Coronavirus: private flights demand skyrockets
Airline Losses Could Top $100 Billion As Corona virus disrupts travel – International Air Transport Association (I.A.T.A.) forecast says airlines this year stand to lose between $63 billion and $113 billion this year. Everyone who can afford it turns to private flights, which register now up to 90 percent more requests for the outbreak of the Corona virus, as I forecast earlier on this blog.
Air in a plane is renewed at a rate not exceeding 20% per hour. So viruses like the Corona virus, which are airborne, can propagate fast among airplane passengers. Risks of contagion are far less on private flights, where the passengers are very few, and often the same colleagues or siblings that one sees every day. Moreover, private jets have the necessary privacy and access to private terminals can avoid crowds at the airports and thus an increased risk of infection.
The scheduled airlines hardly fly anymore to China, Italy, South Korea, Iran, and soon many other countries. Israel has forbidden access for flights coming from Italy, France and Germany, and also South Korea, China, and other Asian countries. The demand for private airlines and private flights is enormous. Meanwhile, Airbus, which had 274 orders for new jets in January 2020, had not a single order in February, because of Corona virus fears.
The fear of infection is giving private aviators a significant upswing worldwide.
Inquiries for flights to and from Italy have tripled. Scheduled flights to and from China are few due to the corona virus. Stranded wealthy are increasingly considering a return flight in a private jet.
In China, the number of people infected with corona passed the 80,000 mark for the first time. The spread of the virus is now slowing down. But scheduled flights into the country are still rare.
Since the outbreak of the epidemic, up to 80 percent of flights to and from China have been canceled. Around a third of the flights in the flight schedule are currently taking place within the country. While it is not only Chinese airlines that are suffering, the demand for private flights is increasing.
Fear of contagion in the scheduled flights
Singapore-based private jet company Myjet Asia, according to the BBC broadcaster, said it received between 80 and 90 percent more requests last month. For the most part, return flights to Beijing or Shanghai were requested. Flights to the Hong Kong special administrative area, which is also significantly affected by the corona virus, have also been requested.
«Many people are left at the Chinese New Year and are now fighting to return to China, » says Myjet boss Logan Ravishkansar. The holidays cause an increase in demand every year. But the epidemic intensifies it. He also told the BBC that business in 2003 was significantly better during the SARS crisis: “Demand also jumped back then. This was better satisfied because it was easier to fly between countries. This time, governments have imposed much stricter travel regulations around the world because of the coronavirus crisis. »
Out of fear of infection, many wealthy people prefer a private jet instead of a scheduled flight for their return flight. Business jet providers also recorded double-digit growth in inquiries last month. The Australian private airline Paramount Business Jets also speaks of a “significant increase,” reports the BBC.
Opportunity and challenge at the same time
Basically, that sounds like a pleasing business boom for private jet operators. But it is not that simple; seizing the opportunity also poses many challenges, like hiring new workers to handle demands, finding enough private jets ready to take-off, and so on.