Private jets perceived as safer
Air travel came to a near halt in 2020 due to the COVID 19 pandemic, with the overall passenger count decreasing by almost 92% compared to 2019 (International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)). Borders and regulations may have opened, creating a desire to travel, but not all passengers feel safe booking commercial itineraries. Aside from being in an enclosed aircraft with strangers, crowded airports have become a concern for travelers. Flying private can greatly reduce the number of touchpoints, bringing them from approximately 700 down to 30 by eliminating conventional security and boarding procedures. Private jets are smaller and carry less passengers per flight, making sanitation measures easier to uphold. Cabin configurations allow for much more room between seats and better social distancing.
The convenience of private jets
After a year of delays, cancellations, and a significant increase of onboard passenger incidents, travelers are looking for more convenient solutions. Many airlines have also reduced routes and decreased frequencies making commercial airlines less reliable. Private jets can fly directly to more destinations, landing in smaller airports that larger aircraft cannot access. Private jet rental companies such as Aeroaffaires in France, have created new membership and sustainability programs to accommodate a larger range of clients.
Contrary to what the name suggests, business aviation encompasses all air travel outside of scheduled or commercial and freight journeys. It is the rise in bookings for families and leisure travel that have expanded the market for business aviation in 2021 and beyond. Business aviation has seen a surge in services and amenities specifically catered toward young travelers and 4 legged members of the family. Many jets are outfitted with booster seats and napping areas. Catering has become more inclusive of younger passengers. For many chartered flight passengers, privacy is the main motivator. Exclusive boarding areas or the ability to drive directly to your aircraft are yet another advantage for travelers wishing to remain discreet. New payment methods such as crypto currency offered by most charted jet operators, keep data safe throughout the entire booking process.
New private jet models and concepts
The business aviation boom has caused private jet inventory to drop to record lows, falling below 3% for the major companies (Jefferies Equity Research). The secondhand market is seeing unparalleled activity as well. Used business jet inventories are the lowest they’ve been in years, and yet prices are 20 to 30% higher. There are virtually no young, pre owned jets available, narrowing the price gap between new and used models. Pre Owned aircraft for sale May 2021 accounted for only 6.6% of the worldwide fleet, the lowest level recorded in 25 years according to JETNET data. 864 pre-owned business jets sold during the first four months of 2021, up 36% from the same period last year with multiple offers on almost every one. The shortage of secondhand inventory is good news for jet manufacturers. Gulfstream, Embraer, Cessna, and Bombardier are responding with the introduction of new models designed to be roomier and travel further distances. Dassault’s Falcon 10x, Gulfstream’s G700, and G400 offer improved cabin size, comfort, and amenability. The Gulfstream G800 is equipped with 13496-pound thrust Rolls-Royce engines and flies further than Boeing 787 Dreamliner, flying 8000 miles at Mach .85. Bombardier has upgraded its Challenger 350 private jet for the first time since it’s 2014 debut. The necessity for a revamped aircraft in 2022, the Challenger 3500, was motivated by the boom in demand for business travel.
Increased sustainability is a major focus for 2022 as well. Passengers are becoming more interested in aircraft running on sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs), prompting manufacturers to make this a priority and stay ahead of possible regulation changes.
Clients want to fly with a provider who can measure and act on their flight emissions. They are looking for the long-term, responsible approach to sustainability that can be offered from business aviation. Chartered jet providers are installing 100% carbon offset programs and committing to transparency with regards to their environmental practices.
Continued wealth creation, and a shift in the clientele, affording travelers the safety, convenience, and privacy of business aviation, ensure that the growth seen in 2021 will continue through 2022. Jet manufacturers are facing supply-chain shortages to fulfill the increase in orders. Chartered jet companies are adapting their offers to accommodate a broader range of clients and a greater number of itineraries.
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