Private jet broker LunaJets says a deficit of long-haul flights and business travel will make for a painful downturn this Fall
While some private jet charter brokers have been accused of overhyping the recovery, Geneva, Switzerland-based LunaJets is apparently not in that category.
In a press release issued last week, LunaJets predicted, “The private jet market is facing unprecedented challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated an already fragile industry…The current wave of new quarantine measures and travel restrictions will have an immediate and devastating effect on the market.”
August’s private flights in Europe were up 3% of 2019.
However, Alain Leboursier, managed director at the broker says, “The good market summer figures are misleading. Clearly, the industry benefited from the commercial airline dislocation, with a spike of new leisure clients and first-time private jet flyers, but September will be a back-to-reality moment.”
He noted, “The corporate market demand, which represents 70% of our business from September to Christmas, is weak despite the best deals ever from a same-day return to trans-Atlantic flights.”
He continued, “Some jet operators or competitors seem to live in Cuckoo-land by publishing over-optimistic press releases, podcasts and articles. The private aviation industry has a long track record of frauds, capital misallocation, failures, and bankruptcies, including for manufacturers, operators, online platforms, suppliers, and charter brokers. The wake-up call is going to be painful, as the industry is much more fragile than during the 2001 and 2009 crisis.”
Jet Cards vs. On-Demand Charter
Eymeric Segard, CEO of LunaJets added, “Poor demand combined with massive aircraft over-capacity also leads to substantial drops (20% on average) in the rates-per-hour, as jet operators accept major discounts to maintain their fleet in operation.”
Segard said the new dynamics mean fixed-rate jet card users should consider on-demand charters this fall to take advantage of aggressive pricing from operators. LunaJets does not offer fixed-rate jet cards.