Cover Image by: Shy Aviation 

The private chartering industry is booming with business, and it seems that travellers can’t get enough of the luxury lifestyle. We’ve teamed up with the global leaders in private aviation, Shy Aviation and Yacht charter specialists West Nautical to discuss the latest news within the private chartering sector and the effect COVID-19 has had on the industry as a whole.

About Shy Aviation: 

SHY was born in 2011 by Founders Giles Vickers-Jones and Scott Sullivan. Shy Aviation is a global aviation charter company with access to all available aircraft on the market. They offer an unparalleled round-the-clock service that focuses on every detail of your flight.  Shy Aviation offers a jet-to-yacht service. The jet-to-yacht service is a fully bespoke holiday, where they control all components of getting from A-B in the most time-efficient, safe, and hassle-free way. Once landing at a private airport, the Shy aviation team organises the transport to your superyacht. The superyacht team then step in and facilitate an unforgettable holiday at sea.

How has the pandemic affected the private charter industry?

Unlike other businesses around the world, both private yacht and jet charter have seen a positive outcome from the past year and a half.

Geoff Moore, the Managing Director from West Nautical, explained the initial impact of COVID19 was mass panic. Like most of the travel industry, owners would do anything they could to keep charters. They offered to postpone bookings, money back and discounts. When borders suddenly opened in the summer of 2020, there was a means to escape lockdown in July and August. There was an enormous increase in inquiries from new sources of customers, people entirely new to yachting but had the money and means to charter, either alone or with friends and family in their ‘bubble’. Being such a private and, in a way, isolated industry, it provided a bit of a safe haven for clients.

Meanwhile, Shy Aviation’s new flyer requests had almost doubled since May last year. Shy’s existing clients are accepting private travel as their only means of transport for the foreseeable future. Superyachts and private jets are potentially the safest option of transport for holidays during this time. The brutality of the pandemic has meant that holiday requests have fallen by the wayside yet pivoted into finding more adventure-filled long breaks.

It is now safe to say that Private Charter is on the up-rise. New private flyers are experiencing exuberant upsides, such as boarding just 40 touchpoints from pre and post-flight. And, yacht charter guests are at comfort with the ability to live in a controlled environment, with access to 5* service and a luxury lifestyle.

Has the superyacht industry become more competitive since the beginning of the pandemic?

“It is hard to know what competes with a yachting holiday, as the natural competition is a luxury cruise, and that entire industry has been severely affected by the pandemic. I do think that yachting has benefited from that and some cruise customers have moved into private yacht charters for the first time” –  Geoff Moore

Private VS Commercial

The commercial travel industry has fallen short, with some operating at a significant loss of 74%. However, private aviation has prevailed and remained at 100% since and throughout the pandemic. When it comes to private chartering, whether a yacht or a Jet, time is money, and money is freedom. The freedom that private chartering provides makes it hard for anyone to imagine using commercial travel in the future. Flying privately allows business travellers, families, and individuals access to smaller off-grid airports, avoiding commercial flight paths and heavy passenger traffic. Whilst, chartering a yacht allows you to have access to remote, hard-to-reach locations. Travelling privately provides clients with the safety and security that you don’t get when travelling commercially. The rigorous safety procedures provide comfort for the guests on board and put their minds at ease when on holiday.

Due to the increase in demand for private chartering, the prices are have been rising throughout 2021. Many commercial travel operators, whether in aviation or at sea, are trying to claw back lost profits because of the pandemic. Shy Aviation has informed us of an increase of approximately 20%, which is reflective in mostly transatlantic travel, and the increased demand for extra screening provisions.

Private Chartering Aviation Procedures:

Procedures are continuously changing as every country adapts its rules. They require air hostesses to take a test 48 hours before departure, as well as Pre-flight screening. Shy Aviation review all flight details and request additional information concerning previous and future travel to ensure all crew are fit for flying. All crew members’ travel is closely monitored to minimise and prevent any health issues. On top of this they also :

  • Complete regular temperature checks;
  • They sanitise the aircraft before guests arrive and clean it immediately after they depart.
  • A selection of PPE is also available to all travellers should they wish to use it.

It is safe to say whilst the commercial travel industry has really taken a knock over the last two years, the private chartering sector has boomed. And, next year it looks like it is just going to keep getting better.

For more luxury lifestyle articles, head over to – Superyacht Content.

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