May 21, 2020

PrivateFly’s enquiries in May are up 22% on last year, with many investigating a socially-distanced way to fly going forwards, even if it comes at a higher cost

On-demand private jet charter provider PrivateFly, a Directional Aviation company, is reporting an increase in forward enquiries and bookings from both leisure and business customers, with enquiries 22% up on May last year, despite most people unable to fly yet due to border restrictions.

While there are few actual private flights taking place currently (flight movements in April were 70% down in Europe across the industry), the private jet company says travellers of all kinds are making plans, in anticipation of being able to start travelling again.

PrivateFly says that it expects demand over the next few months to come both from existing private jet users moving to do more of their flying on private flights, and also from those who have not flown privately before. These include corporates wanting to fly staff or clients at a reduced risk, and families looking for peace of mind on special holidays or essential trips, especially those with older or more vulnerable family members.

Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly comments: “While March and April were focussed on repatriations and other essential trips only, we're now seeing a clear change with clients forward-planning. We're busier now in terms of enquiries than we were this time last year - which is surprising, and shows that people want or need to travel, after so many weeks of staying at home. Enquiries are for popular summer locations such as Ibiza, Nice, and Malaga, and from those planning ahead for business travel. Many corporates are concerned at taking the risk of having their staff fly on airlines, as they build their business again under the shadow of COVID-19. Some are considering a revised business travel strategy - with less travel overall but using private aviation when they really need to fly. This trend is already apparent in the USA, where recovery is further ahead, thanks to its largely-domestic travel market.

"For those prepared to pay more, private jet travel offers far greater social distance and control over your environment – both in the air and on the ground. You share the cabin only with a small number of close contacts; and avoid the main airport terminal, moving through a small and uncrowded private terminal (FBO) instead. Additional measures are in place to protect passengers even further, including deep cleaning and disinfection before every flight, and new service protocols such as avoiding hand shakes with crew.”

PrivateFly’s prices start from around £6,500 - £7,000 one-way for a 6-seater light jet such as a Nextant 400XTi, on a short trip such as London to Nice. Or from £18,500 for a 13-seat Legacy 600, from London to Ibiza. The company offers on-demand private flights from a wide range of accredited aircraft operators worldwide, and preferred access to a family fleet, operated by its parent company Directional Aviation.

Adam Twidell continues: “Airlines will take time to remobilise, and the reduction of their routes and impact on ticket prices is yet to be seen. But with many people still displaced in the world and looking to move as soon as they are allowed to, we’re expecting to see an initial wave of bookings when restrictions lift and airlines can’t fulfil. And then a more sustained demand in the medium term, from those who choose to avoid airline travel.

“Over the past months we have flown significant numbers of new clients on repatriation and other urgent missions, and it has been an opportunity for our whole industry to showcase the benefits of private aviation to a new audience. We are now ready to welcome both new and existing customers, when business and leisure travel begins again.”


About PrivateFly:

PrivateFly is a leading booking platform for on-demand private jet charter and part of Directional Aviation. With thousands of accredited aircraft integrated worldwide, PrivateFly combines innovative technology with a team of aviation experts, available 24/7 - making it faster and easier to arrange a private jet, wherever and whenever you want to fly.

PrivateFly holds Argus Certified Broker and Wyvern Broker best practice accreditations and is a preferred partner of Virtuoso, the world's leading luxury travel network. Established in 2008, PrivateFly’s Global Headquarters are located in St Albans, UK while the US operation is Headquartered in Boston with a sales office focused on the Americas in Ft. Lauderdale.

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