European very light jet operator GlobeAir expects volume growth of 20% for private jet charters in 2021.
The company said it has been seeing strong growth since last June. More travelers moved from the airlines to private jets, seeking to reduce exposure to COVID-19. Others downgraded from larger private jets.
Last year, GlobeAir’s new accounts grew 89% more compared to in 2019. Inquiries in December 2020 were up 24% followed by a 17% increase last month.
“This trend may be due to the growth of converters and downgraders. The first being frequent flyers who have switched to private jet services – converters; the latter being private jet travelers who now prefer entry-level jet services – downgraders,” says GlobeAir vice president of marketing and sales Jonathan Berdoz.
He continued, “No matter if vaccination programs have begun, those won’t be enough to solve the biosecurity concern for yet another year. Today, for example, many European countries don’t consider vaccines as a green card to travel freely without being tested multiple times. There will be more short-haul than long-haul flights, and passengers will demand the highest flexibility in rebookings and rescheduling. Commercial airlines won’t be restoring many of the suspended routes, especially those connecting regional and smaller airports.”
Last year, Globe Air’s study comparing touchpoints when flying with the airlines – over 700 – to private jets, less than 20 – has been widely quoted in the media.
Last year, GlobeAir stated within 1% of its 2019 activity level, flying 9,000 sectors across over 300 airports, according to WingX data.
GlobeAir predicts Sardinia, Corsica, the Balearic Islands, and Côte d’Azur will be summer’s top destinations. While many airliners remain grounded, plans call for expanding its private jet fleet.
“After the challenging events of the previous year, we are starting 2021 with renewed optimism. It is both a challenging and exciting time for business aviation, with space for innovation and new concepts no matter the crisis. We are sure that we will come out of this crisis stronger and that many new ideas from our project pool will become a reality.” says GlobeAir CEO Bernhard Fragner.
The company said it is seeing an increase in carbon offset requests coming from large corporations and athletes flying private.