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2021 BizAv Recap: Looking Back On a Great Year for Private Aviation

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2021 BizAv Recap: Looking Back On a Great Year for Private Aviation

Alina Gavrushenko, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Monarch Air Group, shares her thoughts on the industry’s historic year, fueled by its resiliency and superior flexibility.

How Private Aviation Increased Demand

When your sales increase by more than 120% compared to 2020 it is safe to say you’ve had a good year. That was the case for Monarch Air Group in 2021, which saw record figures for domestic movements in the US. This was also true for major players in the industry, powered by commercial aviation’s inefficiency during the pandemic and a change in expectations by passengers, who started to seek a safer and more efficient way of travel, with reduced touchpoints and reliable service.

With commercial aviation almost entirely grounded during the early stages of 2021, private aviation was the go-to option for those in need of travel. Record figures were established every month of 2021, with Florida unsurprisingly leading the way as the state with the most movements. Furthermore, this increased demand registered a clear shift in the type of aircraft that was booked, with light and midsize jets soaring through the skies instead of larger heavy aircraft.

Smaller jets in the sky

The previous trend is explained by the rise in domestic travel, which demands shorter routes and less passengers in each flight. In fact, since early 2021 for Monarch Air Group, 55% percent of chartered private jets have been light or midsized, compared to only 14% of super-midsize and larger aircraft. Turboprops also were a top option thanks to their versatility and reduced operational costs, accounting for 27% of all charter bookings for the year.

Interestingly enough, although international charter travel has yet to reach pre-Covid levels, for Monarch Air Group that was not entirely the case. The reason? Based in Fort Lauderdale, the Caribbean is roughly two hours away from South Florida and can be reached by a wide variety of aircraft, especially those with a cost-efficient operation. Our main destination from the US to the Caribbean during 2021 was The Bahamas, followed by Turks and Caicos Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, and the Dominican Republic.

The rise of first-time private jet flyers

The increase in demand due to the pandemic resulted in an all-time high of first-time private flyers. The majority of them were previous commercial passengers that opted for the shift thanks to safety and reliability. Private aviation meant for them a flexible means of transportation, without crowds and the usual airport hassle, and far away from potential virus infection thanks to a controlled preflight and post-flight travel experience. This showcases a big opportunity and challenge for the entire industry as we need to understand how to continuously meet the expectations of the new consumers while exceeding those of the frequent fliers. It is a great place to be, if you ask me…

Late 2021 also registered a rise in leisure private travel to places with warm weather. After more than two years of lockdown, people felt the need of a well-deserved reboot and travel is, as usual, the perfect medicine. Snowbirds flying from Canada and New York to South Florida started to pick up before Thanksgiving and bookings for Christmas and New Year are an important trend these days that demonstrates the good health of the industry.

Furthermore, as vaccination drives continue increasing worldwide and travel restrictions are lifted, the need for face-to-face business will regain shape sooner than later. This trend started in late 2021 within the US but is projected to also continue in the international charter realm, especially for transatlantic flights. Although the rise of new variants might pause that possibility in the countries that are most impacted. That is definitely something to constantly track.

In summary, 2021 was a great year for private aviation. The industry learned how to adapt to the pandemic at the early stages, and then to thrive thanks to its characteristic flexibility, safety, and diversification. At Monarch Air Group, we expect this rise to continue as, in a way, the industry as a whole has passed the test with flying colors, demonstrating its added value and how its incomparable to commercial aviation in regard to customization, reliability and safety. We will continue to position the needs of our passengers in the core of our bottom line, as there is no other possible way to lead a sustained trust-based relationship with our diverse stakeholders.

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Monarch Air Group: How Private Aviation has Increased Demand During the Pandemic

Fort Lauderdale private jet provider Monarch Air Group provides some insights on why the industry is flying high while commercial aviation is still grounded.

While the aviation industry is recovering slowly from the pandemic, it is safe to say that a vast number of commercial planes are still grounded. This is not the case with private aviation, which has registered a steady increase in demand.

Offering a reliable point-to-point service

Constant changes in travel restrictions since the beginning of the pandemic meant a hard time for travel planning, thus passengers turned to private aviation for a reliable option for their flights. Many gaps in the scheduled networks appeared overnight, and only private air companies had the operational capacity to step in and provide a solution.

Although worldwide passenger traffic dropped 66% last year through November, according to the International Air Transport Association, private jet operations fell only 11% in December, the best monthly performance since the pandemic started, as data from WingX indicates. Furthermore, the same data shows that traffic to and from Florida improved by 12% in December from 2019, with the Caribbean serving as another recurring destination.

Safety as the main driver for bookings

While health concerns and hefty travel restrictions have kept commercial aviation grounded, those who can afford to travel by private jet, thus avoiding crowded airports and getting exposed to the virus, are doing so at a similar pace to pre-Covid travel levels.

Private jets reduce chances of contamination thanks to a safer and swifter overall process that consists of arriving at the parking area of a private jet terminal and then going directly to a private lounge just steps away from the thoroughly sanitized private aircraft that will take you to your destination.

Furthermore, online pricing tools with live quotes like the one provided by Monarch Air Group have played a key role in the increased demand thanks to a user-centered booking experience.

New passengers are playing a major role

Once you try private there is no going back. With the headaches of commercial travel, many new passengers have been keen to experiencing private aviation. This is a huge win for the industry worldwide, because this increase in demand has helped reduce the gap left by the lack of business-related operations as previously mentioned.

Furthermore, companies will start sending their executives worldwide again, which means that private aviation might be in a better shape than before coronavirus, when considering the passengers that have jumped onboard and have no intentions to going back to commercial, in addition to the regular leisure and business operations in the market.

Overall, it is the reliability and safety provided by private aviation which has helped to maintain and, even in some cases, increase the demand of operations. While commercial travel disruption has no visible ending point, executive charter companies are ready to deliver a flexible travel solution to any corner in the world, offering passengers a truly unique customer-centric experience.

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How Small Companies are Shaping the Future of Private Aviation

Executive aviation has a strong reputation based on its reliability, cost-efficiency, and flexibility, three key variables that have changed how companies are doing business all over the world. Kyle Patel, CEO of South Florida based BitLux shares his thoughts.

Time is a valuable commodity across markets. How a business can achieve, in less time, the delivery of a product or service, without undermining quality, is the building block for success. This is the case for small, medium, and large companies; they are all tied to time-bound experiences towards their clients. How does this connect to private aviation?

For small and medium corporations, with fewer employees and overall budget, accomplishing more in less time is vital to remain relevant, especially amid the pandemic outbreak. This translates in less time wasted in the airport, arriving closer to the destination, and departing right after delivering a product. Say goodbye to waiting for a late commercial flight back to your home base and welcome the possibility to depart from a regional or domestic airport at any time.

The previous is decisive in the success of smaller companies, in constant search for underdeveloped markets with the purpose to get where multinational corporations still haven’t found interest in taking action. This often means moving to locations with no airline connections; exactly where private aviation thrives by landing in secondary airports that don’t fit larger aircraft and reducing, sometimes even in hours, lengthy and costly ground transfers before reaching the destination.

There’s a misconception that executive aviation is only for Fortune 500 companies and powerful CEO’s. The access to this segment has risen during the past years thanks to an increase in availability, a change in perception and competitive prices worldwide. Private aviation serves entrepreneurs, small and medium business owners in a mission to satisfy their needs and meet even their most ambitious growth plans, thanks to a much sounder management of time.

Global trend powered by turboprops

Worldwide and especially in emerging markets where large jet aircraft are still scarce, small businesses rely on turboprops. Small towns with secondary airports are a great example. BitLux, a private aviation company based in Palm Beach, has ample experience connecting isolated regions within the state and country, taking passengers to places where commercial aviation lacks presence, thus connecting small-town businesses to various opportunities.

Many of these companies and clients can’t rely on the visit of major airline carriers. However, several regional airports serve the purpose of business aviation while also attending specific needs of local clients. It’s the case of a small-town IT company in Oregon, showcased by the No Plane, No gain campaign, which relies on private aviation to serve its clients.

Never heard of No Plane, No Gain? It started in 2010 as an effort between the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, with the purpose to educate the public on the importance of private aviation for its communities, companies, and citizens. Today, 10 years down the runway, it remains strong and serves as a source of information for debates about the future of the industry.

In essence, it’s challenging not to prefer private aviation over commercial. Less time invested in flights, the possibility to depart earlier if a meeting ends ahead of schedule, staying more time at a certain location without missing the flight back home, and reducing uncertainties while managing time. All these features help justify, in a tangible way, the use of business aviation.


BitLux provides executive jet charter and cargo charter brokerage services in the most thorough, safe, and ethical way possible. If you would like to speak with us about a shipment involving a top priority load, please contact us immediately at