No industry has been left untouched by the effects of the global pandemic. The private jet charter sector is no exception. Like most players in the travel industry, private jet operators and brokers like Access Jet Group found themselves navigating many new trends and events, some of which may truly become the “new normal” in a permanent sense.
At the beginning of the pandemic, we saw a surge of private jet requests from clients traveling abroad and needed to return to the United States during a global lockdown. Many of these restrictions have now been lifted, at which point we saw another uptick in travel as more people were eager for a change of scenery. It is estimated that private jet charters increased more than 300% during critical times of 2020 compared to the same time the year before.
We are recapping some of the top trends that defined private jet travel in 2020 and will likely impact trends for 2021:
The Value of a Controlled Travel Environment
Control and flexibility have always been hallmarks of private jet travel. During the pandemic, these benefits started resonating with a much larger audience. More people were interested in a custom end-to-end experience. But more importantly, they wanted an easier way to maintain social distancing throughout their trip and gain peace of mind for their health and safety.
As a rule, Access Jet Group started working with its partners very early in the pandemic to ensure deep cleanings of the aircraft in between flights, along with PPE availability and changes to onboard food and beverage service.
Specifically, we have seen more families flying privately, particularly those with small children or elderly passengers. Having an entire aircraft reserved for your family helps to reduce potential exposure to the virus. What is more, using a private terminal allows you to avoid the crowds and unclean conditions of commercial airports and significantly reduces the number of touchpoints and in-person interactions.
Mitigating Quarantine Uncertainty
Countries were continually changing their travel requirements and restrictions for international passengers, including whether visitors would be required to quarantine and/or provide documentation related to COVID testing. In addition, many scheduled flights were suddenly cancelled or would skyrocket in price due to limited availability. For many, all of these requirements were difficult to track, especially when trying to plan travel in advance.
The flexibility offered by private jet travel has taken center stage during these times of uncertainty. Access Jet Group offers access to more than 7,000 aircraft ranging in size and price, along with a team of aviation experts available 24/7, 365 days a year to secure your reservations. This widespread availability is giving travelers more confidence in the face of uncertainty so that plans can continue uninterrupted.
A First-Class Experience for All
Some of the first-time private jet passengers we met this year had previously flown first class or business class and chose the private jet experience as a comparable alternative. These are clients who already recognized the value of comfort and flexibility in travel and enjoy more personal space and tailored service.
Given the events of 2020, our team believes this trend will continue in the coming year, at least until people become more confident in the cleanliness of commercial aircraft. And even then, we know the private jet experience transcends that of a first-class seat on a commercial aircraft and may continue to attract luxury travelers because of the personalization and comfort.
Private Charter as a Business Necessity
Finally, one private jet travel trend that stands out in 2020 is the number of businesses who relied on charter flights to keep business going. Though many companies significantly reduced or halted business travel last year, the truth remains that some projects simply could not be put on hold. This was certainly the case in the oil and gas industry, who needed to continue critical work and whom we assisted in arranging group charters for crew transitions.
Many companies turned to private jets not only to transport employees, but also to help them stay productive during the flight with on-board technology. This was an essential piece of business continuity and its benefits will not be soon forgotten.
It is estimated that business travel will continue to be restricted to just essential trips after the pandemic. Of those companies who do still travel, they will appreciate the ongoing availability, safety, and personalized aspect of private charter and will deem private jets as a necessity.
Whether you are traveling for essential business or need a change of scenery, Access Jet Group stands ready to help your plans take flight. Contact our team today for pricing and availability.