Private aviation has changed since the onset of the pandemic, and so have the people who depend on it. What was once considered a nice-to-have luxury travel option has quickly become the first choice among business executives and families alike, both of whom aim to take more control over their travel experiences.
According to a WINGX report last year, commercial flights dipped 50% between September 1 and October 15. Comparatively, private jets only saw a 10% decrease. Fast forward to this summer and numbers have made a drastic rebound: business jet activity is up by 70% compared to last year.
And, because of charter brokers like Access Jet Group, private aviation is becoming more accessible to more people who want done-for-you bookings without the hassle.
Here’s a closer look at some of the factors contributing to the new norm of a private-first mindset:
Greater Flight Availability
Commercial airlines canceled a massive number of flights last year, furloughing pilots and staff and leaving passengers without a backup plan. While the means to travel dwindled during the pandemic, the need to travel still remained for many businesses and individuals.
More passengers turned to private aviation to fill the gaps because of the greater availability. Private jet charters offer on-demand flights and are tailored to the client, not the airline. For many, this was the only option for travel plans to continue unabated. This reliability has always been a hallmark of private jet travel, and now more customers are valuing this aspect of tailored air travel.
More Travel Flexibility
Flying on the coattails of availability is flexibility. Historically, booking last-minute flights on a commercial airline meant potentially paying hundreds of dollars more per seat than someone who booked their spot early. What’s more, commercial passengers are limited to a pre-fixe airline schedule and lack control over their destinations, arrival and departure times, and last-minute changes to their itineraries.
Private jets inherently overcome each of these challenges because they are custom to the client. Clients have more control over when and where they fly, as well as costs by choosing from a range of aircraft.
Reduced Travel Uncertainty
If there’s one thing that consumers and businesses have craved throughout the pandemic, it’s predictability. COVID ripped away most traces of predictability and sent many travel plans into a tailspin. Customers who made commercial air travel plans didn’t know if those plans would stick.
Companies, families, and individuals that needed dependable travel plans found certainty in private aviation. The impact of flexibility, control, and certainty are long-lasting, helping to move the private-first mindset forward even when commercial flights start getting back to normal.
Affordable Domestic Travel
With countries closing their borders and experiencing different COVID conditions compared to the United States, optional travel remains largely domestic. Fliers are choosing the comfort and certainty of local travel to avoid the potential of being stranded in a foreign country if COVID cases suddenly spike, as well as the complexity surrounding the need for COVID testing before and/or after flights.
Compared to international flights, domestic flights on a private jet are often less expensive. Passengers can choose smaller aircraft to keep costs low and fly their entire party for a flat rate. What’s more, eliminating the risks of missed or canceled flights, no re-entry, or costly and lengthy ground travel makes flying private even more affordable.
Increased Health and Safety
As a whole, the aviation industry has always held a heavy hand on health and safety. All airlines and aircraft are held to high safety testing, standards, and requirements. These requirements have only gotten more strict in the wake of COVID, and the extra peace of mind that private flights provide is getting more notice.
Because private jet charters are reserved for separate parties, not the public, passengers are not in close proximity to people outside of their travel group. They usually have their own terminal, security checkpoints, and other areas of the airport that are separate from mainstream terminals.
At Access Jet Group, we hold all of our operating partners to high standards, too. Cabins are more thoroughly cleaned in between each flight, air quality receives more attention, and flights are all-around more accommodating to their passengers.
Putting Your Trust in the New Norm of Air Travel
With so much uncertainty and change throughout the last year, the one constant in the travel industry has been private aviation. Choosing bespoke travel options like those offered by Access Jet Group is a big part of our new normal, and our team stands ready to guide you through this new era of travel. Contact our team today for on-demand pricing and availability, and put business and leisure travel back on your radar.