Private aviation is one of the few industries that has prospered during the pandemic, and one of the main reasons traveling by private jet has been so attractive to people who can afford it is health and safety. Simply put, flying private drastically cuts down on the amount of contact passengers have with others. When travelers arrive at the airport, they usually wait to board at a fixed-based operator (FBO), not at the crowded terminal of a commercial airline. They also do not have to wait in long lines to go through security. Aboard the plane, they come in contact with far fewer people than they would on a major airline.
COVID concerns aside, there are many other ways that flying private is safer than flying on a commercial airline, depending on the charter company one chooses. Let’s take a closer look at a few variables to consider.
In the same way that one airline can be safer than another, private jet operators vary in their safety standards and operations. For instance, safety is the most important aspect of operations at PJS. All aircraft and pilots are pre-vetted prior to every flight, something we can do with our distinction as a WYVERN Certified Broker. Our commitment to safety is also why we have a Safety Management System (SMS) in place for every flight. As PJS’ Chief of Staff & Director of Safety states, “SMS is a fundamental requirement. This makes the success of our clients’ mission-critical air travel needs non-negotiable — a task that requires a level of sophistication, service and reliability rarely found in the airline industry.”
Travelers choosing between private charter companies should inquire about the private jet operators the companies partner with. For example, PJS scrutinizes all of its operators’ accident history and safety ratings. Many private aircraft are also newer and better maintained than commercial jets.
Emergency Landing Options
Another way flying private is safer than flying commercially is that private jet operators have more options, which is beneficial in the case of an emergency landing. Specifically, they have access to five times more airports and FBOs across the globe, allowing them to land in remote areas inaccessible to commercial airplanes.
Negotiating Inclement Weather
In terms of inclement weather, scheduling flexibility and capabilities of private jets also make them safer than commercial airplanes. Since charter flights are not beholden to a set schedule, crew and passengers are much more adept and efficient at coordinating a flight change or moving quickly in and out of high-risk situations, especially amidst ever-changing weather patterns. Additionally, many private jets can fly higher than the average cruising altitude of a commercial jet, enabling them to avoid turbulence and bad weather.
Passenger Impact on Safety
The proliferation of stories related to disruptive passenger behavior on commercial flights also highlights how the relaxing atmosphere of private jets leads to more stable flying environments. Current news is rife with stories of passenger conflicts over mask-wearing. Conversely, on a privately chartered flight, everyone usually knows each other, decreasing the chance for conflict and creating fewer distractions for the crew and the pilots.
For these reasons, flying private is safer than flying commercial if you choose a reputable charter company. Just like major airlines have significantly different safety records across the board, some private operators are safer than others. It is up to travelers to do their due diligence to choose a charter company that exhibits a strong safety record.