Covid-19 has changed the way we travel, thanks to the heightened safety concerns amid the fear of getting infected with the virus. Hence, as more and more people execute their long-pending vacation plans, chartering a private flight seems just the perfect idea for those who can afford it. Not only do private air charters minimise touch-points and allow passengers to bypass busy airport terminals but also offer plethora of other benefits.
A private air passenger encounters only about 40 people from home to hotel check-in while for commercial flights, the average rises to about 700 encounters. “There has been a paradigm shift in the consumer’s behaviour and the private aviation sector has witnessed sustained growth. We’ve witnessed a nine-fold increase in booking requests since the pandemic hit, of which 70% guests are new flyers,” says Kanika Tekriwal, CEO and founder, JetSetGo Aviation.
Tackling a major surge in demand, aviation companies are realigning their services to suit the need of an emerging client base. “Charters especially like ours that are vertical in nature allow travellers to access locations that are otherwise difficult to connect because of no airports,” says Karanpal Singh, founder, BLADE India and Hunch Ventures, that provides helicopter flights between Mumbai, Shirdi, and Pune. Moreover, when it comes to health and hygiene factors, private charter operators are able to woo clients by promoting Covid-safe practices such as regular tests of flight crew, sanitised interiors, among others. “Our overall client safety SOPs have been derived on the basis of the ongoing inputs we receive from our guests, as well as some of the country’s best medical practitioners,” says Tekriwal.
Charter costs depend on the number of passengers, distance, duration, as well as the kind of aircraft. “Typically our charter costs starts as low as ₹80, 000 per hour. Short trips are in the range of ₹80,000 to 1.90 lakh per flight. Duration differs on the basis of departure and arrival location,” adds Singh. Offering a blend of luxury and comfort remains the USP of this mode of travel. “Every flier is assigned a dedicated relationship manager who takes care of all fliers’ travel needs, from customised on-board cuisine, pick-up and drop-off and partner benefits from the most distinguished brands,” says Singh.
No wonder, travellers who are using such services, are becoming a fan of it. Sharing his experience Nikhil Thakurdas, CEO Odyssey Tours and Travels, says, “I had to attend a half day conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai and chose to fly on a chartered flight with BLADE as it was a super convenient option for a day trip especially with the flight landing at the Mahalakshmi race course which is a short ride to the hotel. We left Pune at 10am and I was at the Four Seasons by 11.30am. And on the return, we left at 4.30pm and I was back home by 6 totally refreshed to enjoy the rest of the evening. The journey itself was an experience with great views of the Western Ghats, the Expressway, the Bandra-Worli sea link to name a few.”
So, if you too, are planning your next dream vacation, maybe it’s the time to fly safely, swiftly and without interruption.
Set your own schedule
Air chartering services allow you to set your own schedule for departure. “Personally, for me travelling via this mode is a quicker way to reach the destination for full and optimal utilisation of my business hours. When they say time is money, this combination works perfectly,” says Dhaval Shah, director, Jairaj Group.
“With both international and domestic travel picking up, travellers are not only displaying an added need for safety and hygiene reassurance but are also seeking travel options which are time-efficient. Charter flights fittingly address this need,” points Ashish Dhruva, senior vice president – marketing and customer engagement at InterMiles.
Land closer to your destination
Chartering a plane lets you choose departure and arrival terminals that are closest to your location and destination. This means that you do not have to waste time dealing with long rides and road traffic, enabling you to spend more time enjoying what awaits you at the destination.
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