Monday, September 07, 2020

Charter flight bookings jump as India's wealthy seek private and safe travel

COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything. The way we live, eat, work, and even travel. While flying may have resumed gradually with India opening up routes both locally and with air bubbles internationally, the concerns around ‘safe travel’ remains.
No more hustle and bustle at the airports or jostling in the queues at the check-in counter, and the only airport look that works right now is a PPE kit, complete with a mask and face shield. While travel until now was limited to emergencies and business purposes, India’s elite are looking at ways where they see minimal interaction with the crowds at the otherwise busy airports. And so, charter flights and private jets have come to the rescue of the rich even as they cost lakhs per hour.
 With the reopening of the economy, travel booking platforms are seeing a rise in demand for charter flights. “Earlier, we used to get 10-12 requests in a week, now that’s the number of requests we receive in a day. In the past one month, we have booked 15-20 international charter flights,” said Nishant Pitti, founder of EaseMyTrip.
 Similar spike in demand was seen at JetSetGo, an aviation startup that specializes in bookings of helicopters and charter flights. While business has bounced back for them, its yet to reach pre-COVID levels. “Just before the lockdown was announced, the demand surge was nine-fold but we were only able to fulfil 50-60% due to various regulations which kept changing overnight within countries,” Kanika Tekriwal, CEO & Founder, JetSetGo Aviation told Business Insider.
 07/09/20 Sanchita Dash/Business Insider
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