more flexible travel.
Aviation slowed across all sectors during the pandemic. While commercial aviation has yet to return to its previous levels, private jet charter is surging ahead. This growth looks set to continue.
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Increasing Use of Private Jets
As we are emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, the use of private jets is increasing. Some recently released data from aviation market research company WingX shows how usage has picked up. Activity for the first half of 2021 has increased 42% globally since 2020 and significantly, it is up 10% from mid-2019 levels.
Different regions present a slightly different picture. Growth is strong in the US, up 50% since 2020 and 4% since 2019. Canada, Mexico, and most of Europe are still lagging 2019 volumes but are increasing. Other regions are showing significant increases over 2019 numbers – including China, Australia, and Brazil.
Forbes predicts this growth will continue, and the overall private aviation market will emerge from the pandemic 5% to 10% bigger.
Plenty of Advantages With Private Jet Travel
The many advantages of private jets have long been known and appreciated. The ability to schedule your own routes and times and make changes is a major advantage. As is the time saving it can offer, both in waiting and faster airport service, and through the use of more conveniently located airports. Flights are also more reliable, with private charters able to respond quicker and more flexibly to airport, aircraft or weather-related delays.
Many of these advantages have often been associated with business travel, but there is a growing appeal for leisure travel. A look at WingX’s data shows some interesting destination changes. The busiest state for travel in the US is Florida. In Europe, the Spanish Balearic Islands are one of the most popular destinations, with traffic up 58% compared to 2021.
More Advantages in The New Post-Pandemic World
Travel has changed in many ways in 2020 and 2021. With this, there is now even more of an appeal in private charters. The same benefits of scheduling and time-saving remain but are even more acute with airlines reducing schedules and dropping many routes.
The appeal of more personal space and less contact is also greater than before. This is not just onboard the aircraft – using smaller terminals and not having to make connections will minimise contact in a new disease-aware world.
Aircraft Sales Increasing As Well
Aircraft purchases are increasing as well as charters. The International Aircraft Dealers Association reported a 52% increase in sales in the second quarter of 2021.
Global private jet broker Jetcraft claims that aircraft available for sale are at a 30-year low as demand surges. In August 2021, the Financial Times reported the broker’s claims that only 5.2% of the global private jet fleet was available for sale – compared to a normal rate of 8% to 10%.
Aviation slowed globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is picking up quickly now in many countries, however. While business travel may still be decreased, private aviation is on the increase. Its appeal and benefits are clearer than ever before, and as people travel less in general, perhaps more will turn to private aircraft.
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