Aircraft Availability is Becoming Very Limited as Demand for Private Flights Surges
Private jet providers are enacting preventative measures to combat the skyrocketing demand for private jets as we enter the 4th quarter of 2021.
During this time last year, people were already traveling more often as we headed into the fall and winter months, but activity was still very moderate compared to previous years; many countries were still prohibiting entry of foreign, or in some cases their own citizens, and some travelers were turned off by the testing & quarantine requirements.
This year, things are quite a bit different – vaccine distribution began at the start of the year; nations began to emerge from lockdowns; social distancing and mask requirements began to change; by summer, arenas and stadiums were full once again for concerts and sporting events. And, commercial airlines were dealing with a sharp increase in demand – and unruly passengers.
The slow emergence from the pandemic has also led to one of the busiest periods for private aviation in recent years, with an increasing number of requests that are quickly beginning to outweigh availability.
And it’s not just people who fly private regularly filling the schedule: it’s mostly coming from a large wave of first-time private flyers.
Operators and providers are trying to balance the incoming requests with existing clients and/or prior commitments to jet card members – all while combating external variants that threaten to disrupt the schedule, including delayed fuel deliveries and a lack of qualified pilots to fill new captain’s seats.
How will this impact holiday travel?
The lack of availability as demand continues to surge will be the largest issue as the year comes to a close. We anticipate extremely limited aircraft availability as each week passes, with increased costs for chartering in a flooded market.
Pricing has slowly increased over the past year as things return to somewhat normal, which has not dissuaded many from chartering.
Due to the high demand, pricing will be at a premium as someone will want to book in the current market, however, the higher cost for flights may also come from having to rent a larger plane then necessary for your flight without any light or midsize planes available.
Providers have already increased the time required to secure an aircraft to deal with demand; some private jet memberships that guarantee availability in 24 hours have moved that number back to 72 hours; other jet card providers raised pricing to quell demand, only to suspend sales of their cards altogether before selling hours their fleets can’t fly.
Despite these reactions by the industry, shortages in supply chains threaten external delays – jet fuel deliveries could be impacted by a shortage of workers in shipping and transportation; planes are flying more often requiring additional maintenance when parts may not be readily available; an influx of pilots will be needed to fill seats in new aircraft as operators add to their fleets.
Planning to fly private over the next few months?
Unless flights are booked within the coming weeks, it may become increasingly difficult to fulfill requests for holiday flights and trips in early Q1 2022 – we’ve already found it to be substantially more difficult to locate aircraft in recent weeks, and we expect this trend to continue.
If you’re planning to fly anytime between now and early next year, it’s going to be important to plan ahead and maintain as much flexibility as possible.
Dates on the schedule around the holidays are quickly becoming filled. That said, deals may open last minute as trips are canceled due to the numerous variables associated with certain types of domestic & international travel.
Air Charter Advisors will be available around the clock offering our complete list of aviation services.
If you’re thinking about flying private in the coming months, just give us a call with the details of your flight or submit a request for a free quote, no matter where you’re flying to or from.