Private jet companies say they have seen a surge in bookings this summer, particularly in Europe.
The increase comes as commercial airlines cancel and delay thousands of flights around the world.
Hourly rates for private jet charters range from $3,000 to over $10,000 depending on the size of the aircraft.
Affluent fliers are upgrading from first class to private jets as commercial airlines struggle to cope with this summer’s record travel demand.
“I had a guy tell me that for the last three weeks, one of the airlines had canceled his flights to Aspen,” Doug Gollan, founder of Private Jet Card Comparisons, told Insider. “He says, ‘The price of private jets has gone up, but I can afford it. I’ll pay it. I want to go out to my house and Aspen for the weekend.’
Nearly 34,000 flight requests were submitted through private jet charter app Jettly in July, compared to a monthly average of about 25,000 flights requested, according to data shared with Insider.
The private aviation sector initially experienced a surge in demand during the pandemic and saw a second wave after the COVID-19 vaccines were released. Now, the industry is seeing another bump as staff shortages and infrastructure challenges cause airlines to cancel thousands of flights around the world, said Justin Crabbe, the app’s CEO.
“Summer has never been busier,” Crabbe told Insider, noting that more than half of travelers on the app are flying private for the first time.
Of the last seven years, 2022 had the highest percentage of delayed flights (19%) and the highest percentage of canceled flights (4%) – excluding 2020.
“In today’s context of regular delays and cancellations on all commercial airlines, there is a huge emphasis on reliability,” said a spokesman for NetJets, a privately held company that partially owns the planes, adding that they have seen a “unbelievable increases” in flights. this year’s requirements.
Hourly rates for private jet charters typically start at $3,000 per hour and can go up to over $10,000, depending on the size of the plane. Rising fuel costs have increased flight prices by 20% year over year, Blade CEO Rob Wiesenthal told Insider.
VistaJet, which owns and operates the world’s largest fleet of Bombardier private jets, said there is “huge” demand for private jets in Europe this summer.
European travel hubs, including London’s Heathrow Airport and Frankfurt International, have been at the epicenter of recent flight chaos. On Tuesday, 39% of flights out of Frankfurt and 24% of flights out of Heathrow were delayed, according to FlightAware.
“Demand has been at an all-time high since the beginning of the year and has just built and built. The volume levels we experienced from March to May were the levels we typically expect from June to August,” Andy Christie . Director of the Private Jet Group of ACS, told the Insider.
“Most of this has been mainly for leisure travel, which is consistent with the lack of commercial services and infrastructure issues seen at major UK and continental European airports,” he said.
According to Jettly, 63% of travelers who booked a flight on the app between May and July were traveling for leisure, while another 37% flew for business.
“I’ve had people say for business, they just can’t use the airlines because they have important locations or important customers that they need to go out and see,” said Gollan, founder of Private Jet Card Comparisons. “After you cancel three appointments, clients are like, you’ve got to find a way, we need you to get out here.”
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