It is orated that COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the air transportation sector bringing it to a standstill in the world, especially during the early months of pandemic chiefly attributable to restrictions imposed by the governments and authorities globally. While commercial airlines were still in recovery mode after the restrictions were eased, private aviation had seen an increase in activity. Bookings of private jet charters increased, and so did private aircraft sales. Private jet companies have seen rise in patrons, many of whom are private jet travel first-timers. The increase in patronage for private jet companies is mainly attributed to the delays and flight cancellations of commercial airlines.
According to Argus International, an aviation industry consultancy, in October 2021, U.S. travelers boarded 323,000 private flights, being the busiest month for private air travel in 2021, surpassing July’s previous high watermark of 302,000 trips. The surge in flights shows the image of shattered common private flight myths (private jet chartering being expensive, exclusively for elites, requires membership, being unsafe etc.). When commercial airlines suspended operations and dropped dozens of routes (mostly regional flights), private flights filled the gaps for many travelers.
To understand the viewpoint of a common customer transitioning from commercial passenger to private jet patron, a need is felt to study the human “needs” and “wants” to comprehend the factors which influenced their decision. The dilemma of cancellations and delays in commercial flights resulting in muddling of individual’s schedule is becoming a vital reason that the passengers are now shifting towards private jet chartering or air-taxi services.
Affordability is an important and one of the most indispensable factors which a passenger keeps under view while shifting from his routinely used service to a new service mode. Traveling in a private jet doesn’t have to be expensive, though. Fresh approaches to private aviation have made private jet rentals manageable in the same way that ride sharing services disrupted taxi cabs.
On-request air taxi services offer pricing that’s competitive with flying commercially, but with much more panache and a way better travel experience. Passengers pay a reasonable price to skip crowded airports, lengthy mutual security checks, and long waits at the gate. Running on almost identical business model of that of a commercial airline, the private jet taxi-service is better in a way that its reach far surpasses the reach of any commercial airline. For instance, imagine a scenario where production plant of a company (located in a far flung area) is going to shut down due to non-availability of a spare part which might cost $300, since accessibility is a problem and renting a private jet is going to cost the company $15,000; at that point the company needs to consider the expected loss in case the plant is shut, subsequently halting the production and ultimately incurring a loss far more than $15,300. This is the scenario where companies opt for chartering private jet or hire air-taxi services for transportation of spares with relevant engineers and save itself from disrupted operations.
Viewpoint of Masses
Still think that renting a private jet is a thing for elite class? Better research the ground realities and get your facts right. As discussed earlier that the global pandemic has resulted in increase in hiring of private jets, the same phenomenon has established the industry of private jets as a legitimate and embellished service provider. One report from US indicates 9% increase of new customers between July and September 2020 as compared to the same months of the year 2019 for private jet charter business. The repeated delays and flight cancellations has altered the viewpoint of a common passenger; the general population is now requiring commitment made by any commercial airline to be executed as is. And what better service than private jet charters to assure the availability of flight as per commitment. Patronage for private jet industry has kept creeping upward as passenger experience privacy, more safety, surety of flight availability and economic viability of hiring a private jet solely or of air-taxi service.
Reliability, Reach and Convenience
Since the market of private jet chartering took off in early 1960s, the market has ingrained stable companies offering rental services as per customers’ requirements. Hence, the amenities provided by rental jet companies are considered consistent and reliable, thereby, delivering services at par, and at times better than, the commercial liners. While renting private jets does not come with attached fringes of following specific schedule, thus, the convenience of tailoring the trip via chartered flights or private jets as and when required is a major attraction specially for business personnel or even for the families’ planning vacations.
Reaching secluded areas is crucial for millions of people, however due to lack of demand, poor aeronautical arrangements, or global crises, these regions can’t count on commercial airline connections. To further make the things worse, commercial flights to areas with less air traffic tends to get cancelled more than those connecting to airports with heavy traffic. In these circumstances, chartering suitable private aircrafts are considered convenient with reduced operational costs compared to commercial jets, and provide significantly greater flexibility for shorter runways.
There will always be a demand for comfort and luxury, but today globally, private aviation is powered by the characteristics of time and cost-efficiency, safety, and delivering the promise of entrepreneurs looking to make a difference in the world. Where commercial airlines fail to keep up with their announced schedule, the masses are bound to seek alternate arrangements for their convenience. And what better than chartering a private jet or air-taxi. The impression that long delays and cancelled flights with commercial airlines leads to heavy demand for private jets cannot be negated and is deemed to be the biggest imprint of success of private jet charters. This is the brand that the commercial airlines are not conceived to deliver.
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