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Putting Perspective on Supersonics: A Look at Our Supersonic Future

Supersonic flight isn’t a novel concept, but it does have the potential to be something we’ve never seen before. Most of us remember the Concorde (1979-2003) and its ability to break the sound barrier. Unfortunately, most of us also remember its problematic sonic booms, fuel guzzling, and safety concerns. As we approach a new age of supersonic flight, there’s optimism that these concerns are a mere product of the past, and something we can remedy in the future. If so, we’re looking at a supersonic future unlike anything we’ve experienced so far.

Supersonic flight defined

How fast is supersonic flight, and what does it mean to supersede the speed of sound? The speed of sound, known in the aviation industry as “Mach 1,” varies with atmospheric pressure and temperature conditions.

As a general benchmark, at sea-level pressure and an air temperature of 59 degrees Fahrenheit, sound travels about 760 miles per hour. Supersonic speed is any speed above Mach 1, while hypersonic flight occurs at speeds beyond five times the speed of sound, or “Mach 5.”

When planes travel through Earth’s atmosphere at supersonic speeds, they generate a sonic boom that people on the ground can hear. It’s highly disruptive to the environment due to the concussive sound waves that trail in the wake of the plane. This is a major part of why supersonic flight is no longer permitted today.

Looking back at the Concorde

The Concorde was the first passenger-carrying commercial airplane to fly at supersonic speeds. The jet had a maximum cruising speed of 1,354 miles per hour, just above Mach 2. The Concorde phased out in 2003, leaving supersonic travel out of the realm of passenger flight.

Typical commercial passenger jets of today travel at top speeds of around 575 miles per hour, significantly lower than the speed of sound. But there’s renewed interest in supersonic passenger travel, along with innovations that could make it possible once again.

Travelers feel the need for speed

Could you fly from NYC to LON in one hour? At today’s airspeed travel, not even with the strongest tailwinds. But look a decade into the future and, surprisingly, that answer becomes “yes.” While it currently takes around 7 hours to reach LON from NYC on commercial airliners, supersonic travel can reduce flight time to around one hour. In effect, supersonic jets could make the world a whole lot smaller.

Aviation innovator Aerion has announced plans for the AS3, a new supersonic commercial airliner that can reach speeds above Mach 4. The jet is projected to carry up to 50 passengers for 7,000 miles. Production of a smaller model, the AS2, will begin in 2023, to bring Mach 2 flight capability to a broader audience, revolutionizing the commercial aviation industry.

Looking ahead at boomless flights

Technology has come a long way since the days of the Concorde. The problems that plagued the famed aviation company — including disruptive supersonic booms — can be eliminated with modern innovations, which are the focus of research by companies like Aerion. The AS2 will feature Boomless Cruise technology to take advantage of a special atmospheric condition called Mach Cut Off, where sonic boom refracts off dense, warm layers of air.

Sonic booms have the potential to break glass, crack plaster, and cause other damage over residential areas on the ground. The potential for boomless supersonic flight not only enhances the experience for those in the cabin, it’s also more mindful of those on the ground. Cracking the code to boomless flight is the first step in bringing supersonic jets back to the skies.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

The End of an Era: Learjet Is No More

In an attempt to pare down debt and restructure the company into a profitable organization for the long-term, Bombardier has announced the discontinuation of the beloved Learjet line. At the end of 2021, the company will stop producing new Learjet models and let the current fleet ride out its tenure. It’s a blow to the industry as one of the original private jet brands is retired. The silver lining is that Bombardier has pledged to offer support for all Learjet models indefinitely.

A casualty of the evolving aviation landscape

Learjet isn’t the first remarkable private aviation brand to fall to the dog-eat-dog nature of the industry. It is, however, the most iconic. Brought under the Bombardier umbrella in 1990, Learjet paved the way for private jets in the earliest days of the industry. Its founding in 1962 laid the groundwork for private aviation for not only business but also lifestyle.

Learjet was once the pinnacle of private aviation. For perspective, there’s an old story that says Elvis Presley borrowed Frank Sinatra’s Learjet to elope with Priscilla Beaulieu in 1967. It’s more than a fun anecdote — it’s a remark about Learjet’s prestige. Even right up to the modern day, Learjet remained one of the most widely trusted and respected names in private aviation.

So why is Bombardier closing the book on such a beloved name? All signs point to financial turmoil and the dynamism of modern jets.

Learjet lives on in history

In discontinuing Learjet, Bombardier will cut 1,600 jobs and save roughly $400 million by 2023. It’s another sign of Bombardier’s restructuring woes as it strives to move past a hard pandemic year and establish profitability in the years to come. As unfortunate as it sounds, the cut makes sense from a business perspective.

Once the pinnacle of private aviation, Learjet’s capabilities have diminished noticeably in the face of modern competitors like Embraer’s Phenom 100 or General Dynamics’ Gulfstream jets. Even Bombardier’s own Global series created unwanted competition for the Learjet line. As modern planes boast bigger cabins, longer fuel ranges, and more impressive features, Learjet sales continued to dip.

Now, as we stand on the precipice of a return to supersonic jets, the death knell for Learjet is ringing. It’s a brand that’s set to retire to the annals of history, where the aviation industry will remember it fondly.

Continued service for the current fleet

Bombardier isn’t slamming the door on Learjet. Instead, the company rolled out the Learjet RACER remanufacturing program. The program is designed to support all Learjet models that remain in service, including Learjet 40 and Learjet 45 aircraft. RACER will offer support for airframe components, avionics, engines, and maintenance, to meet the needs of current Learjet owners not ready to retire their prized jets.

Today, there are just under 5,000 Learjets still in service — a testament to the longevity of the brand and the satisfaction of its owners. And while that number will dwindle in time, it’s impossible to forget about the original private jet: the one that made private aviation real.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet.
Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

Private Jet Cabins are About to Get Bigger

Cabin space is one of the most important elements in the private flying experience. What’s the sense in owning or flying on a private jet if you can’t comfortably sprawl a little? Jet manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to add mere inches to cabin size, and those inches make a big difference in flyer comfort. But what if space wasn’t the issue? Many times, it’s not. Perception is. It’s why manufacturers have started paying more attention to depth of design, instead of just total cabin square footage.

Trick the eye

Once the air is purified and the Wi-Fi is hooked up, passengers on a private flight are only looking for one primary trait in a jet: space. Those people forced to cram into a large commercial plane are frequently confronted with the airline’s need to squeeze as many people as possible onto the flight. One of the frills of taking a chartered flight or buying into a fractional flight service is the extra space they allow.

They want legroom. They want headroom. They want to be able to stretch their arms without hitting something. Generation after generation of private jet has struggled to respond to this request. Now, as engineers step aside in their attempts to get more physical space into the cabin, designers are answering the call with new ways of making the cabin feel bigger, even if it’s not.

Hack the cabin

There are a variety of ways that aircraft designers are experimenting with methods for expanding the impression of size in the cabin. For example, jet windows need not be confined to traditional portholes. Modern innovations are increasing the size of their windows to allow passengers more viewing space. Another tactic adopted by designers is specific mood lighting. You would be utterly astonished at the impact that some adjustable lighting can have when you want to make your cabin space seem larger.

According to airplane designer Paul Wylde, it is merely that — until now — the design of the cabin has been left to engineers, not designers. According to Wylde, “the single most important criteria of any aircraft design” is weight reduction. For an engineer, limiting the weight of the aircraft comes before anything else. Adding glass for bigger windows means adding weight to the plane, for example. Fortunately, designers are coming up with new ways to make any jet feel expansive.

Size isn’t everything

When it comes to rethinking a private jet cabin, the goal is to create more space in new models, using strategies that allow for easy retrofitting to older aircraft. For example, the designers at Gulfstream devoted time to their lighting scheme. Reports Gulfstream’s Director of Design Tim O’Hara, “our new lighting system provides such beautiful light. After experiencing the system, many customers commented on how wide it makes the G700 feel.”

Other touches, like minimalist decor and increased importance on transparent surfaces all work in symphony to make modern jets feel bigger.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

Get to Know the 7 Types of Private Jets

One of the first decisions any jet buyer needs to make is what class jet they want to own. That means narrowing it down from seven major categories before choosing between like-kind models. Here’s a quick synopsis on each jet class and what to expect from models within it.

Very Light Jets

With up to three hours of flight time, Very Light Jets (VLJs) are great for a quick puddle jump. Popular offerings like the Eclipse 500 and the Embraer Phenom 100 seat between 4 and 7 people. They can cover 1300 miles in a jump, which would get you from Chicago to New York in a few hours. The real strength of a VLJ is its ability to get to remote destinations. Because they don’t require a long runway, VLJs can get into an out of areas that are off-limits to larger jets.

Small Light Jets

Business travelers love Small Light Jets (SLJs) for a variety of reasons: it can hold up to eight people, make longer trips than VLJs, and has little issue navigating smaller private airstrips. That makes SLJs ideal for business travelers hoping to reach various locations that may not be near a larger city. What’s more, popular SLJs like the Cessna Citation CJ2 and the Hawker 400 XP are outfitted with private lavatories, a feature few VLJs can offer.

Super Light Jets

The super light jet is a sector that’s always prime for innovation. When discussing super lights, there’s always a boundary-pushing exception to every rule. Super light jets tend to seat an average of eight people, but Embraer’s Phenom 300 seats 11 in lavish comfort. Most super light jets get 1,600 nautical miles to a tank; however, the Gulfstream G100 boasts a range of more than 2,500 nautical miles.

Mid-Size Cabin Jets

For those travelers who require a way to cross the ocean in a single jump, the first class to begin your search is mid-sized cabin jets. The average range of these jets is about 2,700 nautical miles or a quick hop from Los Angeles to Honolulu or Chicago to Caracas. Mid-size cabin jets can seat about seven passengers comfortably. Market standouts like the Gulfstream G150 and the Learjet 60 also offer spectacular amenities like full galleys, complete entertainment systems, and cabins that allow you to stand upright.

Super Mid-size Cabin Jets

Bring along more friends (or coworkers) without sacrificing luxury in a super mid-size cabin jet, which seats 10 people comfortably. They also squeeze in an impressive number of amenities like refreshment centers, customized cabin layouts, fully enclosed lavatories, and more. These planes are globe-trotters, too. The Gulfstream G200 and the Bombardier Challenger 350 can travel 3,000 nautical miles without any issues.

Heavy Jets

Want to get from London to Calcutta in a single flight with a dozen of your closest friends? Look to the heavy jet, which averages 3,500 nautical miles. To improve the travel experience, heavy jets like the Gulfstream 350 and the Dassault Falcon 900 include the capacity for two flight attendants, plus the space for complete dining and entertainment experiences.

Ultra-Long-Range Heavy Jets

Go anywhere with an ultra-long-range heavy jet. An average of 14 to 17 people can enjoy themselves on a trip that can extend more than 5,800 nautical miles without stopping for gas. Multiple lounge spaces, full bedrooms, and complete refreshment centers are the baselines for amenities from sector favorites like the Gulfstream V and the Dassault Falcon 7X.

There is so much more to learn about private jets. You just need to find the perfect team to help you educate yourself as you explore your options.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

What are New Jet Buyers Looking for in an Aircraft?

Private jet ownership and use aren’t the exclusive clubs they once were. Although barriers to ownership are still limited to the ultra-wealthy and corporations, more and more people are experiencing private air travel in 2020. As a result, new demands have arisen from buyers, be they high-net-worth buyers or fractional fleets. Standard features and amenities are still the primary drivers of jet purchases; however, new owners are more vocal about everything, from digital connectivity to cabin air quality.

A new breed of buyer

The world is changing. Individual jet ownership may not come any cheaper, but new approaches to the private jet experience have created more consumers who will come into first contact with private flight. These newcomers aren’t staying quiet about their needs, either. For every dollar they bring to the table, they’re bringing requests that go beyond the traditional asks of a private jet buyer.

For example, in the age of the novel coronavirus, passengers on private jets are increasingly concerned about air quality. And designers are listening. Embraer’s Praetor series cruises at a low altitude of 45,000 feet, which allows for more active air purification than ever. Gulfstream’s new G700 is being built with air quality in mind as well.

Flying into fresh territory

Perhaps the most exciting travel trend to arise during the COVID-19 pandemic could end up being one of its most enduring. Fractional flights allow passengers to purchase shares in a plane.

In other instances, large companies are limiting company charters and travel on public flights due to the pandemic. To get employees where they need to go, companies are flat-out buying jets to ensure that they’re cleaned and maintained correctly.

Give us the frills

In the old days, passengers entering a private flight were looking for specific factors. They wanted enough room to maneuver, reasonable flight speeds, and the range to get where they’re going without having to land and refuel. Current charter and private passengers expect all that, too, but now they’ve got a few more concerns on their mind.

After air quality, the most sought-after feature in a charter jet is Wi-Fi. Whether they’re connecting on social media or answering emails for work, people need to be connected. Beyond that enthusiastic request, people want their charter flights to feel less cramped. They want elegant, full-sized bathrooms, space to hold a meeting in-flight and bedrooms that make things feel like home.

Finally, even though they’re traveling on a jet, today’s passengers want to know their private plane is working to limit its emissions and making the most of its fuel capacity.

Excellence built-in

As the world of private aviation opens to an entirely new audience, these newcomers to the industry are demanding that private aircraft raise the bar. That’s never too much to ask.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

Private Aviation in North America Continues to Climb as COVID-19 Drags On

Commercial airlines are going through a trial by fire. As they struggle to book flights and maintain safe operating procedures amidst COVID-19, their stocks hit 5- and 10-year lows. Government stimulus has nearly dried up, and many airlines have closed to wait out the pandemic. The problem is, we’re not even sure if we’ve reached the peak!

As commercial fleets sit grounded or fly half-full, they’re quickly being outstripped by private jets, which are soaring back to pre-pandemic levels of operation at an astounding rate.

The socially distanced option

There’s no denying that the United States is still very much in the grip of a pandemic. The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has ticked past 5 million, and the death toll crawls ever closer to 200,000. Even still, the people who power the U.S. economy need to travel to keep the nation as stable as possible during the outbreak.

Indeed, as people begin to travel once more, continued safety concerns have created an uptick in new business. Some charters have even witnessed a triple-digit increase in bookings, up 140.3 percent since April.

A budding recovery, by the numbers

In the era of COVID-19, companies measure success not by expanding business but by careful control over shrinking profits. Although charter flights are on the rise month-over-month, they are still down compared to last year. As a result, when looking for positive business trends in aviation, the focus is on who has lost the least. Light aircraft continue to lead the way in this area, having fallen only 18.7 percent year-over-year. Compare that to the decline in large-cabin jets (a whopping 38.2 percent), and the strength of the industry is thrown into even harsher relief.

There’s positivity buried in these harsh figures. Despite private aviation’s hardships, it’s trending up. Midsized jets rebounded 113.6 percent by June, as did light jets, which ticked up 98.5 percent since April’s lows. There’s optimism that third quarter numbers will continue the recovery.

A new(ish) way to travel

For those travelers with the means, private aviation has never been more attractive. Even on its best day, a commercial flight is a time-consuming hassle. When one has to add the possibility of contracting COVID-19 to the mix, even a first-class flight seems too risky. That compulsion is only reinforced when you consider that initial research puts the chance of contamination on private flights at roughly 30 times lower than on a commercial trip.

This hesitation in going commercial has been a massive boon to private charter companies, which have attracted new customers in droves. Jet Linx CEO Jamie Walker estimates that half the jet cards sold by his company since April went to those new to private jet travel. It’s just one example of how charter business is expanding aggressively, despite the pandemic.

For those people who still need to travel on a regular basis, the decision to fly private has never been smarter or safer.

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring or selling a private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at sales@L-Lint.com, call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.

Tensions Flair as Supersonic Jet Regulations Begin to Take Shape

It takes a subsonic jet between seven and eight hours to fly from London to New York. That commute time doesn’t seem so bad when you consider the nature of an international flight over the Atlantic. Then again, the Concorde — the last modern supersonic jet — could make the trip in just over three and a half hours.

At half the time of today’s commercial flights, many wonder how and why we’ve gone so long without supersonic jets. The answer lies in the current spat over supersonic jet regulations, between those for and against a return to supersonic flight speeds.

A timid step forward

In mid-April, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) suggested (at last) a pathway for the legitimization of supersonic jets. The proposed regulations would set landing and takeoff noise emission standards for aircraft with a cruising speed of Mach 1.8, also referred to as Supersonic Level 1. While the aviation industry is understandably intrigued by the potential of rapid air travel, the FAA’s proposed standards have sent a titter of discontent among environmental groups.

Opponents of the proposed supersonic regulations decry the potential for noise pollution during takeoff and landing. This continued opposition to regulatory standards remains the most significant hurdle to the production of supersonic jets.

Even though the technology has reached the point where supersonic jets are feasible, the political fighting that lies just under the surface of the battle for supersonic jets isn’t likely to go away anytime soon.

An entrenched battle

Few companies are as excited about the new proposal as GE. As the company’s Aviation arm explained, “GE considers the proposal appropriate for supersonic airplanes and believes the proposal furthers the FAA’s stated objectives to protect public health and welfare while developing rulemaking that is economically reasonable, technologically practical, and airplane appropriate.”

Having already stated their intention to develop supersonic jets, GE’s praise isn’t surprising. Of course, neither is pushback on the proposal from several environmental groups. That’s why the FAA is taking deliberate steps forward on the matter. To hear FAA rep Kevin Welsch explain it, the underlying debate within the FAA concerns the best way to appease environmental activists without suppressing supersonic technology.

No small enemy

Quelling the concerns of environmentalists won’t be an easy feat. In addition to the concerns over noise pollution surrounding supersonic jets, there’s also significant alarm over fuel consumption. Conventional statistics indicate that a supersonic jet would burn five times more fuel than a traditional aircraft. That represents no small increase in annual fuel emissions at a time when most countries and companies are working to cut back on emissions.

Freedom to fly

At this crucial point in the rebirth of supersonic jets, developers are simply asking for room to develop a new craft that exceeds the FAA’s regulations by leaps and bounds. They simply require the freedom to let their aviation experts ply their trade. While there are still points of contention and regulatory battlegrounds standing between supersonic jets and record-setting transatlantic travel, conversation about jet regulations marks the potential for an amenable step in the right direction.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

Embraer Isn’t Having Trouble Finding Suitors After Failed Boeing Deal

Just a few months ago, American aerospace titan Boeing and Brazil’s Embraer came to the table to discuss a partnership — what would’ve been the largest of its kind in the history of private aviation. Just short of signing the paperwork, the entire deal fell apart. Some point to Boeing’s cash-strapped 737 Max fiasco as the reason for the bailout. Others have accused Embraer of coming up short on the requirements of the deal. The truth is, no one really knows exactly why the deal fell apart. All we know is that it did.

A soap opera among industry titans

Boeing was the first to point fingers, claiming Embraer failed to comply with requirements outlined in the contract. However, there’s a strong chance Boeing is in the wrong. Many suspect that Boeing pulled out of the deal due to a financial crisis spurred on by the global pandemic. The contract states unacceptable reasons for backing out include financial hardship and a pandemic. Still, no one knows definitively why the partnership fell through.

Despite failure to broker a deal, one can hardly say Embraer left with a broken heart. The aviation company has three potential suitors: China’s COMAC, Irkut from Russia, and the government of India. China may prove to be a fierce competitor with promising plans to develop a new 150-seater. Likewise, Embraer would be lucky to get their hands on Russia’s MS-21. India has plans for a smaller, regional jet that may appeal to Embraer’s knack for planes with 80 to 90 seats.

Out of all the players vying for Embraer’s heart, India would benefit the most from a partnership. They’re behind in the commercial sector, and Embraer would provide leverage against competitors in China. India also appears to be the most serious about a deal, while the others may simply enjoy window-shopping.

Is Embraer in good shape for a new deal?

Several factors are delaying a new partnership with Embraer. Their earnings were down the first quarter of 2020, which doesn’t leave them much cash to compete with other partnerships happening in the aviation industry. Embraer is confident they’ll bounce back once the pandemic blows over, but other companies aren’t willing to take a leap of faith just yet.

Political tensions also are at play. Embraer has a strong allegiance with the Brazilian government and depends on their approval. A partnership between Embraer, a company based in Brazil, and China’s COMAC, would be a controversial move on the part of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro. On the flip side, Brazil and India have shown zero qualms working with each other in the past. Once again, India proves to be the front runner.

All significant players looking at Embraer will have to wait until the aviation industry makes a comeback post-pandemic. No one, not even Embraer, has made strides toward a deal. All the companies have experienced financial fallout to some degree, so a partnership still comes with hurdles and obstacles in a time of general economic strife.

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring or selling a private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at sales@L-Lint.com, call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.

Flightpooling and What it Means for Once-Private Charters

If you need to get from Salt Lake City, UT to Houston, TX by plane, you’ve got two real options: book a commercial flight or charter a private jet. There are trade-offs for both. But what if there was a middle ground? Something in-between a totally commercial flight and a totally private charter? That’s the concept behind flightpooling and its recent rise to prominence. As fears of coronavirus linger and the need for travel ramps back up, more people are seeking to hedge their health in a cost-effective way. Enter: flightpooling.

How does flightpooling work?

It’s the same concept as carpooling. A group of people need to reach the same destination. Instead of driving in their separate cars, they all pile into one to save on gas money and reduce carbon emissions. Similarly, flightpooling is a cost-efficient alternative to flying solo. You get a private jet at a fraction of the price. All the passengers save each other from shouldering the full cost of a private flight on their own.

Flightpooling comes with several other benefits as well. In the midst of commercial flight cancellations, a private jet can get you just about anywhere. You’ll be in contact with other passengers, but the numbers are far less than what you’d have to put up with at a public airport. COVID-19 presents a unique opportunity for people to afford a private flight for the first time.

Flightpooling is a game changer right now

Flightpooling has always been an option. However, it’s so niche that circumstances didn’t allow the trend to flourish until now. Before the rise of COVID-19, passengers either wanted to go cheap on a commercial flight or have total privacy. But last-minute evacuations coupled with cancelled flights have been the driving forces behind flightpooling. A once-obscure option is now the only option in many instances.

It keeps passengers safe from crowded airports while maintaining a cheap price. Private flights are still more expensive than commercial airlines, but they’re cheaper than ever thanks to the current circumstances. Flightpooling is perfect for people who want to limit their exposure to COVID-19 and charter companies that want those empty seats put to good use.

The future of flightpooling

Flightpooling may prove to be a short-lived fad. Passengers will flock to commercial airlines once they reopen, which is likely to happen soon due to government easing of travel restrictions. However, it would be a lucrative business venture if the world saw a second wave of COVID-19. Private charters were late to the game, but now they’re well-equipped to offer flightpooling in the future.

Global pandemic aside, flightpooling remains the perfect option for passengers who want to avoid long lines at public terminals, but also save a few thousand dollars. Thanks to this method of transportation, private jets can serve more than just business executives and the wealthy. There are new market options for an industry forced to innovate at a rapid clip.

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring or selling a private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at sales@L-Lint.com, call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.

BizAV Braces for Sharp Decline as COVID-19 Pandemic Continues

Nothing brings an economy to a grinding halt like a global pandemic. Border closures, travel restrictions, and shelter in place decrees like we’re currently experiencing are unprecedented. Not since 9/11 has aviation seen such a dramatic grounding of planes. And by all accounts, we haven’t yet hit the apex of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the early days of its spread, the virus actually propelled BizAV to unprecedented levels of demand as people chartered jets to escape airports, get home, and travel in isolation. But now, even business jets sit idle on the tarmac. BizAV is in for a rough spring and summer, and the industry is bracing itself for sharp downturn.

Shutdowns loom over private aviation

Stopping the spread of COVID-19 has called for increasingly stringent sheltering. Domestic travel is nearly at a standstill as most of the country abides by stay at home orders. Moreover, international travel to and from major economic hubs just isn’t possible right now due to closed borders and stringent travel guidelines. Currently, flights from 26 countries are barred from entering the U.S. alone, with similar countries following suit. All told, as many as 500 transatlantic flights were prevented in March.

But the downtrend in travel isn’t the only thing hurting BizAV. Business aircraft factory closures are stifling the industry as major manufacturers like Textron, Bombardier, and Embraer close their doors and furlough staff. This looms heavy over private aviation, indicating new jet deliveries and announcements may be delayed even after the economy regains its footing.

The numbers indicate turbulence

Aviation data analyst WingX has tracked the status of business aviation charters throughout the spread of COVID-19. They found decreases that may have been much worse without the initial surge of demand as countries began declaring a state of emergency. WingX data from March shows:

  • U.S. business jet flight activity decreased by 21%.
  • Flight activity was 25% lower for Europe and Asia.
  • Italy saw a 70% reduction in business flights.
  • France saw a 43% reduction in business flights.
  • Germany and Switzerland saw a 30%+ reduction in business flights.

WingX also compiles detailed flight data about the length of charters and the plane itself. According to the organization’s most recent report, “all aircraft segments have seen severe declines.”

A future beyond COVID-19

The downturn in BizAV was inevitable. COVID-19 is a global pandemic, and no form of travel is beyond its reach to cripple. That said, private aviation companies and charter providers are getting creative to preserve their businesses during this period of economic turbulence.

Some charter companies like Jet Linx and VistaJet have begun offering heavily discounted jet cards to customers as a way to bring new interest into the industry. Other private charter companies have leaned into civil service. Charter providers JSX and JetSuite have helped repatriate more than 100 U.S. citizens stranded abroad. Private Jet Services Group has similarly helped more than 11,000 students, athletes, executives, and families get home. Even more providers have offered up service to transport medical equipment and supplies regionally.

There’s no doubt BizAV will survive the downturn brought on by COVID-19. But it could be some time before private aviation gets back up and running with vigor. Until then, manufacturers, brokers, flight crews, jet owners, and travelers will all wait with bated breath.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.