Few things can be more luxurious than arriving in style aboard your own private jet.
But in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the demands of luxury travellers were bound to change, and their use of private jets is no exception. Passengers are declining the trappings of luxury and are looking to get to their destination with the smallest possible risk of infection. The private jet industry is expecting to boom over the coming months as wealthy travellers, who might previously have flown first class, look for ways to travel as safely as possible.
Global VIP private jet charter specialist Chapman Freeborn have revealed that their wealthy travellers are wanting less frills and perks when flying by private jet and are asking to prioritise and personalise the safety of their flights - with some even requesting to fly without cabin crew.
By nature, private jets already offer a range of benefits that promote social distancing and those flying by private jet they could easily board their plane without coming anywhere near another passenger. Often flying from smaller airfields or from private facilities there are far fewer touchpoints with the general public and a lot more perks. This includes access to their own private terminal, lounge and check-in areas, not to mention being the only people on the aircraft.
Kathy Leroy, VIP Charter Manager at Chapman Freeborn said: 'In terms of social distancing and keeping passengers safe from the virus when flying, chartering a private jet is about as good as it gets.
'The beauty for passengers is they have far more control over the safety procedures put in place. They will get straight onto a sanitised plane and have very little contact with anyone else on departure or arrival.
'In terms of risk of infection, there’s no doubt that the most dangerous place is the airport itself, that’s where the biggest crowds of people are.
'Safety is by far the biggest message. Some VIPs are even requesting no cabin crew on the aircraft because they only want their own people on board. This is sometimes possible, depending on the size of the aircraft, and we are always willing to listen to all requests to personalise the safety environment.
'It’s a different scenario right now because usually VIP passengers are very particular about how they want their flight experience to feel'.
The other significant benefit of chartering a private jet, of course, is that more destinations are open to you – especially at a time when many scheduled flights have been cancelled due to the pandemic. Those flying by private jet have been able to visit destinations such as the Seychelles, even though the islands have not been open to scheduled flights.
Sarah Bryans 24/07/2020, updated 16/09/2021