COVID-19 has had a major impact on the travel industry as a whole, with individuals cancelling vacation plans, resorts temporarily shutting down, and commercial airlines significantly cutting services. The private jet market, however, has rebounded substantially since March and is currently experiencing unprecedented growth.
One of primary drivers of this growth is that when you charter a private jet, you are going to have a much safer travel experience than flying commercial. In addition, as many individuals look ahead to their upcoming vacation, many destinations such as Cayman Islands and The Bahamas are restricting travel, making these destinations only reachable by a private jet.
So what are some of the safety benefits of a private flight?
Two of the biggest 2020 perks of a private plane are that you can travel with the individuals that in your quarantine circle (or you are comfortable adding to your quarantine circle), and avoiding the general public as much as possible. More specifically, with a private jet, you can:
Utilize private terminals (FBO's) and/or alternative airports, such as an executive airport.
Maintain social distancing by limiting the passengers on your flight and controlling seat assignments
Avoid waiting in long lines at check-in, security or boarding. At many FBO's, you will be able to drive right up and walk on the plane.
Minimize contact with crew and airport personnel
Implement safety measures for your group, including COVID-19 testing prior to your flight, temperature readings, or require face masks. For travel to certain international destinations, COVID-19 tests prior to departure are required.
Ensure that your operator has had time to deep clean the aircraft prior to your flight, or coordinate your own cleaning.
Each private jet operator has also taken their own precautions to ensure as safe of a travel experience as possible. We can help you understand the precautions of the specific operator you are flying on, and if your group has specific procedures you would like followed, this can be coordinated in advance.
Just think about the number of times you will interact with the general public or touch points in commercial travel. Pretty much all of these touch points can be significantly reduced or eliminated all together with private travel!
Destination Travel Restrictions
Much like in March when COVID-19 began to have a global impact on air travel, international travel restrictions are changing on a daily basis. We can help you navigate and understand these restrictions from the planning stage right up until you travel, to ensure as seamless of a travel experience as possible. Please note, the travel restrictions below are updated as of the posting of this blog on July 21, 2020.
Just this week, The Bahamas announced that they will be restricting incoming/outgoing travel to the US. The only way to reach the island is a private aircraft.
Similarly, Cayman Islands has been closed to international commercial flights since March. They are considering opening the island to private jets beginning September 1.
Jamaica’s Prime Minister recently announced revised rules for entry into the island—namely, that all non-business travelers, ages 12 and up, coming from the states of Arizona, New York, Florida and Texas will be required to upload proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from a laboratory that’s been accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) within ten days of their intended arrival in Jamaica.
I am looking into a private jet for the first time. I didn't realize the cost to charter a private jet was so much. Why is it so higher than expected?
Unfortunately, chartering a private jet is not for everybody, the costs to travel private are substantially higher than commercial. But whether you are looking into a private jet for the first time or have been flying private for years, it is important to have a basic understanding of the costs to fly private.
As a starting point, there are multiple types of aircraft, including light jets, midsize jets, and heavy jets. Each type of aircraft will have different seating capacities, range and costs to operate. As a general rule, the larger the aircraft, the more expensive the flight. A light jet can start at a couple thousand per hour, with a long-range jet up to $10,000 or more per hour.
"That isn't not too bad, I am only flying 2 hours each way. So at $3,000 per hour, my light jet will cost around $12,000?"
This is probably the biggest misconception for first time private jet flyers. In addition to the time you are actually flying, that aircraft needs to ferry to your desired airport. Also, unless your trip is a day or two, the aircraft and crew will not stay with you, it will fly home and then pick you up again for your return. At minimum, the total flight time will be at least double your round trip flight time. Now, even though you are flying for 4 hours, the flight time needed is at least 8 (or more, depending on the ferry needs).
There are a lot of options in the private jet market. We recommend working with your qualified broker partner to help determine the aircraft and operator that makes the most sense for you. You can also get a real-time estimate for your trip below.