Although they serve different markets and purposes, common sense states that private and commercial aviation (scheduled airlines) should be impacted the same way by crises happening on the ground (Coronavirus) and natural disasters impacting the sky and overall operations.
But that’s not the case. History has demonstrated that during extreme and uncertain situations, private charter flights provide a reliable and safe option. Here’s why.
It has been reported that during the outbreak of the Coronavirus that various charter providers have registered an important increase in bookings, while scheduled airlines have needed to cancel flights (especially those based in China and neighboring countries).
The same airlines are sending their crews in private charters to other regions in order to continue with operations. If they return to China, they will be automatically quarantined and inoperative for at least two weeks.
In the same context, passengers are also using private charter flight as a precautionary measure worldwide. But why is this? Following are some key reasons...
- By flying on a private jet, travelers don’t pass through overcrowded terminals.
- They can choose who flies on the airplane for a private charter flight.
- As previously reported by several studies and outlets, the price to charter privately can be very similar to flying on the scheduled airlines. (This would be the case for a family traveling in business or first class that now decides to use private aircraft as their safer travel solution.
Kyle Patel, president and CEO of a leading Palm Beach Jet Charter Company, BitLux, is all too familiar with situations like what we’re experiencing today.
“When natural disasters hit certain regions, as was the case with Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean and Miami during 2017, private aviation plays a very important role before and after the event,” he reflects.
“That’s the case for evacuations and perhaps more importantly, humanitarian relief. We are actively monitoring current conditions on a Global basis.”
Private Aviation: Flexibility over Luxury
In February alone, BitLux saw a 30% surge in web traffic, and a 15% increase in charter sales.
Reaching remote regions is key for millions of people, however due to a lack of demand, poor aeronautical infrastructure, or global crises and uncertainties like those highlighted above, these regions can’t count on airline connections.
In this context, aircraft like the TBM 910, the Cessna Grand Caravan or the Beechcraft King Air are common at domestic or regional airports. These airplanes offer reduced operational costs compared to some jets, and significantly greater flexibility for shorter runways.
The opportunity to arrive at multiple destinations allows businesses to flourish, and often help people in need. Instead of waiting until an airline flight can bring cargo or medical supplies, it can be delivered anytime by chartering a private aircraft.
This is a cost-efficient practice for larger industries like mining, oil and gas (especially when spare parts and mechanics need to arrive in remote locations). Millions would be lost if production halted, therefore sending the spare part by a private aircraft along with one or two mechanics is paramount.
NBAA’s No Plane No Gain program supports the key role that private aviation plays for small and mid-size businesses. This confirms the overall reach of this market, sometimes misinterpreted due to its perceived luxurious vibe.
There will always be a demand for comfort and luxury, but today, worldwide, what also moves private aviation - whether on a Mid-size jet or small Piston Single airplane, is time-efficiency, safety, meeting deadlines and delivering the promise of up-and-coming companies led by savvy entrepreneurs looking to make a difference.
This is something that the scheduled airlines were not conceived to deliver.
More information from www.bitluxtravel.com