International private jet charter supply could be helped by end of U.S. Covid testing

By Doug Gollan, June 10, 2022

The requirements for Covid testing implemented in January 2021 led to private jet owners restricting international charter flights

The supply of private jets for flights outside the U.S. could see some relief as the United States drops its requirement for Covid-19 testing for international air arrivals.

The requirement, which extended to private jet flyers, had caused some aircraft owners to restrict their aircraft to domestic charter flights.

The Center of Disease Control initially implemented the policy in January 2021. Multiple news outlets are reporting the CDC will end the requirement later today.

A large portion of the on-demand charter and jet card fleet is via managed aircraft. In those cases, the airplanes are made available for charter flights when owners aren’t using them.

However, owners can place their own rules and restrictions on where their aircraft can fly.

According to industry executives, at least some owners were concerned about their crews testing positive while out of the country. That would have stranded their aircraft. They therefore wouldn’t allow their jets to be used for international charter flights.

The change, which also impacts passengers who will no longer require tests before flying to the U.S., may not be a panacea. However, it could help, said two executives.

Covid-19 testing impacts private jet charters

However, supply chain issues which have meant delays scheduling repairs have also impacted where operators will fly their jets. That remains.

Vista Global’s XO in recent months pared back the Caribbean and Mexico airports Elite Access members can fly to at fixed rates.

According to several members, the company told them they are only flying to international airports where they have the facility to handle repairs on short notice.

Airstream Jets pared back the number of international destinations where it offers fixed-rate pricing.

Air Partner, following its purchase by Wheels Up, dropped one-way fixed prices to the Caribbean and Mexico entirely.

Magellan Jets extended international call-outs to seven days for non-peak day flights.

A formal announcement on the end of testing requirements is expected later today, according to multiple news outlets.

It’s too early to tell what if any changes there will be to international rule sets for jet cards.

Yet, there could be some upside. “Anything the increases availability of supply is good,” said one CEO.

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