In direct response to the COVID-19 outbreak, PrivateFly launches a jet card program to address the surge of new clients turning from commercial airline travel to private aviation. This fixed hourly rate, guaranteed availability jet card is designed for frequent flyers who, in the ‘new normal’, are turning to private jets for safer travel, more control over personal budgets, and ultimately minimizing potential exposure to the deadly virus. Card holders can also fly in the USA through a partnership with sister company Sentient Jet.
On announcing its half year results, UK public company Air Partner Plc (London Stock Exchange: AIR) said the number of new JetCards sold is up 50% on the prior period. They expect the increased interest to continue due to the safer environment offered by private aviation. In particular the company experienced exceptional levels of trading from COVID-19 related work in their Group Charter and Freight divisions.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) authorized the Treasury Department to provide up to $32 billion to compensate aviation industry workers and preserve jobs. This included both commercial and private aviation companies. Here’s a look at the largest private jet and jet card companies that received some of this funding.
As the world continues to battle the challenges of COVID-19, recent data proves that many businesses and individuals are turning to private aviation for a safer way to fly. The bottom line: private aviation and the use of jet cards are on the rise again, especially compared to commercial flights.
It is true, numbers are up since the onset of the pandemic, but the industry still has a way to go to fully recover. FlightAware CEO, Daniel Baker stated, “On Saturday, June 20, Business Aviation traffic surpassed 2019 numbers for the first time since the initial decline with 2.5% more flights than the same day last year. Weekday recovery still has ground to make up but continues to trend upward.”
Membership and jet card provider Magellan Jets has launched two new pay-as-you-go membership programs. As the world rethinks how to travel safely in the age of COVID-19, Magellan Jets is expanding its product portfolio. The company says that while it was once prudent to fly on commercial airlines for economic reasons, it’s now more prudent to invest in safer and more private travel options.
One of the largest jet card companies, Sentient Jet, is seeing new and existing members turn to private aviation as a trusted resource as the COVID-19 lockdown unwinds. They ascribe this to travelers seeking out the safety and convenience of flying private and jet cards, when compared to commercial options.
As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease, jet card provider Air Partner has seen a more than a 210% increase in request volumes for future flight bookings during May, compared to last May. This increase in inquiries is for private flights heading into June through August, with many clients seeking alternative solutions for flying to frequented leisure destinations or traveling for essential business matters.
All the major jet card providers have been enhancing their policies and procedures to make travel safer for both passengers and crews. These changes start with guidelines from both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and then build from there.
The charter and jet membership provider JetSuite, has filed for bankruptcy this week in the court in Delaware. Prepaid memberships represent a significant proportion of the outstanding debts.