CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With nearly seven million Americans expected to take to the skies this holiday season, up 4.9 percent from last year,1 global private jet travel provider Flexjet also is seeing major increases among those flying privately over the holidays, with travel reaching record levels over Thanksgiving and continuing its growth during the holiday season. Travel on December 20 and 21 is expected to exceed that of Thanksgiving weekend – annually the busiest travel days of the year.
Flexjet Chief Operating Officer Megan Wolf attributes the uptick in private jet travel this holiday season to the overlapping of Hanukkah (December 22-30), Christmas and New Year’s. “With the holidays coinciding this year, more people will be traveling at the same time, crowding the skies and making private jet travel more appealing than ever.”
Wolf added, “Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Flexjet typically sees more travel than any other time of the year, and this year was no different. However, bookings for this coming weekend already exceed this year’s Thanksgiving travel levels.”
Domestically, being able to fly directly into the 5,000 North American airports available to private jets versus the 500 airports open to commercial airlines (the majority accessible only via hub airport connections) also makes a significant difference, since travelers can land much closer to their final destination, substantially reducing travel time on crowded roadways.
Based on early bookings and an analysis of travel patterns over the past three years, Flexjet says the expected top private jet travel destinations for the holiday season include a mix of sun, ski and overseas locales. Among the top destinations in each of several categories:
- Palm Beach, Florida
- Miami, Florida
- Naples, Florida
- Aspen, Colorado
- Vail, Colorado
- Bozeman, Montana
- Nassau, Bahamas
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
- Montego Bay, Jamaica
- London, United Kingdom
- Bordeaux, France
- Venice, Italy
Although Flexjet has seen travel to, from and within Europe grow more than 47 percent in 2019, year over year, non-US destinations for the holidays include the Dominican Republic and The Bahamas, which remains a popular destination despite the damage caused by Hurricane Dorian.
Historically, private jet travel has increased in tandem with commercial traffic, as fliers turn to private jets to avoid the crowds, delays and lengthened travel times associated with the airlines. In addition to the time savings, travelers value the ability to set their own schedule, enjoy more comfortable seating and catered meals and the ability to bring wrapped presents and pets onboard.
Flexjet first entered the fractional jet ownership market in 1995. Flexjet offers fractional jet ownership and leasing. Flexjet’s fractional aircraft program is the first in the world to be recognized as achieving the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s Industry Audit Standard, is the first and only company to be honored with 20 FAA Diamond Awards for Excellence, upholds an ARG/US Platinum Safety Rating and is IS-BAO compliant at Level 2. Flexjet’s fractional program fields an exclusive array of business aircraft—some of the youngest in the fractional jet industry, with an average age of approximately six years. In 2015, Flexjet introduced Red Label by Flexjet, which features the youngest fleet in the industry, flight crews dedicated to a single aircraft and the LXi Cabin Collection of interiors. To date there are more than 30 different interior designs across its fleet, which includes the Challenger 350, the Embraer Legacy 450 and Praetor 500, Global Express, the Gulfstream G450, G500, G650 and G700, and the Aerion AS2 supersonic business jets. In addition, the overall jet collection includes the Embraer Phenom 300 and Bombardier Challenger 300. Flexjet is a member of the Directional Aviation family of companies. For more details on innovative programs and flexible offerings, visit www.flexjet.com or follow us on Twitter @Flexjet and on Instagram @FlexjetLLC.
1 “AAA Says 115.6 Million Travelers will Break Holiday Records," AAA press release, December 12. 2019