Great news for most in the private aviation industry
Most of us have either read about or experienced the chaos in the US commercial airports during the summer of 2022. Commercial carriers are struggling with staffing, supply chains and pilot shortages.
Cancelled commercial flights, high ticket costs and general travel headaches have contributed to the continued boom of the private aviation industry (since the beginning of the pandemic). Orders for new planes are up, demand for existing planes is high and fractional ownership and charter plane operators are turning away new flyers.
All of this is great news for most in the private aviation industry. While hourly rates for private jet rentals can range from $3,500 to $10,000 per hour (depending on the size of the aircraft), some business travelers simply can’t fly commercial because of the unreliability of making it to an important meeting.
Here are some recent statistics and commentary from industry sources:
- “The market is red hot right now,” Jonah Adler, chief commercial and marketing officer at the private jet company Jet Edge, told Verdon. “It’s a combination of things that includes an increase in first-time fliers, high usage among charterers and jet owners. It’ll get even hotter once the business traveler returns in the fall.”
- The lion’s share of summer traveling aboard private airplanes has been conducted via domestic U.S. flights, according to WingX. More than 134,000 private business jet movements were recorded in the month of June alone in the United States—an increase of nearly 70 percent from monthly figures from 2020 and 25 percent from 2021. One of the main drivers of this boost was an influx of first-time charter flyers brought about by the pandemic, according to Sentient Jet CEO Andrew Collins.
- In the United States, private jet flights increased 7% week-to-week and the 50,793 flights were 9% ahead of Week 23.
- Over the past month, U.S. private jet flights are tracking 11% more than last year.
- “We have seen very robust, significant activity for about the last 18 months that’s continuing here into the third quarter,” said Scott Neal, senior vice president of worldwide sales at Gulfstream.
- In the pre-owned jet market, demand has significantly outpaced supply. Demand for new jets is expected to stay high for years.
The boom in the private jet industry is welcomed after years of operating on tight margins. We’ve entered a new paradigm of increased industry demand by those who have either discovered private aviation or have become more committed to it.
This elevated level of activity will help the industry better endure the next downturn. Currently, some OEMs are challenged by supply chain issues and the need for more skilled workers.
The all-time highs in take-offs and landings in the business jet category has stretched charter, fractional and MRO centers’ ability to deliver acceptable levels of service to some clients, so a slow-down in growth could be welcomed.
The smart companies are stockpiling reserves to be able to endure future slowdowns. This would also allow them to add adequate staffing and deliver expected levels of service for high-end clients.