Coronavirus and changes in the commercial aviation sector could fuel demand for private jets

  • As many as 680 fewer person-to-person touch points flying privately when compared to commercial flights, potentially reducing the chances of catching COVID-19 (1)
  • Price disparity between first class flight tickets and flying privately set to fall as commercial airlines will be under pressure to increase the cost of flying per passenger as they reduce their load factors to help with social distancing
  • With their duty of care to staff, more corporates will be inclined to offer their senior executives who fly first class the option of flying privately

Colibri Aircraft, the private jet broker which specialises in the marketing, resale and purchase of pre-owned private aircraft, says changes in the commercial aviation sector and the fear of catching COVID-19 whilst flying on airlines could increase demand for private jets when restrictions around international travel are lifted further.

 There are as many as 680 fewer person-to-person interactions when flying by private jet compared to commercial(1)potentially reducing the chances of catching COVID-19; airlines have cancelled thousands of routes as a result of the Coronavirus, making it harder or impossible to reach certain destinations via the airlines, and the time spent to board a commercial flight could increase dramatically as new health measures are introduced at airports and by airlines – a costly experience for business travellers.

 In addition to this, Colibri Aircraft says airline travel is likely to increase in cost as airlines will be under huge pressure because of the losses they are incurring and the fact that they will have fewer passengers per flight. Colibri Aircraft says that before the Coronavirus crisis, many of the main airlines had average load factors of between 80% and 90% but this is likely to remain at significantly lower levels while the recovery continues as people try to avoid large crowds in small spaces.

 Oliver Stone, Managing Director, Colibri Aircraft told B365: “The Coronavirus crisis has had a devastating impact on both commercial and private aviation.  However, when the recovery comes, it could be private aviation which bounces back first.

 “Thousands of commercial flights have been cancelled and many may not return when the skies open again because they will be unprofitable to run.   In addition to this, many people will be worried about the possibility of contracting COVID-19 whilst flying, and those that can afford to fly privately may feel it reduces their chances of catching the disease.

 “Also, employers will be even more conscious of their duty of care to staff travelling on business, so many CEOs and other senior executives who would normally fly on first class commercial flights, may now be offered the option of travelling by private aircraft to help ensure their safety.  Importantly, Private Aviation in Europe is an industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people directly and indirectly and so we are hopeful that an increase in demand due to the benefits the industry has to offer will help protect the livelihood of many people around the UK and Europe.”

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