PrivateFly: ‘Surprised by the strength of recovery’


In its latest private jet charter trends report, PrivateFly has reported a return to 75% of expected demand in Europe and nearly 100% in the US. Rebounding from a historic low, PrivateFly CEO, Adam Twidell said he was surprised by the strength of recovery which he put down, mainly, to new entrants looking to avoid commercial travel. 

Twidell saidThe April to June period saw us fully immersed in the repercussions of the pandemic and it really was a rollercoaster ride. At the start, activity was at a historic low and we were focussed on repatriations and other essential trips. But by the end of June, we were surprised by the strength of recovery: Back to over 75% of our expected demand in Europe, and closer to 100% in the US.   

This bounce back was fuelled by very strong demand from new entrants avoiding airlines and almost all flights were for personal or family reasons, with little business travel yet returning”.   

Elsewhere, larger aircraft remained in demand, with 48% of flights on long range and supermidsize aircraft. According to PrivateFly, the large cabin Challenger 350 was the company’s most-chartered aircraft type during the second quarter (Q2). 

Low business travel demand was evident, with almost half of flights taking place between Friday and Sunday. The busiest day was Friday June 26th, which followed the lifting of many European border restrictions and lockdowns. Also, forward-planning was off the agenda with fewer clients booking flights more than 30 days ahead of time (10% versus 21% last year).  

In the second quarter, PrivateFly flew more families than ever before, with children under 16 representing 18% of passengers compared with12% last year. Also 6% of flights carried pets versus 4% in the same period of  2019.  

Twidell concluded: This upward curve is currently continuing in July and, with a significant portion of flying coming from new clients versus returning, we are optimistic about continued strength but it remains to be seen. But what we do know for certain – and what is reflected in this report – is that our business changed very significantly in Q2. And we expect to see that continue, as long as the pandemic persists.”