What Caused the Recent Dramatic Spike in Private Aviation?
The most recent shock, and subsequent blow, to the aviation industry has resulted in an unprecedented boon nobody saw coming. The onset of COVID-19 led world governments and health authorities to take drastic measures to limit the movement of people in a way that has not been seen before, at least in recent memory.
The travel industry suffered badly in the aftermath of COVID-19, and many companies were forced out of business. Airlines paid their most senior employees to retire early, hotels laid off countless individuals, and businesses that clung to life were forced to get creative about saving cash.
Nobody thought the demand for travel would return with the ferocity that it did. Those of us who stayed in business and weathered the storm of the pandemic experienced a massive surge in demand as life began to resemble normalcy again.
Air Travel Resurgence
Most experts agree that it wasn’t so much of a travel demand surge as a lack of staffing caused fuller flights to depart from the world’s largest airports.
The resultant understaffing issues that stemmed from COVID-19 countermeasures have made the travel experience miserable for many people. Staff shortages have persisted well into this year, which makes airports more congested as travel demand continues its recovery to pre-pandemic levels. Staffing will continue to be one of the biggest challenges facing the aviation industry in the immediate term.
The Shift to Private Air Travel
Over the past two years, the experience of commercial air travel has taken a significant nosedive from the subpar perch it occupied even before the pandemic. These poor experiences on national air carriers finally caused some travelers with the means to consider other options.
Within the first year of the pandemic, private jet brokers and operators began fielding a significant increase in business volume. Charter operators that cut staffing soon found out they could not operate as many flights as they had the demand for.
It was an initial shock to see the high number of new clients being taken on by private charter brokers and operators, but it shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise in retrospect. For decades, the commercial air travel experience has gone from a top-tier luxury to an overcrowded hassle. The added stress of COVID-19 was enough to finally cause would-be charter fliers to make the leap and begin flying on their own time.
No Looking Back
Our newest clients who fly with us at least twice annually have said many times that private charter is their new preference, and they are not going back. We imagine other operators have heard similar sentiments.
COVID-19 did a number on many businesses within the travel sector, but it also helped people to re-evaluate priorities in how they spend their time. Many have added up the hours of waiting in ever-growing security lines, enduring flight delays, and arranging travel to far-away airports, and decided on a different course of action.
Time is the most precious resource we have, and flying private saves so much of it for our clients. The attention to detail, the passion for excellence, and the personal touch that comes with flying private adds even more value to the experience we offer.
Choosing to fly private after COVID-19 has caused many of our newest clients to ask only one question: “Why didn’t we do this sooner?”