As the commercial airline industry is still at a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic, private air travel catches on.
Glenn Gonzales, co-founder and CEO of Jet It, said they have “found a segment of the market that has been ignored in large part that have a need for private travel, that being small and medium-sized businesses.”
“People need to travel for business. Sixty percent of annual revenue for the airline business comes from the front 12 seats of the airplane, which speaks to the amount of business travel that is taking place around the country for first- and business-class travelers,” he added.
The company’s days-based model lets owners use the aircraft for the day. The rate is $1,600 per hour.
More than minimizing touchpoints, it also eliminates the need for lodging. This happens because the business traveler can visit a client and get back on the same day.
Risks and Potentials
According to Megan Wolf, chief operating officer of Flexjet, the company saw “activity rebound at a two-fold pace each week since the week prior to Memorial Day weekend,” as reported by Fox Business.
Wolf said that the essential safety presented in private aviation in a world of COVID-19 has heightened the value for many users.
The pandemic has caused travel restrictions, making commercial air travel fall 95 percent. However, according to David McCown, president of AirPartner U.S., private aviation is down around 30 percent.
“What happened in the last three months is you’re starting to see a lot of people who never considered private aviation, whether they could afford it or not, decide they are not going to get on a commercial airline,” McCown said to Fox Business. “We’ve seen a lot of people who didn’t typically fly private but now they are.”
“Private aviation is going to be a growing solution for business travel, as well as personal travel,” McCown added. “We are seeing businesses that are now looking at private aviation for risk mitigation.”