PrivateFly reports a 85% annual rise in enquiries from travel trade partners in the past two weeks, as the travel industry looks for ways to keep clients moving safely this summer
The COVID-19 pandemic is set to see more travel companies arranging private jets for clients in the coming months, according to findings by private jet charter provider PrivateFly, a Directional Aviation company.
The company is reporting an increase in requests from both new and existing travel trade partners – which include consortiums Virtuoso and Advantage Travel, and direct agency and concierge services such as Black Tomato and Ten Group. It says enquiries via travel trade partners in the past two weeks are 85% up on the same time last year – despite most people in Europe unable to fly yet due to border restrictions.
Hannah Needs, PrivateFly’s Head of Partnerships commented: “With travel restrictions easing in much of Europe from 15th June, we are very busy indeed with enquiries from travel agents, concierges and yacht brokers. They are telling us their clients are desperate to get away but are reluctant to fly on airlines until the risk of COVID-19 has reduced significantly – particularly those with families, or those who are older or in higher risk groups. Agents are increasingly looking at private aviation as a solution, so holidays can go ahead safely and with peace of mind.
“Private jet travel is obviously more expensive than airlines but for clients prepared to spend more, it offers far greater control over your environment, both in the air and on the ground. You share the cabin only with your own group; and avoid the busy main airport, moving through a small and uncrowded private terminal instead. Additional measures are in place to protect private jet passengers even further, including deep cleaning and disinfection before every flight, and new service protocols such as avoiding handshakes with crew.”
PrivateFly’s prices start from around £6,500 – £7,000 one-way for a 6-seater light jet such as a Nextant 400XTi, on a short trip such as London to Nice. Or from £18,500 for a 13-seat Legacy 600, from London to Ibiza. The company offers on-demand private flights from a wide range of accredited aircraft operators worldwide, and preferred access to a family fleet, operated by its parent company Directional Aviation.
Hannah Needs continued: “At PrivateFly we‘ve worked with the travel trade for many years, as our technology and 24-hour expert team make it much easier for agents to provide rapid and transparent quotes for accredited private jet charter, with full support and account management. We work mainly with travel companies serving the luxury and corporate segments, but recent enquiries are also coming from those who haven’t booked private jets before and are now keen to offer this. What’s more, with airline commission rates declining in recent years, it’s also an attractive revenue opportunity at a challenging time.
“We’re predicting a growing proportion of our flights to be referred by travel partners in the months ahead. With travel now a more complex consideration for many people, the role of the travel agent as a trusted adviser has never been more important.”