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Record Demand for Private Jet Flights Set to Continue

Survey finds almost three-quarters of current private aviation users expect to fly more post-COVID

July 21, 2021

The demand surge for flying private is set to continue for the foreseeable future, with over two-thirds of current private aviation users expecting to fly more post-COVID than before the pandemic, according to a recent survey.

The poll of subscribers to the private aviation buyer’s guide Private Jet Card Comparisons found some 69 percent of respondents expect to fly privately more often after the pandemic, while 28 percent say they expect to at similar levels. Only 3 percent said they would be making fewer private flights in a post-COVID world.

Half of the current private aviation users said they had started or re-started private flying due to COVID, and 100 percent of these new private fliers say they plan to continue after the pandemic.

More than half (53 percent) said they would fly privately regularly even after the pandemic, an increase of 12 points a January survey of subscribers.

“If the question is, will new users stick with private aviation even in a post-COVID world, the answer is a unanimous yes, with many saying they will now use private aviation regularly,” said Private Jet Card Comparisons founder and editor-in-chief Doug Gollan.

The survey also revealed a strong pipeline of potential new private jet customers. Of the over 225 respondents, 90 percent are currently private fliers, and 9 percent said they are now considering private aviation.

Why Do They Fly?

In terms of types of travel, 54 percent said they use private aviation for personal/vacation travel only, 43 percent use it for a combination of personal/vacation flights and business needs, and 3 percent said they use private flights exclusively for business.

New users are more likely to be using private aviation strictly for personal/vacation travel (64 percent), whereas 52 percent of pre-COVID private fliers said they use private aviation for a combination of personal/vacation and business travel.

Of current private aviation fliers, 81 percent use jet cards, 35 percent charter on a flight-by-flight basis, 11 percent ride on the private jets of friends, 7 percent own their private aircraft, 6 percent use by-the-seat or shared jet solutions, 5 percent hold fractional shares or leases, and 3 percent use company-owned aircraft from companies they don’t own or control. Over 50 percent of respondents said they have more than one private aviation solution, including jet cards from multiple providers.

More than 8 in 10 (82 percent) said they had bought or renewed a jet card in the past 18 months, with 92 percent making a deposit and 8 percent using pay-as-you-go options. The average deposit was $237,267.

Of those who are new to private aviation since COVID and had purchased jet cards initially, 18 percent had already renewed after using their initial hours.

A significant number of respondents said avoiding the hassles of commercial airlines is a primary reason for continuing to fly privately. However, 19 percent said they had experienced service lapses on their private flights in recent months as private jet flying surges to record levels. Typical were delays, generally around two to three hours.