The way in which clients approach private flying is changing, according to three leading US operators. Andy Priester, David Best and Henry Thomas told CJI Global delegates new trends including one-way trips and an increased focus on health and safety have emerged in recent months.
“One of the things that we noticed early on in Covid, and it’s continuing, is we are getting a lot more one way requests,” Priester, President and CEO, Priester Aviation, told delegates. “Although I don’t have the statistic defined, I would anecdotally estimate our oneway requests are double, or maybe more than double, what they were pre-Covid.”
Building on what Priester said, Jet Aviation’s senior vice president and general manager David Best said he has seen a large increase in charter card purchases as people “try and secure lift and make sure they’ve got these hours in the bank for future. That changes the dynamic on return legs etcetera they can use their one way much more easily”.
Best also said that the influx of quotes, as people tested the water to see if private flying is viable, has a had a knock-on effect in increasing demand in the mid cabin size jet. Best explained: “So there’s a lot of that regional work there. Previously there was a ton of international but that has really collapsed down, so there’s coast-to-coast but there is a ton of regional stuff going on right now.”
Henry Thomas, director aircraft management, Clay Lacy Aviation, said he has marked increase in focus upon health and safety post-Covid-19. “A lot of our owners are asking themselves are we doing everything we can do to stay safe, stay sterile. With the new ACA, well not new, but new to a lot of the owners because of our current condition air purification systems have become a hot topic. So, a lot of our directors of maintenance and owners have been looking at installing their air and surface purification kits. That’s a big trend that we have seen lately.”