• How private jets have benefitted from the pandemic


    How private jets have benefitted from the pandemic


Once just associated with Hollywood celebrities and mysterious tycoons, the private jet is making a more mainstream splash in Japan. An unexpected outcome of the COVID pandemic is the mainstream interested in the private jet industry. According to recent news reports in Japan, the industry is growing both in terms of attention, customers and demand.

Gulfstream G650ER (PHOTO: Aviation Wire)

Prior to the spread of COVID, Japanese major airlines had been promoting private business jets as one of the new potential businesses markets following FSC (Full Service Carrier) and the LCC (Low Cost Carrier) offerings. Since the pandemic however, more and more companies are using private jets as a way to minimise the opportunity for infections.

Gulfstream G650ER (PHOTO: Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation)

According to Ryusuke Kondo, president of JAL Business Aviation, (via Aviation Wire) “one of the things that has changed between the time the company was founded and the current day is domestic charters. The number of enquiries has increased because of Corona (COVID)," he says. He adds that the need for companies and wealthy people to travel domestically on business jets to fight infection has increased. There were also cases of people flying to regional airports after returning to Narita Airport.

Ryusuke Kondo, president of JAL Business Aviation (PHOTO: Tadayuki YOSHIKAWA/Aviation Wire)

For reference, a round trip between Tokyo and Okayama starts at around ¥2 million yen ($20,000 USD appx.) for a Citation class aircraft. In February this year, a charter service using HondaJet was launched for the general public. A one-day trip between Haneda and New Chitose costs around ¥2.5 million, according to the company. While of course the price far exceeds a regular regional flight, some customers are shelling out the fees for safety and convenience.

HondaJet’s cabin interior. (PHOTO: Honda Aircraft Company)

According to the same Aviation Wire report, a round trip via a private business jet from Japan to the east coast of the U.S. would cost 30-40 million yen. Some companies that have used the service once are beginning to consider using only business jets to complete their overseas business trips, depending on the project.

Other providers like ANA are offering business jet services (ANABJ), and they’re in the process of strengthening their efforts to capture demand in anticipation of market expansion post COVID. In addition to domestic charters, ANABJ offers two other types of services: global charters, which allow passengers to travel directly from Japan to overseas by business jet; and area charters, which allow passengers to use business jets within the countries they have flown to on scheduled flights.

Bombardier Global 7500/ANA Business Jet (ANABJ) (PHOTOS:

Having only launched in 2018, ANABJ aimed to turn a profit in a single year within three years of its establishment and eliminate accumulated losses in five years. Even in FY2020, the company was able to increase sales and profits on the back of awareness of infection prevention and business demand as international flights shrank.

Bombardier Global 7500/ANA Business Jet (ANABJ) (PHOTO: Aviation Wire)

Mr. Jun Katagiri, ANABJ's Representative Director, said in an article by, "There have been cases of expatriates traveling from Narita and Haneda to Hokkaido and Kyushu because they cannot use public transportation after returning home.The number of contracts signed with the company has increased by about 10% and enquiries by about 30% compared to before COVID.”

With airlines like ANA designing and releasing new business jets, like the Global 7500, a 19-seater, eight person airplane, small group travel, and luxury travel looks like a trend that unlike budget options was able to survive the pandemic (to a degree) and is ready to bounce back better than ever.

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