Who would’ve thought that we’d see the days when words like ‘chartered flight’ would fall from the ‘ultra-rare’ category in Kerala?
But indeed these days are here and the pandemic has hastened their arrival. News is that chartered flights have become the preferred travel mode of the rich in Kerala. 5 lakh rupees per flight between business locations like Chennai, Bangalore and Kochi? No big deal for them apparently. Halo Airways chief, Shoby T Paul, told The New Indian Express that there was an increase in demand of about 150% for chartered flights over the pandemic. This is surprising because the aviation industry is generally down due to the travel restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Commercial flying hasn’t yet gone back to its pre-pandemic levels, yet chartered flights are flourishing in Kerala.
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This increase was so profound that it has caused private aviation operators to increase their service networks, especially to cities in North Indian states. Halo Airways has even brought in a rented 2013 model Cessna Citation Mustang Jet for a crore rupees per month. The rented jet has four seats. The new demand in service was created by celebrities and businesspersons who formerly relied on commercial flights for travel needs.
What is so special about chartered flights you ask? Shoby T Paul says that boarding chartered flights take up just five minutes as opposed to the long waiting period and bigger hassles of commercial flights. As an added cherry on the top, chartered flights also allow more luggage. So if you have some money to splurge and destinations to reach, consider a chartered flight next time. Because it is safer and apparently cost viable too. Experts are of the opinion that awareness regarding this efficiency and an increase in the number of people who can afford it is what fueled the boom in chartered blight travel.