Americans longing for a much-needed, post-lockdown escape are increasingly seeking information about – and booking – private jets.
Air Charter Service – the world’s largest aircraft charter company – said Americans top the list of people asking for information on private jet travel. They are followed by the British, Canadians, Indians, Spanish, and the Chinese.
What’s more, travelers who want to travel within a just a few days have also increased. Early August figures show a 51 percent increase on leisure travel bookings globally this year versus 2019, the company said. Forty-four percent of bookings in July 2020 were from first-time private jet customers.
“Traveler confidence is increasing for end-of-summer-season travel,” said Richard Thompson, president of Air Charter Service Americas. “There’s a pent-up demand for travel, and Americans are ready to book and travel quickly. That’s one of the great things about private jets – they adhere to your schedule. There is no waiting and clients can be instantly gratified. If it’s Wednesday and a client wants to fly out the next day for a long weekend, they can do it seamlessly.”
The top requested destinations for Americans have mainly been domestic U.S. – Chicago, Teterboro in New Jersey, Los Angeles, Seattle and East Hampton in New York – followed by international travel, on a much smaller scale, as U.S. travel restrictions remain in place.
The top five international destinations based on global bookings have been to the U.S., Spain, France, the U.K., and Italy.
Obviously, flying privately comes at a cost. Based on data from the last year and a half, the average cost of a flight was $29,350 for a single leg (one way). With global restrictions changing by the week, repatriation flights also shot up 521 percent compared to last year as travelers faced minimal options to get back to their home country quickly or to leave a specific country.
The second half of the summer looked better for business travel, too. Data shows 44 percent of bookings in July were for business travel purposes with clients traveling to The Bahamas, Canada, Colombia and Turkey. According to data from Air Charter Service, most international flights booked from the U.S. were for business travel reasons.
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