By The Biz Team (Siam)
The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously damaged the commercial airline industry. However, the general public seems to have little sympathy for them. Over the past decade, commercial flying has become a nightmare. Everyone has to arrive hours before the flight, and then wait in mile-long lines to be cleared by security. Even the actual plane journey is a hassle. The seats have become narrower, less leg room, there’s a limited amount of luggage you can bring, and there are fees for almost anything you can think of. You can't even score a bag of peanuts on some airlines. And anyone who utters a negative word, or argues with the air steward can immediately be kicked off the plane. It's no wonder the private air travel industry has slowly risen. Is a private jet the best way to travel? Here are a few fun facts for helping you decide.
While the commercial airline industry has been struggling for the past few months, the private jet industry is soaring, no pun intended. The general public has simply grown tired of the hassles they have to deal with when flying commercial. Once upon a time, the private jet industry was the exclusive means of travel for celebs and the wealthy. But today, there are medium and smaller sized jets that might open up the market to less affluent travelers. Three key reasons for the boom in the private jet industry? Lower fare prices, no lines to deal with, and now...less health concerns.
According to Globe Air, the risk of attracting coronavirus is thirty times less on a private jet, compared to a commercial. It’s one of the main reasons why, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the private jet industry has seen a significant increase in inquiries from new customers. According to Private Jet Card Comparisons and industry figures, commercial flights are only running at 15-20% of last year's capacity, while private flights are running at up to 80% or more of normal capacity. The growth is being driven almost entirely by new customers drawn to flying private, due to health concerns and lower jet prices.
To ensure passenger safety, the private jet industry has taken on many health measures to help provide the best possible safety experience. In many cases, passengers can now drive right up to the plane on the tarmac. Temperature checks are given to passengers and all employees. While on the ground, all jets undergo disinfection and fumigation cleansing, to ensure that the aircraft is as clean and sterile as possible.
Many believe that flying private is something that only celebrities, or people of great wealth can manage to do. But that's not always true, depending on your budget and how many people are traveling together. When it comes to chartering a medium-size jet, the cost from Miami to New York is around $10,000. These medium-size jets can seat around 8-10 passengers, so the cost for an individual is around $1,000. The more luxurious the private jet, the higher the price. For example, on a Gulfstream IV, the cost from New York to Los Angeles is around $24K, which works out to about $2,400 per passenger.
The types of amenities available onboard a private jet depend on the size and travel length. If one is traveling on a charter private jet to Europe from the U.S. for example, the jet will have many amenities. When traveling inside the USA, they are a bit more limited. But basic amenities you should expect are more leg room, a roomier bathroom, gourmet food, and a TV on which you can play movies, music, and games. It's basically suited to fit everyone's needs.
Unfortunately, the environmental impact of flying private is not so favorable. A private jet can emit as much as 20 times more carbon dioxide per passenger mile than a commercial aircraft. If you can afford it, you can offset those emissions by paying for carbon credits. The best method for doing so is by seeking credits from groups that respected non-governmental organizations support, like Gold Standard. This step will help the environment, but will decrease the likelihood of private jet travel remaining affordable.
In terms of affordability, the average price for a private jet flight declined by 13% from 2014 to 2016. So while flying private jets may be becoming more affordable and provide less of an immediate health risk, the long term affects on the planet may be far more dangerous. Until there is a more affordable way to offset carbon emissions, and until travel becomes less of a health threat; it may be best to consider flying commercial, or better yet...staycations.