Private jet journeys came as an answer to those who needed to travel despite Covid-restrictions over the last 21 months. There are no absolute numbers of growth patterns and flights taken across the last two years of the pandemic, yet. But an initial survey by Knight Frank (which publishes an annual global wealth index) offers a picture of both intent to fly private and action. The survey shows that 43% of India’s ultra-wealthy travellers are more likely to consider private aviation as a permanent way to travel, over 15% who have already boarded that private jet.
Ultra-wealthy respondents from the United Arab Emirates (75%), Russia (71%), Nigeria (69%), Spain (60%), Canada (60%) and South Africa (60%) said they are more likely to use private aviation even after the Covid threat abates.
While in 2020, a few Indians had been taking the flight out to holiday in India, and abroad (wherever they were allowed, particularly to Dubai), tragically, the first time Indian private jet companies saw a surge in demand was during the big surge in Covid cases, and the healthcare crisis that followed, in April this year. “It was not just the rich. Anyone who could take a private jet out took one in April before the world blocked flights from India,” says Rajan Mehra, CEO, Club One Air, a private jet purveyor.
Thankfully, as the crisis came under control, the second surge in jet journeys was observed sometime in September, when Indians flew, literally en masse, to the Maldives, the one country that welcomed Indian tourists with open arms. And with that, luxury hotels across Maldivian islands pulled out all stops for Indian luxury travellers.
(Excerpted from ‘Private Jet Journeys Took Off During The Pandemic Months’ published on 01.01.22 at Moneycontrol.com )