Private air charter operators gain from pandemic as commercial airlines suffer

By moneycontrol

Private air charter services in India claimed robust growth in 2021 even as the commercial aviation industry struggled due to the Covid-19 pandemic as more customers opted for safety and efficiency.

Bookings during the pandemic climbed about 30 percent and enquiries almost tripled in 2021 from levels in 2019, Kanika Tekriwal, founder of JetSetGo Aviation Services, told Moneycontrol today.

Although private jet journeys are more expensive than what commercial flights offer, the pandemic has opened up a market for working professionals who want a safe, quick and reliable way to travel without getting into crowded airports and aircraft where the risk of infection could be higher.

“A lot of new startup founders, who would earlier never use chartered planes, have started to use our services. Friends pool in money and lease a plane,” Tekriwal said. JetSetGo operates 12 private aircraft and four helicopters in India.

Data on the number of charter flights in a month or passengers carried is not publicly available. An estimated 43 percent of India’s ultra-wealthy individuals were more likely to consider private aviation as a way to travel in future, according to a survey by international property consultant Knight Frank last year.

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