Is this the dawn of a new era for private flying?
The last few months have been devasting to the airline industry and it’s likely there will not be a return to pre COVID levels of airline activity for months or more likely years after the end of the pandemic. This is very hard on individuals whose livelihoods depend on the airlines and for all the other businesses that had become dependent on affordable air transportation. The travel industry will be fundamentally changed and we may be at the beginning of the end of affordable mass market air transportation.
But there’s a lot more to aviation than airlines, and private and corporate flying is starting to look much more compelling as a way to get around. Particularly when the prospect of sharing a cabin with a few hundred individuals of unknown origin, and eventually paying a lot more to do so, becomes less appealing.
When you can buy a used four-seater aircraft for about the same price as some luxury cars the prospect of flying yourself is a real alternative to the airlines for short range domestic travel. For longer flights chartering business jets via online brokers like XO is looking more attractive than ever to well-funded families, and for corporations with regular international travel needs the corporate jet will become more of a necessity and less of a luxury as the airlines shrink and executives become less willing to expose themselves to the increasingly stressful commercial travel experience.
If you’re thinking of learning to fly maybe you’ll end up putting your skills to work to provide yourself with the ultimate means of private transportation, or your career may turn out to be a more about business jets than airliners.