It’s December, the South African summer holiday season is in full swing, and leisure travel is “in the air”- literally! Nothing compares with the fullness of our African summers: spectacular sunsets, wildly unique landscapes. It’s nature’s stage, all set up for a season of leisure travel.
Fireblade Flight Follower and Administrator, Nathan Brits comments on why a spirit of discovery is changing the role of private aviation.
Leisure travel is not just about getting from point A to B. Travellers are choosing private aviation – not simply as a means to travel, but as a part of the journeying experience itself. The appetite for special travel experiences has increased globally, and South Africa is no exception. This year, 98% of flights through Fireblade were tourism related. With local and international leisure travellers winging their way to remote destinations, 2023 signalled more flights, more passengers, and more demand.
It’s a new era for private aviation
Now that the world is more globalised and connected, people have an appetite to explore, and to make their leisure travel, extraordinary.
The great global travel rebound
Post Covid, people realise how much they enjoy travelling, while there’s still a backlog for those who had to press pause on their plans, there’s a growing desire for authentic experiences and travel adventures. Brits believes the surge in leisure travellers opting for private aviation experiences is because the industry is more accessible. Internationally “on-demand charters” and membership programs have emerged as a new trend. While chartering an aircraft has all the customisation and luxury of an exclusive experience, private air travel has become a more viable choice for a broader demographic of leisure travellers. There’s a range of classes and categories of charter:
Chartering – is more affordable than you think
The logistics of flying commercially, landing and arranging road transport to a destination can be similar in cost to chartering direct. Yet the luxury of flying privately is worlds apart – the experience of safe and easy parking, a concierge driving guests to reception, the excitement of walking into Fireblade’s luxurious facility and enjoying the lounges, hospitality and special touches makes it very illustrious – that’s without having stepped on to your private aircraft! Everything is taken care of, from the moment you make the enquiry, to the moment you step off the aircraft.