Ukrainian airlines in 2020 lost two-thirds of their passenger traffic, or 9 million people. But there is a segment in which there was a significant growth during the quarantine year, and this is business aviation.
In addition to status, flying on your own (or leased) aircraft has a number of objective advantages. The main thing is that the flights are outside the schedule and outside the route network. Flights of any classic airline are scheduled for years in advance. However in business aviation, the flight is usually planned in 2-3 hours, and you can fly in any direction.
In 2020-2021, when most airlines significantly reduced their flight programs, this feature turned out to be very useful. People sometimes need to be at a certain point in the world at a certain moment, and the flight budget does not really matter.
Another important point is saving time. It usually takes 10-15 minutes from the moment your car stops at the airport until the aircraft is on the runway start. In addition, many business jets were created using military developments (for example, Dassault Falcon), they have a very good power-to-weight ratio. They can fly at the upper echelons (up to 13-14 km) and develop a higher cruising speed, what means that with a long flight you save 1-2 hours of your time.
Good power-to-weight ratio also means a short take-off (1,000 meters for almost any business jet), and that supposes minimal requirements for the length of the runway and the ability to use small airfields, where most passenger aircrafts like the Boeing 737 cannot land. At many major airports the possibility of using a short runway segment assumes a shortened take-off procedure (you can 'wedge' into the schedule without queuing).
How much has the business aviation segment grown in the past year? Due to a certain closedness of this market and the presence of various accounting models, the data are very different. For example, according to EU legislation, a business jet is an aircraft with up to 19 passenger seats, but many countries (including Ukraine) do not record this figure.
One way or another, the EU is cautiously saying that in 2020 the passenger traffic in business aviation has grown by about 10%. According to our data, the passenger traffic in Ukraine in the business aviation segment in 2020 increased by at least 15%.
The growth in Ukraine was largely due to passengers who previously flew regular business class flights. Of those 9 million passengers missing by ordinary airlines in Ukraine, 4-6% are business class. And this is 360-540 thousand tickets for the entire last year. A significant percentage of these passengers are not very price sensitive and can afford to fly on a business jet.