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June 23, 2024

Private jets become popular in Covid times

Schenelle Dsouza
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.
Foresee Aviation
Photo Courtesy: Foresee Aviation
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.
Sachit Wadhwa, Co-Founder - BookMy Charters
Sachit Wadhwa, Co-Founder – BookMy Charters
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.
Pandemic-Induced Demand
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.
Rajesh Singh and Neha Singh, Co-founders - Blue Heights Aviation
Rajesh Singh and Neha Singh, Co-founders – Blue Heights Aviation
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.
Foresee Aviation
Photo Courtesy: Foresee Aviation
Positive Changes
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.
Kanika Tekriwal, CEO & Founder - JetSetGo Aviation
Kanika Tekriwal, CEO & Founder – JetSetGo Aviation
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.
JetSetGo Aviation
Photo Courtesy: JetSetGo Aviation

 

There are also added benefits like avoiding crowded aircraft and airport protocols, seamless ground transportation, being able to travel to multiple destinations in the same day as well as being able to change their destinations with a 30-minute notice.
Given the on-and-off disruption in commercial flight services, charters also offer a high degree of flexibility and dependability, which make them a better option for the most part.
Book My Charters
Photo Courtesy: Book My Charters
Coping with Restrictions
As the travel ban has been lifted in several destinations in and outside India, many airlines continue with their safety protocols before accommodating passengers. And while an RT-PCR test is not a compulsion, vaccination certificates and negative Covid test reports remain a necessity.
JetSetGo Aviation
Photo Courtesy: JetSetGo Aviation
Other than these, private air charters also ensure safety measures like maintaining well-mapped touchpoints, thoroughly sanitising aircrafts before and after each trip, as well as ensuring that all onboard passengers and crew wear a mask and maintain social distancing throughout the flight.
Changing Landscapes
Over the past year-and-a-half, the aviation industry faced some drastic changes due to the pandemic. While the demand for a charter plane did exist before, it was a meagre amount. It is only now that the private charter industry has gained momentum and acceptance. It has gained popularity with more people choosing private over commercial flying. Many of these can be attributed to first-time flyers who were routine commercial flyers but are now jumping the fence.
Santosh Sharma, Cofounder & CEO - Foresee Aviation
Santosh Sharma, Cofounder & CEO – Foresee Aviation
People now not only book chartered flights, but some of them choose to invest in their very own private jet. Like Santosh Sharma puts it, “A lot of corporate houses who were initially quite modest about their transportation are now even deliberating buying their own private jets not just for the management but also for the commute of their higher management’s families.”
Average Cost
The cost of a private jet can vary depending on its type and the destination among other things. The average can be anywhere from ₹70,000 to a few lakhs per hour, with a few additional charges depending on the customer’s requests.
Book My Charters
Photo Courtesy: Book My Charters
The standard turbo planes start from an average of ₹80,000 per hour, while a Twin-Engine Double Propeller would approximately cost about ₹1 lakh per hour in India. Jets on the other hand are on the higher range scale, where a smaller jet starts from ₹75 lakhs, whereas a luxury jet would cost anywhere between ₹3-6 lakhs per hour.
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Schenelle Dsouza

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