How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Changed Travel
It’s been a little over a year since everyone’s world changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Restrictions altered the way we live our everyday lives affecting lots of activities, including travel. For those who travel for personal enjoyment or for work, having to stay put was a total game-changer. Since so much has changed, we can’t help but wonder what exactly traveling will be like in the future. In a recent Families of Worth session, Ian Moore, chief commercial officer of VistaJet, discussed with Worth the future of safe travel after the pandemic and why flying private is the way to go.
Moore started off the conversation by explaining VistaJet’s nature and approach. “So we made the conscious decision to look for people that tend to fly longer distances, longer than maybe 45 minutes to an hour, which has been the sort of traditional private jet business in the past,” he said. “And we were looking for people that were rapid users of aircraft and which people would fly 50 hours or more a year; we didn’t need to be everything to everyone. Our business model is based around us taking the asset risk and passing on a transparent cost to our customers but therefore needs to make financial sense for both parties. And we decided to take that on in a particular way. So the midsize, the super-midsize category, and above made it simple for our type of clientele.”
When the pandemic hit, though, everything was shut down, putting an abrupt stop to travel. Once travel slowly started resuming around May and June 2020, VistaJet was keen on making changes and accommodations. “Ultimately, we had a really open dialogue with our customers,” he explained. “You know, we, like everyone else, worked from home.”
According to a report by UBS, “A higher share of respondents (>20%) expect to decrease spending on travel.” However, Moore thinks that will change over time. “I’m sure that research is done at a time when maybe people just aren’t thinking that way; they think purely on health,” he said in response to the report. “And they’re not thinking about travel, but I can look at my own household. We are desperate to get out and travel again to see the world. But I think when we do it, we’ll do it in a way where we might take five or 10 minutes to actually look and see what we’re seeing really engulf and really understand your world better. So, you know, we’re still excited about what we can do.”