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HomeStatistics & TrendsAir Charter Guide reports 2nd quarter U.S. charter growth driven by online booking and airline industry upheaval

Air Charter Guide reports 2nd quarter U.S. charter growth driven by online booking and airline industry upheaval

Air Charter Guide<.> reported in its quarterly survey that the U.S. charter industry continues to grow steadily despite…

Air Charter Guide<.> reported in its quarterly survey that the U.S. charter industry continues to grow steadily despite depressed travel markets, financially challenged scheduled carriers and a volatile economy. Over 70 percent of 100 US charter operators surveyed reported increased bookings in the second quarter of 2002 over the same quarter a year ago, with an average increase of 8 percent in jet aircraft preferred by business travelers. This is the third consecutive quarterly survey showing growth.



The experienced traveler is demanding more than the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach offered by the airlines, said Meara McLaughlin, Vice President of e-Services for Air Charter Guide. Unlike our high priority packages, traveling executives have no way to absolutely, positively get there on scheduled flights. This is generating significant interest from business travelers who are new to private flight.



For the first time, average end-user bookings exceed 50 percent of business across the entire sample.



Even those operators who have historically flown most of their trips for other operators or brokers are now reporting significant customer-direct bookings, said McLaughlin.



The survey supports that customers are seeking charter in the same place they find all other travel information — the Internet. 73 percent of respondents confirm that their websites are generating new charter customers. 34 percent of those polled offer real-time quoting and reservation services rather than passive email forms.



This shift in the way that charter is marketed and sold represents unprecedented opportunity for general aviation as a whole, continued McLaughlin. Commercial air charter is the entry level for new converts to all types of private flight, including fractional and ownership. Charter operators leveraging the power of the Internet to bring air charter into the travel mainstream has significance for everyone in general aviation.

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