On-demand, private aircraft charter service Eclipse Air Charter (Eclipse) is opening a new international headquarters in Mayfair, London this fall, having successfully navigated the complex COVID-19 business landscape.
By leveraging a network of aircraft worldwide, Eclipse offers access to a wide range of private jet charter options, backed by simple pay-as-you-go service with no long-term commitment, initial outlay, membership fee or management charges.
The expansion, which will double Eclipse’s team of professionals, follows the brand’s successful launch in Toronto in 2016 and growth to New York City in 2018.
“What really sets us apart is the client service,” says Yasmin Alam, who founded the business in 2016 and has made it a priority as Managing Director to employ rising female talent. “Many of the private jet companies that have come onto the market over the course of the last few years are app based — but we’re finding that our clients prefer the more personal touch, the more human interaction, especially in uncertain times when travel regulations and entry requirements to countries are constantly changing.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic struck the private aviation industry with considerable force, Eclipse was able to adapt, pivoting to temporarily offer cargo transportation instead of passenger flights and helping bring PPE and ventilators into Canada and the US during the height of the pandemic.
Today, private charters are on the uptick once more as clients retake to the skies, but in a different way.
“A lot of countries are still on lockdown or restricting tourism travellers, but it’s actually led to a boom in internal tourism,” says Alam. “Canadians are not going down to Miami or Vegas anymore, but what they are doing is going to Vancouver, Halifax or Banff.”
Travel patterns repeat in the UK with clients choosing to visit Edinburgh and Lake District as well as travel corridor countries like Spain, Greece, Italy and Turkey while European air bridges are in place. Safety is another major concern drawing clients into the private travel industry.
“Many people who were on the fence about chartering before the COVID-19 pandemic struck are now actually booking private travel,” adds Lily Karapetyan, Director of Charter Sales, pointing out the inherent safety advantage of bypassing busy airports and limiting contact points.
Eclipse has plans to expand into Europe and beyond in the near future.