The future is, at last, starting to look far rosier for the Aviation Industry. This has been confirmed by a surge in private aviation bookings to and from the UK and can be put down to the UK Government’s newly published green list for international travel and the easing of restrictions.
After what seems like a lot longer than a year, travel restrictions in the UK are finally easing, and this means that the aviation industry can, at last, try to pick up where it left off.
2020 was an awful year for businesses operating in the sector. Air passenger numbers were down by a massive 75% in 2020 when compared to the previous year, and air transport movements were also down by 63% over the same period.
As terrible as these numbers are, April and May 2020, usually among the busier months for travel, show just how much an impact the travel restrictions and lockdown had on the industry.
Passenger numbers during these months were down by almost 98% when compared to the previous years’ numbers and from here, it has been a case of stop/start for the industry.
Fortunately, we’re now expecting a raft of better news over the next couple of quarters and it’s already started filtering through, particularly from companies working within the private aviation sector.
This week, the UK government published its green list for international travel, and it has initially included the following countries:
- New Zealand
- St Helena, Tristan de Cunha, Ascension Islands
- The Falkland Islands
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- Faroe Islands
Aside from a couple of what we would consider being a regular destination for most, it is far from the most inspiring list of places to go for a vacation. However, we should not ignore that we are still amid a global pandemic, and as we say in England, “something is better than nothing.”
The list of ‘safe’ countries available to travel to is expected to change in June, and there is a likelihood of countries being added. However, it could go the other way and some of the countries currently listed could change from green to amber if there is an increase in COVID-19 cases.
Some confusion with the Government’s Green Travel List
According to a Mirror Online report, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore still remain closed to UK tourists. In addition to this, the Faroe Islands is requiring visitors to isolate for ten days upon arrival or for four days after taking a PCR test.
It seems that at his stage, only four of the countries on the green list are fully open to Brit’s for a holiday without the need for quarantining and these are Gibraltar, Portugal, Madeira and the Azores.
As we mentioned earlier, one particular part of the aviation industry which has seen a much-awaited upturn in business is the private aviation sector. We wanted to find out what impact the announcement of the green list has had, along with the easing of some restrictions.
For an idea of how businesses in the aviation sector are finding things, we turned to Mark Briffa, the CEO of Air Partner, which is a sixty-year-old global aviation services group that specialises in providing aircraft charter and aviation safety & security solutions to the industry.
Mark Said: “We have seen an uptick in enquiries over the last few weeks for destinations such as Portugal and those returning to the UK from abroad, largely from clients who own JetCards, allowing them to buy travel hours without fixed dates with the facility to cancel with 24 hours’ notice.
Multi-generation holidays, belated celebrations, a desire to explore once again, combined with concerns about crowded terminals are reasons more clients are booking private jets, which operate as a ‘flying bubble’ offering speed, convenience and luxury.
Reflecting anticipation for a resumption of international travel, over the past two months, Air Partner has seen new clients in the UK adding flying hours to JetCards, which can be used for helicopter or winged aircraft, and a 15% rise in sales and renewals year-on-year.
Air Partner experienced a 321% increase in people interested in private flying during the Summer of 2020 as many COVID-19 restrictions lifted. We expect private travel will continue to grow in popularity and look forward to welcoming new and returning clients who have eagerly awaited a change of scenery.”
*For an example of private aviation costs, Air Partner informed us that a part of four could fly from London to Portugal (Faro) for around £11,500, and they can also assist with organising PCR tests if required.
You can learn more about their services at www.airpartnergroup.com.
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