February 04 2021
Unsurprisingly, there has been quite an increase in enquiries and bookings amongst the various private charter flight companies since last May of 2020. However, the most in-demand private aircraft charter services are not necessarily for tourism only.
That is not to say that tourism has not been a large part of this increase. With the “new normal” we are facing, thanks to the ongoing pandemic, many find the only way to achieve some normalcy is by taking a vacation—and charting a private flight in order to remain safe during these unprecedented times.
In this article, we are going to discuss the rise in popularity of charter flights amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, which types are in the highest demand right now, and what the future for private air travel will look like.
The Rise of Chartered Flights
There are some things private charter flights have always offered that commercial flights just can’t. For example, they offer a more specific choice of flight destinations and routes, with more airports to choose from, a range of prop and jet aircraft types, a variety of travel products (depending on the company) and overall experiences unrivalled by packed planes and bustling airports.
While the cost of chartering a private aircraft is still rather high for the average person, it may very well be within reach, thanks to the various business models used for booking with private charter flight companies, especially since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is becoming so accessible that there are even private charter flight companies whose websites resemble that of Uber and Lyft in design and ease of use.
Especially now that we have entered 2021, private air charter services have become a favourable option. Not only do private air charters minimise touch-points, allowing passengers to bypass busy airports, but they also allow for the avoidance of crowds, which minimises unwanted contact with the airborne coronavirus.
Private Charter Flights: Not Just for Tourism
According to multiple reports, some private air charter operators have seen an increase in enquiries for private charters up to 400%. The primary reason for this is that commercial airlines were not able to fly during the initial impacts of the pandemic. After some time, flight corridors for commercial airlines opened back up, but not at full capacity until recently.
This left thousands—if not hundreds of thousands—desperate to get back to their homes from vacations, business trips, family visits, and so on. Moreover, critical business trips and the relocation of employees were among some of the top enquiries for private charter flights.
It suffices to say, an increasing number of companies are beginning to see the value in private air charter travel for business purposes. For starters, it is an efficient way to transport employees with specific skills to where they are needed in the shortest time possible. Teams can also quickly travel to acquisitions and alliance opportunities, allowing businesses of varying levels to compete in a real-time marketplace.
Another lesser-known benefit of private charter flights is the potential to increase employee productivity. According to a report conducted by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), corporate air charter passengers spent at least two-thirds of their time working during the flight and one-third of their time engaging with colleagues and clients.
Lastly, private air charter services also offer the necessary flexibility, predictability and management control in terms of business scheduling. This has allowed for organisations far and wide to maintain their business schedules that would not be met efficiently using commercial airlines or other types of transportation.
Organisations have also been able to hire private cargo charters to safely transport vital tools and materials such as dangerous goods, heavy cargo, medical equipment, and humanitarian relief packages that cannot otherwise be carried aboard commercial airlines. In fact, throughout 2020, HADID arranged an exceptionally high volume of repatriation and time-critical private charter flights for individuals, businesses and governmental organisations.
Private cargo and air freight charters are most often the only way to access remote regions and lend support to groups of people in need. Especially during these unprecedented times, it is harder to cater to relief efforts, but private cargo charters have made all the difference.
What Makes Private Charter Flights So Safe?
When you compare private air charters and regular commercial flights, there are several critical differences that make understanding the growth rate of charter services simpler.
For example, unlike commercial flights, private air charters are technically unscheduled—that is until a client or a group of clients rent an aircraft. Upon private charter flight booking, the client or clients can determine their destination, time of arrival and departure point, which adds to the overall convenience of private charter flights.
However, the most important difference right now is the level of safety private charter flights can offer during a time like this. The aviation industry has always adhered to strict hygiene standards and requirements, but these standards and requirements are taken above and beyond with private aviation companies.
Arguably the greatest benefit in terms of safety with private charters is the fact that there are far fewer passengers on a private aircraft at any given time. This automatically lowers the risk of the transmission of germs from person to person, lowering the risk of infection. As mentioned earlier, private charters also minimise touch-points which means clients spend less time at the airport as they can head straight to the aircraft upon arrival, reducing exposure time to airborne pathogens.
As we reflect on our current global situation, it is easy to see that private charter flights are, in fact, one of the safest ways to travel. Whilst the most attractive features of private charter flights, such as the faster security checks, minimal crowds or queuing, bespoke services and on-board social distancing, remain largely unchanged, they have become more desirable through the pandemic.
How HADID Has Set the Standard
Hadid International Services (HADID) has been a leading provider in aviation support services as well as FBO services to a diverse and global clientele. Incorporated in 1981, HADID offers a variety of aviation support services including flight permits, aircraft and crew ground support, private charter flights for VIP clientele, navigation support, governmental flight support, flight planning and more.
During these unprecedented times, many operators and airports alike have made the appropriate adjustments by implementing the necessary preventative measures, starting by adapting their business models to the current situation. The deployment of emerging technology and moving forward with the digitalisation of aviation practices have been at the forefront of these adaptations.
Digital transformation had already been underway for nearly every industry before the pandemic. However, the demand for the safe transport of both passengers and cargo has accelerated the pace of change. There became a critical need for advanced screening, UV cleaning, biometrics, PPE uniforms for flight crews as well as an overall new standard for air travel. HADID responded quickly at the onset of the pandemic as the company began working closely with health professionals, experts, authorities, and various airlines to ensure that all flight types and categories would be handled safely and efficiently.
The company’s teams implemented a number of new standards and practices to manage touch-points, disinfect all surfaces, and properly screen passengers while maintaining social distancing measures. Additionally, HADID puts the health and safety of its clients and employees above everything else.
HADID has taken every precaution possible to ensure that tourists, businesses, cargo, and medical relief packages continue to get to where they need to be—safely, swiftly and without interruption.