Dr. Omar Memon from Simple Flying – Reports
Private aviation has been on the rise in the last few years.
- The aviation industry, including private aviation, suffered intense economic losses due to the pandemic.
- Soon after, since commercial aviation was still lagging, business jet travel in the United States picked back up.
- Private aviation in the US experienced a substantial recovery and growth, with a 30% year-on-year increase in business jet flights in 2021.
Back in 2020, at the onset of the global pandemic, a significant downturn was seen across the aviation industry. The aviation industry at large saw economic losses of nearly $170 billion in 2020. Despite having one of the largest aviation markets, the United States aviation equally suffered during the pandemic. US airlines reduced their domestic schedules significantly while almost all international passenger flights were suspended.
While most businesses switched to virtual meetings, others who relied on commercial airlines for business travel were desperate to find a more reliable mode of travel. Business aviation in the United States saw a considerable uptick in the months following the pandemic’s peak. Business and private jet travel increased by more than 23% in the United States since the start of the pandemic.
Three years later, while commercial airlines have almost completely recovered from the downturn, private jet travel is still rising. This article shows a glimpse of private jet flights in the US before the pandemic and since its peak.
Business aviation in the US was on a constant rise up until the start of the pandemic. Private jet flights grew from 3.2 million movements in 2010 to over 3.8 million in 2019. The dramatic collapse of the aviation industry during the Covid pandemic brought down all aviation sectors, including private aviation, to some extent. However, the pandemic-related disruption was short-lived for business aviation in the United States.
Demand quickly rebounded, and those who could afford it moved towards this more reliable mode of travel at the time. All things considered, the US private aviation actually saw a 25% decline in 2020. There were nearly 3 million private flights in the country that year. The decrease was certainly not severe, considering the scope of the worldwide aviation collapse from 2020 to 2021.
Substantial recovery and growth
In the years following the pandemic’s peak, private aviation in the US saw significant growth. There were nearly 4.3 million business jet flights in the US in 2021, a staggering 30% increase in one year. This was possible due to newer and renewed private jet ownership and rental schemes offered by aircraft management companies. With several attractive lease, rental, membership, and fractional ownership offers, management companies began catering to a larger audience.
Apart from celebrities and prominent business tycoons, executives of relatively smaller businesses also used private aircraft for travel. Moreover, more straightforward rental and membership schemes such as Jet Cards provided greater jet access to leisure travelers. Notably, while 2021 numbers were outstanding, more than half of that may be attributed to general industry recovery.
In 2022, there were nearly 4.6 million private jet flights in the US. That is an almost 7% increase in business jet flights over the previous year. Private aviation in the US will continue gaining traction in 2023. It will be interesting to see if it continues to grow at the same rate this year and into the future.