By Allison Lampert
MONTREAL (Reuters) – A pick-up in leisure trips and easing European travel restrictions are driving demand for business jet flights this summer, fueling cautious hopes for a rebound in an industry hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, executives and forecasters said.
Commercial and business aviation are both seeing improved domestic traffic this summer. But private flights, which carry smaller groups and promise wealthy passengers less risk of exposure to the coronavirus, have generally fared better than commercial airlines since the start of the pandemic.
U.S. business aviation traffic is down around 20% year to date through July 19 on an annual basis, compared to a decline in U.S. commercial airline traffic of 48% over the same period, according to FlightAware data.
Adam Twidell, chief executive at Private Fly, a global booking service for charter flights, said his company’s booking levels are around 80% of last year’s mark