Anyone who was wondering about the outlook for private jet travel need only look at the news from recent weeks.
First came the U.S. and U.K. electronics carry-on ban for certain airlines from select countries. Then there was the story about a woman being subjected to an invasive search because she was wearing a panty liner. The grand finale came with the disturbing video of man being dragged by the police from an overbooked United flight.
They make my recent and ongoing frustrations with commercial air travel seem minor. But I know that if I had the money, I’d be flying private any chance I could get. And those who do apparently are.
Victor, which describes itself as the world’s leading on-demand private jet charter marketplace, said it is seeing a substantial rise in demand for larger jets for significantly longer journeys “to adventurous and far-flung locations.” And since the global markets crash in 2008, it said bookings of long-range aircraft, like the Gulfstream IV and Bombardier Global 6000, are up 98%.
Likewise, several private jet membership services that deal mostly with smaller aircraft pointed to the number of private planes in Augusta, Ga., last week for the Masters golf tournament, which some have dubbed the Super Bowl for private aviation.
Companies such as Flexjet and Wheels Up were projecting the largest private jet turnout ever for the event, and Wheels Up said
April 11 that it had logged a 45% hike this year in flights to the Masters.