Monday 29 March 2021 6:33 pm

Jet-set: Private jet sales caught a tail-wind in 2020 despite Covid grounding most travel

Americans buying and selling pre-owned private jets last year helped the market remain resilient throughout the Covid-19 pandemic last year, clocking up $14.5bn in global sales.

New data shows 2,227 pre-owned jets were purchased last year, as many scheduled commercial flights remained grounded due to ever-changing pandemic restrictions.

In the US, which accounts for more than 70 per cent of the pre-owned jets purchased annually,
2020 saw a 9.5 per cent increase in sales when compared to 2019. The uber-rich traded 1,637 personal planes versus 1,495 sales the year before.

Read more: Exclusive: Private jet sector remains ‘robust’ amid air travel slump

Europe was less stratopheric, but remained the second biggest market for the purchase of pre-owned jets, where 154 were bought last year, compared to 152 in 2019.

Oliver Stone, managing director of Colibri Aircraft said executives were still needing to travel for certain types of work and some had switched to going private.

“The sale of pre-owned private aircraft has held up well because the benefits of flying privately have been clearly illustrated during the Coronavirus crisis.

“As the commercial aviation sector has been decimated, business aviation has held up relatively well, and it has welcomed many
new people who have never flown privately before”.

The number of private aviation flights in the fourth quarter of last year was only down 16 per cent in the US when compared to the same period in 2019, and the corresponding figure for
Europe is a fall of 21 per cent.

For the rest of us in economy or business class, commercial flights were 63 per cent fewer in the US,and a fall of 82 per cent in Europe.

Read more: London is the busiest city in Europe for private jets, according to research

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