When most people think of airplanes, they think of commercial flights packed with hundreds of passengers. They think of lengthy boarding procedures and minimal foot room, unless they have the good fortune of traveling first class. Even first class seating does not hold a candle to the convenience and comfort of a private charter jet, though—and you may be surprised just how little you knew about these modern marvels of air travel.
Quality and Quantity
According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, approximately 20,000 private aircraft are registered for use throughout the world. The United States alone is responsible for over half of this number, and represents half of the global industry overall, ranking above Europe (approximately 20 percent), Asia Pacific and Latin America (each around 12 percent).
Needless to say, charter services should not have a hard time booking flights on short notice. To put it in another context, Van Nuys Airport was host to over 259,000 private departures and landings in 2012. That is about one every half-hour from Van Nuys alone.
Peak Flight Season
Sporting events cause some of the biggest spikes in demand for the private travel industry. The one which routinely produces the greatest amount of business is the Super Bowl in American football, which in 2013 resulted in nearly five times more aircraft landings than a typical weekend at New Orleans Lakefront Airport. The Masters Tournament in golf is close behind in stirring up demand for charter jets.
Charter Jet Growth Trends
While private jet ownership may not be booming currently, chartered travel certainly does seem to be. Many charter jet services are seeing growing demand each year, as a rising number of higher-profile individuals and companies are trading in aircraft ownership for what is often a more cost-effective approach.
With improved flexibility and response time when compared with years past, the private air travel business is becoming a more feasible solution for a growing number of corporate travelers. With upward trends for many of the charter industry’s top players since 2007, it seems that the sky may be the limit for charter jet travel.