The COVID-19 pandemic hit the private aviation industry hard at the start of the second quarter. But with beginnings of recovery in May continuing to grow throughout June, PrivateFly, a Directional Aviation company, has issued its latest Private Jet Charter Trends report looking back at the period.
Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly comments: “The April to June period saw us fully immersed in the repercussions of the pandemic and it really was a rollercoaster ride. At the start, activity was at a historic low and we were focussed on repatriations and other essential trips. But by the end of June, we were surprised by the strength of recovery: Back to over 75% of our expected demand in Europe, and closer to 100% in the US.
“This bounce back was fuelled by very strong demand from new entrants avoiding airlines, and almost all flights were for personal or family reasons, with little business travel yet returning”.
Findings from PrivateFly’s Q2 Private jet Charter Trends report include:
- Larger aircraft remained in demand, with 48% of flights on Long Range & Super-Midsize aircraft and the large cabin Challenger 350 the company’s most-chartered aircraft type.
- Low business travel demand was evident with almost half of flights taking place between Friday and Sunday, with the busiest day Friday 26 June, which followed the lifting of many European border restrictions and lockdowns.
- Forward-planning was off the agenda with fewer clients booking flights more than 30 days ahead of time (10% versus 21% last year).
- PrivateFly flew more families than ever before, with children under 16 representing 18% of passengers (versus 12% last year) and 6% of flights carrying pets (versus 4% in the same period in 2019).
Adam Twidell continues: “This upward curve is currently continuing in July and, with a significant portion of flying coming from new clients versus returning, we are optimistic about continued strength but it remains to be seen. But what we do know for certain – and what is reflected in this report – is that our business changed very significantly in Q2. And we expect to see that continue, as long as the pandemic persists.”