Some press articles seem to take a certain pleasure in shooting at close range on the “capitalists” who criss-cross the skies on a luxury private jet, while the peoples are nailed to the ground by the prohibitions due to the epidemic. Let’s throw a look at the real situation.
Aviation, a trendy target ?
Aviation is apparently the target of both criticism and crisis. In the past months, some so-called experts have claimed, with some complacency, a 10% reduction in flights, at least in some countries, due to the fact that people would be ashamed to fly, because of the pollution created by planes. As I already wrote here, on the one hand the pollution of the planes is produced largely at more than 10.000 m, therefore the particles are not projected onto our nostrils as in the case of cars, but they have time to mix in the rain. On the other hand, while for cars there are plenty of alternatives, from electric cars to public transport, for planes there is no alternative, since you have to wait at least ten years for electric aircraft.
It is therefore counterproductive, in my opinion, to fight against airplanes, which allow people and businesses to exchange and join their efforts for the progress of humanity.
80 to 90% of airliners are grounded in Europe and the United States
Not only certain airlines, like Air France, already had to be rescued by the State (the French State has increased its participation in it), but even Airbus did not receive any order for the month of March, whereas, in March 2019, it had received around two hundred orders.
It’s not a bargain for private jets
Let’s try to analyze this graph, which shows the index of demand for private flights from January 8 to April 5, 2020, taking as a base 100% the level of demand from March 1, in order to understand the trend of demand for private jet rental. We notice immediately that the gray line of Asia shows an abrupt bending the very first days of March, while the demand for private intra-European jet rental, orange line, remains stable. This is due to the fact that the coronavirus epidemic first started in China and Asia, causing restrictions on air traffic.
Change in demand for private flights arriving in Europe from April 10 to 20, 2020 compared to 2019
Around mid-March, the demand for private flights increased in Europe, because quite a few airlines reduced or suspended certain connections, forcing certain passengers to resort to private jet rentals. After mid-March, the ever-increasing containment and restrictions on air navigation also reduced the demand for private flights.
The chart ends on April 5, but it is a safe bet that the demand for private flights has continued to drop until today, to plateau a little below 50% compared to the level of March 1.
As for the United States, the index followed that of Europe, with more extreme variations. If we look at the graph here on the left, which represents the change in demand for private flights arriving in Europe from April 10 to 20, 2020 compared to 2019, we can conclude that the destination that suffered the least decrease is Germany, the country which has been able to better control the epidemic.
The demand for private flights from Europe to Asia, and vice versa, increases sharply
If we look at the graph below, we see a big increase in the demand for private flights between Europe and Asia. This is probably due to the fact that especially China gradually removed restrictions on air traffic, from the beginning of April, following the gradual decrease in the incidence of coronavirus in this country, until its complete disappearance.
Demand for private flights during the Corona virus era
Predictions for the future of private jet charter
In my modest opinion, as I have already written here, since the use of private jets exposes far less to viral contagion compared to airliners, avoiing crowding at airports and in airplanes, the demand for Private flights will also increase for journeys within Europe, especially as the gradual end to the epidemic will remove the current travel restrictions.