There has been a huge 321% surge in private jet enquiries in Europe during June 2020 compared with the same period last year, according to new figures released by UK-based private charter specialist Air Partner. Safety concerns around commercial flights due to COVID-19 were cited as a major factor.
The increase comes as a raft of COVID-19 travel restrictions begin to ease including the introduction of ‘air bridges’ between certain countries, the terms of which include the lifting of the 14-day quarantine for arrivals to the UK.
A growing number of travellers, including many who have never previously used private jets, are exploring the option of private travel due to safety concerns around commercial flights and airports, as well as limited availability of commercial flights in Europe. Private jet travel eliminates the need to share cabins or travel through busy commercial airports, as well as being able to guarantee thorough disinfecting of aircrafts between flights.
Air Partner, which has access to more than 7,000 aircraft, listed the most enquired about European destinations this June as Nice (France), Ibiza (Spain), Palma (Spain), Faro (Portugal) and Mykonos (Greece).
A one-off flight in a private four-passenger jet from Farnborough Airport in the UK to Nice can cost from around £7,500, while Farnborough to Ibiza starts from £8,500. However, private jet flyers most commonly choose to purchase ‘Jet Cards’, which means they buy a set number of flying ‘hours’ to be used at their discretion. In June Air Partner saw double the number of enquiries for Jet Cards compared to the year before, as this offers flyers considerably more flexibility during these uncertain times.
While many people are desperate to get away on holiday for the summer, safety is absolutely front of mind for travellers as they seek to protect the health of themselves and their loved ones when flying,” says Kevin McNaughton, MD of charter at Air Partner. “We’re seeing a surge in private jet enquiries as this mode of travel can offer unique benefits around safety and convenience that commercial airlines simply cannot – regardless of what class you are travelling in. Flying in a private jet not only eliminates exposure to other unknown passengers on an aircraft but removes the risks and inconveniences that are unavoidable when moving through commercial airports. Plus, there are of course the added perks of private jet travel such as unparalleled comfort, luxury food and drink and exceptional service. All of this is attracting new customers to private jets and making them the preferred way to travel as Europe emerges from lockdown.”
Air Partner is one of the leaders in global private aviation with nearly 60 years of experience. It finds bespoke air travel solutions for an array of flyers from royalty to Hollywood actors to sports stars and prides itself on being recognised for consistently delivering exceptional service.
The wider group also works with governments and businesses to deliver evacuation programmes, with Air Partner leading several missions to repatriate British nationals from Asia during the Covid-19 crisis. In addition, Air Partner have leveraged their Security division Redline, part of the AirPartner group to implement health and safety measures and security services for charter customers as part of an extended service. As well as developing COVID-19 Safety Protocols within private aviation. Air Partner plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange, further establishing it as a credible company and partner of choice for flyers.