Fort Lauderdale-based private jet provider weighs in on the increase in demand expected for the upcoming holiday weekend in the U.S., advising passengers to book in advance to avoid any potential accessibility issues. 

Increase in Demand for the Holidays

As a result of the pandemic, private aviation saw a surge in demand and has maintained its record-breaking numbers. The consistency in demand is not expected to slow down as reiterated by The New York Times, claiming that there may be a supply issue.

The pandemic has changed the way travel is perceived and opened a door for private aviation. During the early stages, fewer people were flying due to restrictions and overall uncertainty, although demand has soared in the past six months reaching record-breaking numbers, with executive flight alleviating concerns due to safety standards, sanitation, and the rate of exposure to the virus. 

Numbers are also soaring just days away from Thanksgiving week. According to Monarch Air Group’s internal travel trends, a record sales increase of 123% was registered compared to the same period in 2020, more than twice last November. That trend accounts for requests and bookings alike, with both categories identically 2.2 times higher than last year.

While the pandemic has enticed new flyers to the industry, David Gitman, President of Monarch Air Group, says “it is all about preparation and building on past experiences to deliver a flawless service amid the increase in movements”. A surge in demand is expected almost nationwide and availability might be an issue if passengers do not book in advance. Furthermore, accessibility to private jets also depends on the relationships with operators and whether private jet providers, despite a high volume of requests, can accommodate their needs when booking for Thanksgiving weekend. 

“We all know that Thanksgiving weekend is hectic and an important surge in demand is expected. There are also other variables in play now in some remote places in the country, like potential fueling delays or the unavailability of a specific aircraft model. That is all true, although preparation from a provider perspective and proactiveness from a client standpoint of not leaving booking for the last minute, is paramount for a great experience.”

What if you want to book a flight one day prior to Thanksgiving to Teterboro, New York, to Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport? “Well, in any of the pre-pandemic years that would have also been a challenge. You might get a flight, especially for historically high-demand routes on the East Coast, but probably not the time you want nor the aircraft. Again, there will always be available flights for the organized passenger, and it is our job to go above and beyond and adapt to their needs”, adds Gitman.

Flying Down South on a Private Jet

On an annual basis, this is the time of the year where snowbirds, sun-seeking passengers from the north and Canada, start flying down south. Many of them have a condo in the region, and some just want warmer weather and stay for a few weeks or months. Others, use South Florida as a bridge to other destinations, connecting with the Caribbean or the sandy beaches in Mexico. This influx of passengers to the region has been happening for many decades and private jet providers need to prepare for the increased demand.

Nevertheless, after almost two years of ongoing pandemic, more passengers than the usual yearly snowbirds are expected. Many did not get to vacation during that time span, plenty of honeymoons were postponed, while the hefty travel restrictions are being lifted for those vaccinated. In essence, there is a window now to travel and experience some normality after two exhausting years. And private aviation is expected to deliver the needed availability for those much-awaited trips.

“Thanksgiving marks a high season for private jet providers in South Florida, which, truly, will not stop until after the New Year. We are looking forward to delivering access to a wide array of private aircraft to various destinations. We have been here before, and we will use that valuable experience to increase accessibility for those seeking to travel privately in the upcoming hectic holiday season, reuniting with family, friends, or just seeking to unwind after two challenging years. We are just weeks out, therefore the time to request flights is now”, concludes Gitman.