Private-jet bookings are up ahead of new England lockdown

The Editors
·2-min read

From Harper's BAZAAR

Ahead of Thursday's national lockdown, many of England's wealthiest residents are jetting out of the country – and, according to a report by The Guardian, plenty of them are flying private. The newspaper has spoken with various private-jet brokers who have confirmed that bookings are soaring this week.

"Many of these flight inquiries are for individuals wishing to go to their second homes in Europe, with the Canary Islands, which are still warm at this time of year, being the most sought-after destination," Air Partner, one of the biggest aircraft charter firms told the outlet.

Photo credit: ZhangKun - Getty Images
Photo credit: ZhangKun - Getty Images

A similar pattern was seen when lockdown eased in July. The Air Charter Service, the world’s largest aircraft charter broker, reported a huge 258 per cent increase in UK-based enquiries around private jet hire over the weekend from 3-5 July.

Although bookings for commercial flights have plummeted this year as a result of the first lockdown and the various travel restrictions imposed since, the use of private jets has not dropped in demand as much. The commercial flight schedule is down about 50 per cent, compared with private-jet bookings which are down around 10 per cent, according to aviation consultancy Wingx via The Guardian.

This suggests that the rich have continued to travel almost as much as before, while the private-jet industry may also have found a new customer in those who are now willing to pay more for their own jets as a result of hygiene concerns and to avoid crowds, both on planes and in the airport.

"While we could not have anticipated numbers of enquiries to rise so significantly, we had expected an increase as we know that many of our clients are eager to travel internationally again for leisure and business, and this move now makes it possible," Justin Bowman, CEO of Air Charter Service said when the initial restrictions lifted in July. "Understandably, we are also seeing a rise in new customer enquiries because as well as accessibility, private jets offer an extremely high level of hygiene with minimal human contact, and allow passengers to avoid busy airports and travel in a bubble of close family and friends, which is now a key consideration for post-lockdown travel."

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