Commercial airlines were devastated by the pandemic. In 2020, industry revenue totalled just 40 per cent of the previous year’s size, while air traffic isn’t predicted to return to normal until 2024. And some of the effects have been staff shortages and chaos as flights have been cancelled. For some, it means exploring private aviation to see if it has any solutions. Below, we explore the current state of private aviation.
The United States air traffic
The US has the second-largest air market in the world behind China. In 2020, there were 370 million passengers, far ahead of the Eurozone’s 170 million. But air traffic has reduced significantly since then: 38 per cent of American adults travelled by air in 2021, compared to 44 per cent in 2015. With air traffic remaining low, there have been fewer flights available. And as airlines struggle with lower revenues, service has been poorer with cancelled and delayed flights. For the foreseeable future, it seems as though commercial flights will be less reliable and punctual than they were before the pandemic.
Private jet industry
The same cannot be said for the private jet industry though. Rich families and business professionals utilized private jets to travel safely during the pandemic, while commercial airlines struggled. Hiring private jets ensured that customers could enjoy discrete flights without being packed in with other passengers. Plus, with boarding times of just 15 minutes, the process was much smoother than trying to get through customs for a commercial flight. And there was the added bonus that you could hire a private jet for any time of day you liked, allowing you to fit it around your schedule rather than bending your plans around a set time. People want more certainty with their international travel since the pandemic, and private aviation offers this.
And the success of the private aviation industry is shown in the numbers from Vista Jet. 2021 was a record-breaking year for the company with sales of the Group’s subscription solutions and services increasing by 59 per cent. This led to an increase of 64 per cent in global flight hours as the service became more popular. And this success has led to huge demand from investors, with the company being oversubscribed with demand from investors. This sits in stark contrast to the commercial airline industry where revenues are falling back dramatically.
Private aviation is in good health – especially compared to commercial airlines. If you want discrete and stress-free air travel, then it’s worth exploring private jet hire to see if you can benefit from the luxuries that this form of aviation has to offer.