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According to a senior executive at Hunt and Palmer, charter brokers are still seeing demand outstrip available aircraft as newcomers begin to stay, operators consolidate, and private jet owners withdraw their managed aircraft from the charter market.

According to Wendi Matthews-Ortiz, Hunt and Palmer’s v-p of executive aviation in the United States, these elements are creating a perfect storm for brokers in both the United States and Europe. She stated that for the first time in her 25-year career, she has had to advise clients that no planes at their pricing points are available.

“When scheduled flights ceased servicing normal routes due to the epidemic, there was a surge of newcomers to charter,” Matthews-Ortiz explained. Furthermore, she stated that airline frequent flyers are sticking with charter despite predictions that the airline industry will not recover until 2025.

A number of corporate aircraft owners are no longer offering their managed aircraft for charter, exacerbating the problem, while operators such as Vista Global and Wheels Up are merging. She added that a scarcity of flight crews is contributing to the burden.

In recent years, clients have been able to get cheaper rates on empty legs. “Getting a Gulfstream GIV charter for the price of a small plane was like winning the lotto,” she claimed. “However, some clients are already complaining: ‘That’s 50% more than we paid last year,'” she added.

While leisure travel has dominated charter travel since the epidemic began, the corporate sector, particularly banking, is making a comeback. “We’ve quoted multi-leg itineraries for a lot of roadshows for banking clients, who normally book large-cabin charter aircraft,” Matthews-Ortiz added.

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