From top destinations, from when travelers book and the most popular times to fly, the charter broker offers insights

U.K.-based charter broker PrivateFly, which became part of Kenn Ricci’s Directional Aviation portfolio last year, released its quarterly trends report on private jet travel.

Among the highlights was the percentage of female fliers increased to 29%, up two points, while 48% of all bookings were within a week of travel, down a point from 2018’s second quarter.

PrivateFly CEO Adam Twidell pictured in lead) said, “Our business grew considerably as we integrated our sister company Skyjet into PrivateFly,” noting, “This edition of Private Jet Charter Trends reflects our bigger footprint in the USA for the first time analyzing thousands of searches and booked flights.”

The company’s most popular global destination was New York City followed by Washington D.C., Nice, London, Paris, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, and Ibiza. For Europe, Nice led London followed by Paris, Ibiza, Madrid, Rome, Milan, Zurich, Florence, and Geneva.

The Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix helped power flights to the French Riviera while The Champions League Final pushed Madrid into the Top 10.

private jet charter

In terms of cabin size, 40% of flights were in light jets, a drop from 53% last year, while long range and super-midsize aircraft accounted for 32%, up from 17%. Flights on turboprops fell from 10% to 4% while midsize jets saw a five-point gain to 23% share of flights.

PrivateFly, which has been expanding its city pair fixed pricing product, saw the Nextant 400XTi as the most popular aircraft followed by the Cessna Citation XLS, Hawker 400XP, Citation X, CJ2/CJ2+, Legacy 600, Citation Ultra, Mustang, Phenom 300, and Citation Bravo.

While on 2% of customers flew the same day they booked, 13% booked the day before and 16% reserved their flights two to three days before departure. Overall 48% of bookings were within a week of flying, however, on the other end, 21% of flights were booked more than a month in advance.

lead time to book private jet flights

Average flight time was two hours and 33 minutes, and the average flight carried 4.15 passengers of which 12% were children under 16. Just 4% of flights had pets.

While Tuesdays and Thursdays were the busiest days for booking private jet flights, accounting for 21% and 20% respectively, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were the busiest days for actual flights, each with 16% of the total.

private jet charter

Some 24% of flights took place on Saturday and Sunday although the weekend accounted for just 12% of bookings. April 18, the Thursday prior to Easter was the busiest day of the quarter while 11 am was the most popular departure time.

If you want to get a leg up on your competitors, get an early start. Only a negligible percentage of departures was before 6 am.

most popular time for private jet flights

PrivateFly holds Argus Certified Broker and Wyvern Broker best practice accreditations and is a preferred partner of Virtuoso, the world’s leading luxury travel agency network. Established in 2008, PrivateFly’s global headquarters are located in St Albans, UK while the US operation is headquartered in Boston with a sales office focused on the Americas in Ft. Lauderdale. Sister companies in the group include Flexjet and Sentient Jet.

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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