It’s no secret that air travel is surging right now, with a combination of warmer summer weather and increasing confidence among those newly vaccinated against COVID-19 driving more and more travelers back to the skies. U.S. airlines continue to set records for the number of daily air travelers since the pandemic struck last year. Bookings are increasing, driven largely by vacation travel as more destinations open up.
The same increase is seen in the private aviation sector: the industry is bouncing back, and flight volume is rising significantly. In fact, according to WINGX’s weekly business aviation bulletin, it’s nearly time to compare our current volume to 2019 and the pre-pandemic market rather than view the increase in terms of a rebound from 2020 lows. When COVID struck, many travelers turned to private aviation for the first time, driven by the unique safety guarantees it afforded; this year, domestic air charter demand in the U.S. is expected to rise beyond pre-pandemic levels.
Because of the rise in volume—and because of a few additional pandemic-related curveballs—I want to remind our jet card owners, pay-as-you-go members, and charter clients, as well as private fliers across the market to book their travel as far in advance as possible. Early booking will ensure they get the most out of their purely private jet experience as they reunite, reconnect, and return to business in 2021. Magellan Jets has been making sure our customers are informed about the benefits of early booking, offering tips to help smart, savvy fliers navigate the busy summer travel season. In addition, now through the end of July, we are offering complimentary catering to guests who book their travel with Magellan Jets at least 14 days in advance.
So why is early booking important? For customers in the charter market who are at the whim of market pricing, it’s essential to book ahead of the high-volume summer travel season before demand causes rates to skyrocket. But aside from helping travelers avoid the high-volume headaches and frustrations that can occur during peak travel times, booking ahead with Magellan helps our teams match you to the best aircraft, experiences, and accommodations possible. The further ahead you book, the more time our Flight Support and Guest Experiences teams have to personalize your flight and tailor your perfect experience.
Of course, Magellan’s jet card owners and pay-as-you-go members are best positioned as the world reopens and more people are flying private. Unlike many of our competitors, our programs do not have “peak travel days;” our members and owners enjoy guaranteed access to the aircraft they want 365 days a year, without blackout dates or peak travel surcharges and with callout times as low as eight hours. Our membership and jet card ownership programs remain the ideal tools for avoiding the uncertainty and volatility of the rebounding charter market.
Early booking gives your private aviation provider the time they need to make sure your perfect experience begins as soon as you step foot on your aircraft. Whether that means planning a surprise party for your children, arranging a multiple-course catered meal, or stocking the cabin with your pet’s favorite toys and treats, Magellan Jets is ready to go above and beyond to make your flight unforgettable. We can also help recommend and arrange lodging and activities when you get where you’re going. Increased travel demand also means hotel reservations, private tours, tee times, and spa appointments are filling up quickly. Booking early will help us tap into the best of these experiences on your behalf, while they are still available.
One specifically pandemic-related issue solved by early booking involves the state of the rental car industry. In what ThePointsGuy.com referred to as the “rental car apocalypse,” fliers are finding it increasingly difficult to rent a car. This is in part because rental agencies sold off much of their fleet when the pandemic caused business to dip; now that travel bookings are surging again, many rental agencies are having difficulty supplying ground transportation. Tourist-favorite destinations may have zero rental options available on peak dates, some agencies may be unable to fulfill reservations, and rental rates may increase up to 300%. Upon inquiring about a rental car on Nantucket on a recent weekend, I was told it would cost $700/day with a week minimum—and that’s only if we were taken off a waiting list. We’re not crying wolf when we tell our guests to book in advance; ground transportation, flights, and more are booking up fast. But in addition to doing your due diligence and booking early, you’ll want to travel with a company that provides solutions.
Luckily, the aviation experts at Magellan Jets are ready to help make all aspects of your trip as seamless and worry-free as possible. The best way to mitigate ground transportation woes is to book as far in advance as possible. Beyond that, our Flight Support and Guest Services teams will go to great lengths to facilitate vehicle rentals; in one recent example, we arranged for a car to be transported via flatbed truck from Sarasota to Orlando upon a guest’s arrival. Though the solutions may be costly during peak travel, our guests know they’re paying for priceless peace of mind.
Once you’ve booked your travel, you can access your itinerary, choose additional amenities and add-ons, and view and edit further details of your flight via our exclusive app. Book early, and you’ll have all your important flight information at your fingertips weeks before you take off—and you’ll be able to store information in our safe, secure portal to make the process even more seamless the next time you fly.
There’s so much to look forward to this year as we move into the world of post-pandemic travel. Private fliers looking to navigate the new normal can continue to trust us to be their guide to the reopening world. We’re still closely monitoring international travel restrictions, rules, and regulations on behalf of our customers as more destinations become available or loosen their requirements for travelers. Take for example The Bahamas, which began exempting vaccinated travelers from the COVID-19 test that had been required upon entry, or Anguilla, which just reopened last week following an April closure due to a COVID outbreak. We’re still upholding the elevated safety standards we introduced during the pandemic, including our multi-layered 5 x 5 PureSky Safety Standard—and though the CDC continues to relax their mask guidelines, they have extended their mask mandate on transportation, including on private aircraft, through September 13.
Some of the most exciting news comes from Europe, which will reopen to vaccinated travelers this summer. An exact date for this change in restriction has not yet been named, but some countries, such as Greece and Italy, are already open to those who present a negative COVID test, and France is set to reopen to tourists June 9. Whether we’re helping you find your perfect European dream vacation or suggesting the best summer nature getaways or top golf destinations for dad this Father’s Day, the travel and aviation experts at Magellan Jets are proud to guide you to the safest and most unforgettable destinations.
This year, Magellan’s jet card owners will also have their experience elevated with an upgrade to the aircraft options available in our jet card program, adding the Bombardier Challenger 604/605 and Citation CJ3/4 cards. Magellan is a jet-specific company, so it’s important to upgrade our jet-specific portfolio to ensure our owners have access to a consistent lineup of the newest, highest-quality, most reliable, and most popular aircraft available on the market. Our newest programs include the Gulfstream G550 and Challenger 605 in the heavy category, the Citation XLS in the mid category, and the Embraer Phenom 300 and Citation CJ4 in the light category. These fantastic, top-of-the-line jets will help our clients return to business or rediscover the world this year with safety, speed, efficiency, and comfort.
We’ve also continued to grow our Magellan Jets family, with new additions to our technology, flight support, business development, marketing, and sales departments. I’m excited to share several new and exciting developments that our expanded teams have been working on later this summer.
We’re truly enthusiastic about the promise of 2021, and about providing the ideal purely private aviation solutions for the reopening world. Whether you’re reconnecting with loved ones, revisiting the places that inspire you, or returning to business this year, Magellan Jets is proud to support your mission with our unmatched commitment to excellence in safety and service.