While commercial flights have been experiencing a slashing capacity with passengers cancelling travel plans due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the private jets industry on the other hand has been flourishing.
Speaking with AFP, Richard Zaher, CEO of a US-based private jet charter company confirms that his company had seen a 400 percent increase in queries, with bookings roughly 20-25 percent. He continues to say that in as much as their regular private jet clients are still flying as they normally did, there is also another surge of clients coming their way who have never flown private. Explaining the increase, he says that many new bookings were from clients who had emergencies and either could not find seats on commercial routes or did want to risk them.
The type of aircraft, the region, number of passengers and duration of the flight are huge determinants of the costs of such flights. A round-trip charter on a 12-seater jet from London to New York can approximately cost you $150,0000. A one-way trip from Hong Kong to Japan can on the other cost you approximately $71,000. But booking a private flight from UK to France can be as low as $10,000.
Asia also well demonstrates the current situation with flight scenario. While there has been a decrease in the commercial flights by around 90 percent in the past two months in China, there has been a sustained increase in new customers in the charter companies over the same past two months. It is unfortunate that such travels by private jets fled the virus in places now experiencing their own epidemics.
Clients of the private jets are choosing charters due to the health uncertainties associated with commercial airlines. You cannot be too sure about the travel histories and the medical condition of the person seated next to you in a commercial airline. Additionally, private passengers usually cleared customs and immigration separate from the crowded main airport terminals. These are just but some of the upsides of flying in a private jet during this trying times. For the Charter companies, the lucrativeness of the industry as of now is quite remarkable.
However, taking a closer look now and in the future, the charter companies will also be negatively impacted in the long run as it will be difficult for private jets to fly owing to the restrictive travel conditions and to countries continuing to tighten up their borders.