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Will virtual conferencing negatively affect the private jet industry?

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

Private jets for corporate travel

Businesses are looking for ways to cut costs, and unnecessary business travel is an easy way to trim expenses.

Virtual conferencing and online trade shows will likely keep business travel from rebounding to its pre-pandemic levels. Many pivotal conferences are going virtual, including tech innovation showcase CES 2021.

However, some high-level deals cannot be made online. For instance, executives may want to tour a potential site or inspect work being done at other locations.

One hindrance can be the limited flight range of a single private jet. While there may be options to fly within the Americas or to Europe on a single flight, reaching Asia from the Western hemisphere is quite an undertaking.

"What we're seeing is some business travel is coming to the private jet industry that would normally have been in the commercial world because there is confidence in flying with us," Megan Wolf, COO of FlexJets, told Bloomberg Television.

Due to uncertainty with commercial air and the potential health risks of crowded public places, private jet travel will likely be more commonplace for business executives in the near term.

A recent Corporate Jet Investor's poll of 500 private jet executives indicates that 92% of the respondents are optimistic about private jet travel in 2022.

Commercial airliners appear to have more to lose from virtual conferencing than private travel at this moment. As long as corporate balance sheets remain healthy and the pandemic doesn't significantly worsen, private jet operators should have steady demand for the near future.

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