COVID 19's Impact on Private Travel
Updated: Oct 2, 2020
In a series of unforeseen events, the globe was restrained to limit human contact in hopes of combating an invisible enemy in the form of the COVID-19 virus. This global infestation of the virus has had a very noticeable impact on travel in a number of different ways.
Airlines Losing Customers
What were once teaming airport terminals servicing thousands of travelers have now become quite desolate. With the thought of the virus being quite contagious with individuals in close proximity, tight airline cabins have become even less desirable. Some airlines have reverted to leaving middle seats open in an attempt to ease customer's minds about their safety. In addition to these changes, the sheer drop in ticket sales has caused a much less convenient travel schedule as multiple routes have been consolidated to one trip or even cancelled all together. If it weren't for these factors alone, the thought of walking through airports full of other people or arriving to states only to be quarantined for an extended period has caused prospective travelers to cancel plans until further notice.
Private Travel Gains Appeal
Many people have argued against the cost of private travel both financially and environmentally over the years. While private travel is certainly more expensive than the alternative, that does not mean it doesn't come with its fair share of benefits that warrant the price tag. It just takes something like a global pandemic for some to realize it may be worth the price of admission after all. Companies are facing the very real possibility of cancelling their office leases and transitioning to a totally remote workforce. The advent of Zoom, Skype and the like have made this more feasible than we may have once thought before. While these are great to handle some business meetings and tasks, most executives within these companies will tell you that it does not replace face to face meetings for handling the most important tasks. This is where the tides seem to be shifting to make private travel become more of a viable option. With funds being reallocated from leasing offices and paying for employee lunches, these costs can now be substituted for other business needs like that of an aircraft to further support these new business needs. High net worth individuals or those on the brink have made a similar decision citing the benefits of keeping themselves and their families safe when traveling. To touch on the environmental piece as well, the private aviation sector has made incredible improvements in efficiency over the years to keep up with very strict regulations put in front of them. These environmental costs may not be so large as you may have thought they once were.