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Unfavorable weather is hitting stronger and more frequently than ever in all corners of the world. If climate change is a natural process or manufactured by humans or even a mixture of both, the truth is this fluctuating environment is making us create news ways to deal with nature due to recurrent extreme natural events such as floods, forest fires, heavy snowfall, historic low and high temperatures and hurricanes, within a large list of other events.
This new scenario contributes to a rise in the demand for private aviation. This has been a trend during hurricanes in the Caribbean and the Southeast United States, throughout forest fires in Australia, the rainy season in Southeast Asia and the snow period all over Europe.
Private aviation provides a reliable flight to any destination, any time and day. This flexibility serves as a type of safety blanket for those with the means to flee from insecurity.
Take the 2010 volcano eruptions at Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland as an example, an event that led to the disruption of over 100,000 flights and 10 million passenger’s journeys not only in Europe but across the world, resulting in the largest air-traffic shut-down since World War II.
On the 18th of April, the worst day of the week-long crisis, 80% of all flights in the region were canceled. The least affected? Business aviation with only 34% during the event.
Another example is Hurricane Irma in 2017, a category 5 storm that involved the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and the Southeast region of the United States. That event left Miami International airport closed for days.
12,000 canceled flights overall, with more than 8,000 of them in Florida alone, and even grounded aircraft as far as London and Doha. Nevertheless, domestic and regional airports were open and private aviation was not disrupted.
The previous facts evidence that the flexibility of private aviation comes greatly into play during major natural events. Suffice it to say that private aviation has been an unsung hero, considering that the value the segment has added and is still adding to the travel industry, is usually understated.
“We fly in good times and bad,” says Wagas Ali, CEO, and Founder of JetClass, “for pleasure, business and in emergencies. Such is the nature of our business. When one considers the diversity of trip purpose and the wide cross-section of clients, it’s safe to say we are something to everyone“.
The Role of Turboprop Aircraft
When you think about private aviation it is normal to picture a luxurious jet. Nevertheless, this segment also thrives thanks to the versatility of turboprop and propeller planes which have engines that aren’t easily affected by ash or soot from volcanic eruptions.
Furthermore, they demand shorter runways to depart and land, thus maximizing the operational capability under a stressful event, also providing the opportunity to land in remote places with grass or gravel airstrips. Flexibility at its finest.
Turboprops also offer lower operational costs than jets, making them the perfect option for short flights. For a reduced fee, passengers can move in a comfortable aircraft, also with a luxurious interior and all the amenities of a private jet experience.
And the route duration difference compared to a small jet won’t be noted for flights lasting less than two hours. And even in non-extreme weather conditions, a turboprop might leave you closer to destination thanks to its capability to land at a small runway just a few kilometers from your meeting.
Air Traffic After the Chaos
This market has a part to play after a disaster hits a certain country or region. Depending on the disaster, humanitarian missions are needed to help thousands of people affected by a hurricane, tornado, forest fire or earthquake.
With damaged runways and airports, private aircraft, especially turboprops with the operational capacity to land in rough terrain, are key to deliver supplies like water and food, as well as medical goods to the mountain and coastal regions that have reduced access.
This is especially the case after hurricanes and earthquakes, which leave thousands of residents without basic services and in medical chaos. This segment in aviation is adapted to continue serving those who can flee away beforehand and plays a key role in helping those affected by extreme weather after the damage is done.
In essence, private aviation provides reliability when it matters the most.
JetClass is a business jet airline based in Vienna that offers air shuttle standard and premium services within Europe, air taxi services within Europe, airline-on-demand services, and private jet charter services. JetClass was founded by Wagas Ali, who currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer.