Leisure travel – where the journey is part of the adventure!

Leisure travel – where the journey is part of the adventure!

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:

global travel rebound

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.

Seamless travel – with heart

Brits recalls a moment when an international traveller’s commercial flight from London to Johannesburg was delayed, meaning that she and her children would miss their private air link. Anxious and weary, she mentioned over the phone how she could practically taste the Amarula coffee and crunchies that she was looking forward to. Landing at OR Tambo early morning, the family were whisked over to Fireblade. After showering and settling into the lounge area there were crunchies for them, and coffee waiting for her – with an Amarula miniature on the side. It made all the anxiety melt away, and it’s the kind of heart Fireblade puts into every detail of every flight.

Travellers are attracted to the benefits of private aviation

  • Exclusivity: an intimate and secluded environment appeals to travellers who value a stress-free travel experience.
  • Privacy and comfort: without the crowds and inconveniences associated with commercial flights.
  • Flexible, customised travel: enables guests to tailor their itineraries, choose departure times to suit their schedules, and access remote airports.

As the private aviation sector continues to evolve and adapt to changing consumer needs, it’s likely that this growth trend will continues and shape the future of luxury travel experiences.