The Argus and Wyvern accredited broker of jet cards and on-demand charter released customer trends from Q1 2019

PrivateFly, which recently absorbed sister Directional Aviation broker Skyjet recently, said its customers were booking further in advance, flying in larger jets, spending more, but taking fewer people with them.

private jet charter

According to its Private Jet Charter Trends report covering the first quarter of 2019, 20% of customers booked long range and super-midsize private jets, a 33% jump from the same period in 2018. That said, 52% of flights still used small jets with another 9% on small propeller aircraft. Medium and midsize jets accounted for 18% of flights and large or regional airlines fell from 2% to 1%.

Number of passengers per private charter flight drops

Even if there were more larger jets being chartered, PrivateFly said the average number of passengers plummeted from 4.9 to 3.77, although children under age 16 made up 14% of passengers, in line with 15% for 2018. The average age increased slightly from 39 to 40 years old, perhaps indicating that flying privately won’t keep you young, but it will certainly take away many of travel’s hassles.  The percentage of female passengers edged from 28% to 29%.

In terms of top destinations, reflecting PrivateFly’s U.K. roots (it also has U.S. offices), London was number one followed by Los Angeles, Paris, Geneva, Nice, New York, Madrid, Grenoble, Sion, and Nassau in the Bahamas.

Recently, PrivateFly announced it was launching fixed rate flights for the summer between London and Paris and key holiday destinations.

Props and Small Jets see largest price increases

In terms of average spend,  the biggest gains were in small prop aircraft, where average charger jump 12% to $9,148 and small jets where it increased 15% to $15,199.  While overall average spend increased due to a larger mix of larger aircraft, spend on midsize jets dropped 43% to $24,392 and long-range and midsize charters averaged $61,521, down 25%.

private jet charter brokers

PrivateFly reports the favorite the Cessna Citation Mustang was the most chartered private jet followed by the  Nextant 400XT, Citation CJ2, Citation XLS+, Citation X, Citation Bravo, Citation CJ3, Hawker 800/800XP, and Embraer Phenom 100.

In terms of advance planning, 9% of customers booked the same day as their flight, 13% the day before, 16% with two to three days noticed, 13% from four to seven days while 37% booked at least 15 days in advance.

Perhaps underscoring the popularity of private jet flights by families who value convenience over cost, February 16, the start of school holidays in Europe, was PrivateFly’s busiest day. Thursdays (19%) also replaced Friday as the busiest day for flights while Tuesday was the busiest day for bookings. Only 11% of flights were booked on Saturday and Sunday although they accounted for 31% of flights.

Paid subscribers of Private Jet Card Comparisons can compare over 250 jet card programs, including PrivateFly’s pay-as-you-go Explorer jet card and access our curated list of top charter brokers.

About the Author Doug Gollan

I am Founder and Editor of Private Jet Card Comparisons, the only independent buyer's guide to jet card membership programs, and DG Amazing Experiences, a weekly luxury travel e-newsletter for private jet owners. I am also a contributor to Forbes.com