Patrick Gallagher, president of sales, marketing and service at NetJets, comments on growth in the private travel sector, and interior trends.
Despite the impact of the pandemic on travel, the private travel sector saw tremendous growth over the past year. The efficiency of private travel, in addition to the dependability and safety associated with its offering, has opened the doors to an untapped market of new customers.
Confidence in travel is returning and potential travellers are looking to take to the skies once more. NetJets flight volumes in June 2021 recorded a 30% increase compared with 2019, indicating that travellers are confident in the ability of private aviation to get them to their destination.
Private travel conveniences have also contributed to the 350% increase in new ownership in 2020, a trend that is continuing into 2021. In fact, increased demand has allowed us to stay on track for the delivery of 51 new aircraft throughout 2021.
Cleaning and disinfection
While travel decisions and consumer priorities have naturally evolved over the past year, safety remained a top priority for travellers and will continue to influence travel decisions as markets open the borders this summer. With safety in mind, NetJets has invested heavily in strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, introducing a rigorous, multi-tiered cleaning and disinfection programme called The NetJets Clean. The development of this programme came after meticulous research of hundreds of disinfecting products and EPA-approved solutions that will support the rapidly evolving desire to travel leisurely once again.
Although COVID-19 has been a major focus for us throughout the past year, it has never drawn the attention away from the unrivalled training programme that we deliver to all flight crew to achieve the highest standard of individual and crew performance.
NetJets partners with manufacturers to create state-of-the-art aircraft. Our jet interiors have timeless and bespoke handcrafted wood cabinetry that provides a luxurious look and feel as well as seating that provides the ultimate comfort throughout the flight. We take pride in the craftsmanship of all aircraft to create an unparalleled experience for our owners every time they step onboard.
Private aviation is often linked to bespoke and luxury interiors, but avionics are arguably the most valuable interior of a jet. Our enhanced avionics provide pilots with a precise view of aircraft performance while providing the crew with greater operational efficiencies. Our avionics also provide diagnostics in real-time, resulting in reduced aircraft downtime and increased access for owners.
The pandemic had a unique impact on the private aviation industry, and we have seen an increase in demand and interest in flying that is unpredicted in our 56 years of flying. Our enhanced focus on health, wellbeing and sustainability has fostered long-lasting relationships with our customers. After an uncertain year, we’re both optimistic and excited for a global safe return to travel. Ensuring our owners are at the forefront of our mind, whether that be through safety, sustainability, or consultation in the craftmanship of aircraft, it is no wonder that a third of our owners have flown with us for over 10 years.