Rich Filipinos flew in style amid pandemic | Inquirer Business
Private jet rentals surged

Rich Filipinos flew in style amid pandemic

No commercial flights available? No problem, at least for wealthy families and company executives.

According to an international private aviation company, Filipinos with the budget flew more times using private jets in the past two years as many commercial flights were grounded due to the pandemic.

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VistaJet chief commercial officer Ian Moore told the Inquirer that the requests for private plane services for both business and leisure coming from the Philippines increased by nearly tenfold from 2019 to 2021. The same level of growth was also observed in other markets, he added.

“You can see the increase in interest [as] commercial airlines [were] really dropping [the] majority of their routes. On top of that, the ability to be in total control,” he said, noting that their passengers expect a “certain level of service and sophistication” when flying.

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VistaJet offers clients subscription-like services, providing them access to its fleet of 85 aircraft throughout the year. A typical contract usually has a term of three to five years, with 75 to 100 hours of flying annually.

On average, its service costs $14,000 to $15,000 per hour, but this could go higher depending on the requirements of the customers. The company also imposes a fuel surcharge given the increasing oil prices, but he said this has not yet affected demand.

“In the last two and half years, we’ve had a lot more long-distance flights. So, obviously, people have been looking to either escape for their own personal reasons to go travel to more open locations around the world,” Moore said.

He said they had more flights connecting Manila to Europe, Italy, United Kingdom and the United States recently. Other routes include Singapore, Malaysia and Dubai.

Prior to the pandemic, the typical destinations included Hong Kong, China, Indonesia and Japan.

Apart from leisure, Moore explained that companies had resorted to using private planes to augment their supply chains. This, as port congestion and lack of container vessels amid the pandemic have led to shipment delays. INQ

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TAGS: Business, pandemic, rich Filipinos
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