The private jet industry is set for a quicker recovery than commercial aviation, as wealthy leisure passengers switch to private flights to reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19.

Even though the start of the pandemic sent shockwaves through the private jet industry – similar to the rest of the aviation sector – a promising rebound in recent months looks set to recover some of those losses, according to a GlobalData report.

Private jet companies should pivot to target leisure travellers as business travel is poised for slow recovery: GlobalData

Ralph Hollister, travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData, commented: “According to GlobalData, international business arrivals are expected to decrease by 40.7 per cent year-on-year in 2020. This dramatic reduction in business travel will likely take a prolonged amount of time to regain pre-pandemic levels. In order to stay viable, private jet companies need to now strengthen their focus on the growing leisure market while corporate travel remains bleak.”

Business tourism now looks to be one of the last types of tourism to recover, as businesses look to cut costs and reduce the risk of their employees contracting the virus, which makes online events and meetings much more of an attractive proposition for at least the short-term.

Against that backdrop, it is in fact leisure travellers who have helped private jet companies on their path to recovery. Some passengers that would have flown commercially are now paying a premium to fly private to meet their needs of safety and security, said the report.

Hollister added: “Privacy, safety and flexibility needs to be the key strength of private jets that are marketed to uncertain leisure travellers that sit in the higher socio-economic classes.”

He cited the example of Jet It, a business jet fractional ownership company, that has recently experienced a sharp increase in demand for private travel, allowing its owner Glenn Gonzales to expand his company and private charter company Jet Club. Gonzales stated that he has seen his business grow 300 per cent in Q2 and Q3.

Hollister concluded: “This increase in demand spurred by leisure travellers may permanently change the business models of many private jet companies. The more purposeful targeting of leisure travellers may be undertaken in order to attract a more diverse customer base going forward, assisting to achieve a successful post-Covid-19 recovery.”

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