Travel has been at the epicenter of conversations surrounding COVID-19, leaving many businesses and individuals alike wondering when and how they can travel safely during the pandemic. Air travel, in particular, has come under scrutiny. There’s no doubt that commercial air travel has been severely impacted by COVID-19 and is already reshaping what it looks like to fly.
But what about private jet travel? By its very nature, private jets offer a significantly different travel experience, but it’s also not immune to changes in the industry that will ultimately keep passengers and crew members safer.
Though no one can tell the future, our team at Access Jet Group believes that air travel will likely change in the following ways:
Commercial Air Travel Will Need Time to Bounce Back
When COVID-19 started spreading through the country, it rocked the commercial airline industry. Many passengers canceled their travel plans out of an abundance of caution, while others were forced to cancel because hotels, restaurants, and other tourism-related destinations shuttered.
Even though many businesses are starting to reopen with additional precautions, many travelers are still wary of venturing into crowded airports and sharing rows on an aircraft. Many airlines are keeping the middle seat open to encourage social distancing, but this doesn’t eliminate any potential risk of becoming exposed to the virus.
It will likely take time for airliners to back a comeback. This isn’t just because of a decreased interest in air travel, but also in terms of rebuilding crews who were furloughed and getting grounded fleets back up and running.
New Health & Safety Measures Will Be Introduced
We’re already seeing airline companies taking additional precautions when it comes to health and safety. They’re monitoring passengers for symptoms of the coronavirus and are reporting sick crew members and passengers to local health officials.
Also, some airlines are no longer offering amenities like hot towels, blankets, or pillows to avoid potential contamination. Many are looking at ways to improve the in-flight beverage and snack service to further cut down on exposure.
Some airlines are asking crew members to wear masks and gloves since they’re in close contact with hundreds of passengers each day. Crew members must also be trained in how to safely provide assistance to sick passengers during the flight.
There’s no doubt that airlines are taking the COVID-19 threat seriously and doing everything they can to mitigate the spread of the virus through travel. But in doing so, passengers may find commercial flights to be less accommodating and travel times to be potentially lengthier.
Time Between Flights May Be Longer
Because airline companies are ramping up their cleaning and sanitization efforts, it’s logical to expect that times between flights may be longer. Crews will need to conduct more thorough cleanings after each flight to prepare for the next load of passengers.
This can be good news for some travelers, as it could mean a few extra minutes to get to you gate before you plane takes off. However, if you’re typically an early bird already waiting to board when your plane is unloading passengers, you will likely find yourself waiting a little longer to board while crews prepare the plane.
Private jet companies are also ramping up cleaning efforts in between flights, but this isn’t likely to cause as much of a delay, if any. Private aircraft are smaller and take less time to clean, plus it’s unlikely that your private jet will have just landed with passengers at the same time and at the same airport where you’re ready to board. Once you arrive at the airport, you can usually go from your car to your seat within minutes because the plane is ready and waiting for you.
Private Jet Travel Will Increase in Demand
Although many commercial airlines have grounded some or most of their fleet, the private jet industry remains in operation. Access Jet Group is able to book flights for passengers anywhere without travel restrictions, as well as repatriation flights and other essential travel services.
Many passengers are becoming first-time private jet fliers during the pandemic because they need to travel but don’t want to subject themselves to crowds in airports or on-board commercial planes. The benefits of simplicity and convenience are starting to appeal to a larger audience during the pandemic, especially among those that don’t want to take any unnecessary risks.
Travelers who could be more susceptible to the virus, families with children, or busy executives who want to keep business going are among those who are using private jets during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While it’s unclear that the surge in interest will continue, it’s clear that private jet travel is offering a desirable alternative to commercial air travel in times of uncertainty. At Access Jet Group, we’re here to help you continue traveling as safely as possible so you can continue building (or rebuilding) your business or meeting personal goals.
Contact the Access Jet Group team today and let’s discuss your options.