Air Partner's private jets division has seen a significant year-on-year increase in jet card deposits in both the UK and US in February and March 2021, indicating that leisure travellers are increasingly preparing for the easing of travel restrictions and looking to secure flexible and safe travel.
The US private jets business, which benefits from a large domestic market where skies have remained open, sold 500 per cent more new jet cards in the period year-on-year and recorded a 450 per cent increase in deposits from new customers (GBP 300,000). Total jet card deposits, from both new and existing customers, amounted to approximately GBP 1.4 million, up 30 per cent on the same time last year, when COVID-19 travel restrictions were starting to be introduced.
In the UK, the number of jet cards sold and renewed in February and March increased by 15 per cent year-on-year, with GBP 750,000 worth of jet card deposits secured from new customers. Deposits from new and existing customers in the period totalled GBP 1.6 million, up around 20 per cent from the same timeframe in 2020.
Air Partner has seen demand recover faster for its jet card product than ad hoc flying. The jet card programme allows clients to plan their travel for the year ahead by buying private jet flying hours in advance, offering fixed rates across six cabin sizes and the ability to change booking details or cancel up to the very last minute without penalty. It is proving popular as it gives travellers the ability to fly in safety the moment travel restrictions are lifted, but with flexibility in case they need to amend plans.
CEO Mark Briffa comments: “The US private jet market is one vast, domestic market so it has not been subject to the types of restrictions and national lockdowns that we have seen in the UK and Europe. As a result, the skies have remained open, and we have seen sustained private leisure flying from high net worth individuals in the region. It is no surprise to see this demand continue, with our new customers from February and March making particularly significant deposits for future travel.
“In a very encouraging sign, this has also been the case in the UK as confidence returns to this market ahead of the anticipated easing of restrictions. The pandemic has really shone a light on the benefits of our jet card product: for those who are able to reserve private flying hours in advance, it offers unparalleled flexibility and access to a private jet at very short notice. This means it is proving very popular among customers who want to know they can travel easily and safely when lockdown restrictions lift.”