Over the past year-and-a-half, the travel industry has seen quite a few changes following the outbreak of the Covid pandemic. And while some people choose to refrain from travel altogether, others opt for a safer and now popular means of travel: private jets.
Private jets have reportedly become quite popular as well as viable as opposed to commercial flying since the pandemic. Other than the aspect of having your own comfortable, private space, these jets are a practical option if you prefer conveniences like direct travel without any layovers, not having to be at the airport 2-3 hours prior, and avoiding long airport custom lines.
LuxeBook spoke to Kanika Tekriwal, CEO and Founder of JetSetGo Aviation, Rajesh Singh, CEO and co-founder of Blue Heights Aviation, Sachit Wadhwa, co-founder of Book My Charters and Santosh Sharma CEO and co-founder of Foresee Aviation, to discuss the effects of Covid on travel as well as the popularity and take-off of private jet companies.
Most of the travel and tourism industry faced a low down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the air charter companies too, faced quite a drop. “During COVID-19 all air operations were closed by the state and central government, so we had a bad phase that year,” says Rajesh Singh.
Some services even faced a shutdown due to the adversities of the situation. As Sachit Wadhwa puts it, “Our charter service had to be shut down because only specially permitted flights were allowed to take off. And those permissions had to come from a number of places.”
But the show had to go on, and so despite the travel restrictions, few private charter companies found a way to lend a helping hand. While Blue Heights Aviation provided air ambulance services in and outside India, JetSetGo Aviation provided emergency evacuation and medevac flights.
Despite the said effects of Covid on the travel industry, some would like to believe that there were a few positive effects. Talking about new travel trends, Santosh Sharma says that people are now looking to travel to unexplored destinations rather than popular holiday destinations like Goa and Udaipur, which are not only less crowded but also interesting locations for a getaway.
Leisure travel, too, has become a new travel trend, where people are willing to spend as much money to travel to an exotic location with superior safety protocols. “With locations like Maldives, Sri Lanka, Mexico and UAE opening up for Indians, we have seen a nine-fold increase in booking requests, with approximately 10-12 booking queries each day”, says Kanika.
Private vs Commercial
Another positive impact for private charter companies is that more people are choosing to travel by private jets now. With safety becoming a top priority, people are willing to spend the extra buck if it means a safer, more protected environment.
Many private air charter owners too, believe that private planes are a much better option compared to a commercial aircraft. Some of the common reasons for these are the travel routine itself, wherein private flyers get to customise their entire experience as per their own liking, right from choosing their favourite meals from specific restaurants to other trivial preferences like the fragrance of the aircraft, special settings etc.