It is not an overstatement to say that the travel industry changed forever because of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Commercial airlines have grounded fleets and reduced staff due to a historic drop in demand. The private aviation market is no exception and has also had the need to adapt, with a diversified pool of operations allowing certain stability in demand.
Nevertheless, possibly the main difference for the business air segment has been a change in the behavior of travelers. While some months ago flights were booked for business or pleasure, ever since the pandemic started, social distancing and avoiding crowds are the main traits pursued by clients. Safety, therefore, is the main asset pursued by travelers.
Right in the core of the South Florida business aviation hub lies BitLux, the Palm Beach-based air charter company that is witnessing a change in what is driving clients to charter private jets.
What explains this shift? Private aviation allows controlling a large extent of the travel experience, compared to its commercial counterpart.
Kyle Patel, CEO of BitLux, told us: “Throughout the outbreak, using a private terminal and avoiding overcrowded airports, as well as deciding who joins you in the cabin, will somehow reduce the exposure to the virus and the overall touchpoints. Safety is why people are opting for private jet travel today instead of other means of transportation, thus elevating the number of first-time private jet fliers.”
What to expect in 2021?
Booking cancellations and grounded aircraft have been the norm for months, and those passengers in need to fly are opting for private air transportation. In main hubs worldwide, it is even normal to see the same amount of private jets as commercial aircraft in the skies. Under this scenario, BitLux predicts that private flying will slowly return to normal by the start of 2021.
Private aviation has endured challenges just like the entire aviation industry during the pandemic. And the main element causing the reduction in volume is a lack of motive to travel; there are no business nor board meetings, conferences, weddings, and sports events, within others. “We estimate that the total percentage of private fliers versus commercial passengers has increased, but the overall volume has declined,” added Patel.
Furthermore, another challenge surrounding private aviation today is that aircraft owners are limiting the overall availability by opting not to charter their planes outside the immediate family due to increased health concerns. This important factor raises the demand of charter companies globally, but also lowers the supply.
The private aviation market is indeed is a couple of steps ahead of the curve thanks to exclusive boarding and the possibility to choose who is in the cabin. It is also an added value when clients can manage, to a large extent, their travel process.
Crises bring opportunities, and thanks to lower fuel prices, waiver of FET taxes and the need of operators to maintain their aircraft in the air, prices are lower. If you need to fly safely, in a reliable fashion and at a great rate, business aviation is today’s best option.
BitLux offers various services across the air charter industry, but executive travel is one of their leading markets. Whether you are flying for business or leisure, BitLux provides a top tier private jet service that actively exceeds expectations.