PrivateFly’s 2020 trends report reflects Covid-19 challenges


Trends towards last-minute bookings and strong summer demand feature in what has been “an unusual and challenging year”, according to PrivateFly’s CEO Adam Twidell, as the company publishes its annual Private Jet Charter Trends report for 2020.

PrivateFly revealed its clients have flown to and from a total of 648 airports in 2020, including 54 in the UK. The report also revealed 58% of flights were booked within a week of take-off, which the Directional Aviation company puts down to the “uncertainty around travel plans during the pandemic”.

August 15th was PrivateFlys busiest day of the year for flights, driven by strong summer demand from families jetting off to Europe as lockdown restrictions eased worldwide. London was the firm’s top destination this year, followed by Nice.

Twidell said: 2020 has certainly been an unusual and challenging year, but Im very grateful that our industry has not seen demand fall in quite the same way as airlines or other travel sectors. In fact, at PrivateFly, we have grown our flight activity year-on-year, arranging more flights than in 2019.

Private aviation has always offered the convenience of using smaller airports to provide point-to-point travel, but this year weve provided a huge number of bespoke routings, due to repatriations and other atypical itineraries. Our flights touched in or out of 648 different airports, which is three to four  times more than major airline route networks.”

Twidell believes cuts to commercial services and the desire to fly in “your own private bubble have led to more new clients entering business aviation for the first time. PrivateFly is also seeing an increase in demand for its Jet Card membership programme.

With vaccines now on the horizon, travel confidence is increasing and while much of the usual business travel provided by our sector is still on hold, we are optimistic for continued growth in 2021, continued Twidell.

In light of families using private aviation to travel more safely, the report found that small jets (seating four to seven people) performed around half of all flights in 2020. One such flight was actually PrivateFly’s longest of 2020; clocked in at 11,966 miles between London and Auckland in New Zealand. The Gulfstream G650 flight, arranged for a family keen to return home but to avoid airline flights, performed the trip in just under 22 hours of flying time.

Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19 and the ensuing pandemic, PrivateFly has used 2020 to launch its new Jet Card membership programme, reveal a selection of fixed-rate City Pairs offers amid rising demand for winter travel and expanded its international team in recent months to meet the demand it expects in 2021.

 PrivateFly Trends report – at a glance

  •  – A total of 648 global airports used shows the flexibility of private aviation on atypical routes
  • – Trend towards ‘last minute’ booking with over half of flights booked 7 days or less in advance
  • – August 15 was the busiest day for flights, as demand increased in the summer months
  • – London was PrivateFly’s top destination this year, followed by Nice
  • – Longest flight in 2020 clocked in at 11,966 miles between London and Auckland in New Zealand
  • – 6% of flights had pets on board (compared to 4% in 2019)
  • – Small jets performed around half of all flights in 2020.