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London will benefit in the long-term, says PrivateFly
Despite predictions of significant increases to private jet movements during the London 2012 Olympics, overall traffic levels were around 25 per cent down on what was anticipated, says booking service PrivateFly.com.

Despite predictions of significant increases to private jet movements during the London 2012 Olympics, overall traffic levels were around 25 per cent down on what was anticipated, says booking service PrivateFly.com. The Department for Transport had predicted 3,000 additional private jet movements attributable to the games.

“The industry was ready and waiting for a major Olympic surge in traffic, but in fact it was more of a gentle stream,” says ceo Adam Twidell. “All London airports had spare capacity for private jets during the games, including London City airport, just minutes from the Olympic Park.”

PrivateFly says it saw a 40 per cent increase in bookings during the period but a significant amount were from Londoners escaping the games. A large proportion of the extra Olympic traffic also came from corporates outside of Europe, using their own privately owned aircraft.

“Private jet traffic was not scared away from London; the predicted high levels of demand were just not there in the first place. This was a peoples’ Olympics, where athletes chose to travel by tube not limo, and the private jet traveller chose business class. Ironically, with the world’s eyes on London’s airports, the delays and inconveniences of airline travel were less of an issue than they usually are,” adds Twidell.

However, he believes there will be longer term benefits for London in terms of leisure travel and inward investment. Airport awareness and access have also benefitted as the games have highlighted the necessity of having multiple airports accessible to the business aviation community.

Twidell continues: “The London Olympics put a key focus on long-term sustainability and we should adopt the same view in private aviation. Despite demand falling short of expectations, our industry will move forward having learnt much from preparing for such a major international event.”