The New Normal in Aviation
COVID-19 came as a shock to the airline industry. Suddenly, for the first time in over a hundred years, international flights came to a grinding halt. In April 2020, international flights dropped by 80%, hitting the aviation industry hard.
The demand for business flights and leisure flights fell, as country after country closed their borders to non-essential travel and remote-working has led to a lack of travel. Where people once hopped on a place without a second thought, apprehension now reigns.
COVID has led to changing expectations from the traveller, with airlines prioritizing safety and hygiene to encourage travellers to board their planes once more. New measures such as HEPA filters, which remove more than 99% of the germs in the cabin air, obligatory masks for passengers during the flight, the elimination of trolley services and bathroom access, obligatory temperature checks, and COVID testing upon arrival has dampened the appeal of travelling by air.
Despite these new measures, to date, there have been no outbreaks directly linked to air travel. In spite of this, there are still risks related to commercial travel.
One sector of the aviation industry is emerging as a strong choice for those who wish to fly: the private jet sector.
Responding to the hygiene and safety measures, deep cleaning of aircraft, distancing and limited interaction between cabin and crew, temperature testing, and the guarantee of avoiding the crowds has allowed private jet charters to become a popular choice. In fact, in the UK the demand for private jet travel has surged by nearly 20%, whilst in the US it has grown by 9%.
Airlines in the UK and the US have both employed more safety measures regarding the cleanliness on airplanes which include the disinfection of cabin hard surfaces, deep carpet cleaning, frequent cleaning of the on-board lavatories and use of HEPA filters in the air conditioning systems that circulate and replace the air in the cabin every three to five minutes. Some airlines take it a step further, including the replacement of seat covers, sterilization of the water system and replacement of air filters, some even forgo the distribution of hot towels, blankets, magazines and pillows.
InsiJets make sure that a further employs hygiene solution called Bacoban® will be applied, a disinfectant that remains on surfaces for as long as 10 days, ensuring that surfaces are disinfected regularly to prevent the risk of transmission. InsiJets maintains a high standard of hygiene in keeping with regulations by restricting the fleet to only operators who can deliver the highest standard in safety and service. Moreover, InsiJets provides 360 degree support with regards the paperwork necessary to comply with the latest procedures with airport authorities.
The surge in clientele for private jet charters worldwide is due to many business and first-class travellers choosing to fly by private charter instead. According to Forbes, only 10% of the people who could have the money for private jet travel actually use this form of transportation. Nowadays, the number of new passengers indicates that the pandemic has launched the concept of private jet charter into the mainstream.
Another popular use for chartering jets which has arisen since the pandemic is the ability to travel from different countries that may be in lockdown, something commercial airlines cannot do. This is essential for flying people out of lockdown areas and returning them to their home countries, something that has grown considerably in the business sector, where CEOs and high-flying executives were flown back home in private jets. Private jet charters that provide these “lifeline” routes contributed to the increase in charters since the beginning of the pandemic.
The advantages of private jet charters include being able to control the number of passengers sharing the cabin with you, avoiding busy and crowded airport terminals ,and the ability to obtain flight permission more easily than scheduled flights.
Private jets are flown considerably less than commercial flights, with privately booked jets flying between 20 and 80 hours every month, compared to commercial aircraft which clock from 200 to 250 travel hours per month or more. This means that as well as the rigorous cleaning processes, there is less passenger exposure.
The flexibility of the private jet industry is also its capability to adapt to changing situations. Private jet charters have quick responses to customer requests, unhampered by the hierarchies and restrictions that govern commercial airlines. Private jets offer availability to accommodate sudden changes in your travel plans and work with your schedule, meaning that they can be available to depart within a matter of hours or wait for you if you are running late.
Also, depending on the airport you will be arriving to, there is the possibility to be met by car directly on the runway with any security or immigration procedures dealt with from your vehicle minimising your interactions with airport staff and ultimately, minimising your risk.
If you wish to travel by private jet, there are still things that you need to be aware of when chartering private jet travel in times of COVID-19. There may be changes to the aircraft during and after booking due to changing flight schedules and it pays to be flexible in your travel times and dates.
Ultimately, the greatest luxury you can obtain is peace of mind when travelling by plane.