Sentient Jet is among those private aviation companies seeing a surge of new business as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic. A recent study reveals that more than 50% of the company’s current business is from new clients. The findings reflect an industry-wide increase in demand for private aviation, due to broader concerns about the safety of commercial air travel.

Global lockdown restrictions are beginning to ease amid hopes that the worst of the pandemic is over, and businesses and individuals alike are exploring how to travel while also minimizing the risk of contracting COVID-19. Since the beginning of April, Sentient Jet bookings have topped 5,000 flight hours, with more than half of those bookings coming for first-time customers. What’s more, the fact that these customers are buying jet cards, suggests that they are interested in flying privately as a longer-term option, rather than just doing one off individual charters.

Private jet

The new demand is a stark turnaround from flight figures during the lockdown in March, which were a company low point. In the six-week period covering April and the beginning of May, more than 2,500 passengers flew around the US with Sentient. Flight inquiries have shot up by 241% from the low point.

To demonstrate the commitment to safety during the pandemic, Sentient Jet launched their “Be Ready” campaign. Recognizing that people still need to travel, but are worried about crowded airports, high-touch checkpoints, and other risks, Sentient is highlighting its lengthy record of safety, comfort, and reliability. Additional new measures include a sanitized fleet and strict health protocols for both passengers and crew.

“The encouraging demand for private aviation from new customers, and in particular for Jet Cards that provide flight time for multiple trips, indicates that travelers are making a long-term commitment to flying private and using it as a utility rather than a lifestyle amenity,” said Andrew Collins, CEO of Sentient Jet. “Recent statistics released by McKinsey show that over 90% of people who can afford to travel private don’t. We are now seeing this change as outreach from new customers has increased and many of them are coming off the sidelines and turning to private aviation as a trusted travel solution.”

Sentient sells access to private jets with its 25-hour jet cards, that provide fixed hourly rates on light jets, mid-size jets, super-mids and large cabin aircraft.