Private flights more popular since pandemic

People choose private jets to avoid contact with other passengers or to fly to business destinations that have become difficult to access.

Slovaks use private flights to travel either for business or for leisure. Slovaks use private flights to travel either for business or for leisure. (Source: Courtesy of ABS Jets)

The main attributes of private flights used to be luxury and flexibility, but the pandemic has changed this. The outbreak of Covid-19 and the implementation of anti-pandemic measures curbed regular air transport, creating more opportunities for private flights.

“Smaller types of airliners are an advantage during the pandemic,” Bohumil Klečák, executive director of the Letisko Piešťany airport, told The Slovak Spectator. “Many passengers used their services for fast transport, either repatriation or sanitarian flights. At the moment when measures were released, business flights, in particular, grew in popularity.”

Globally hit industry

“The coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented, negative impact on air transport globally, probably the largest since the outbreak of WWII,” said Matúš Hrabovský, spokesperson of the M. R. Štefánik Airport – Airport Bratislava.

Flights from and to Slovakia were completely banned for three months starting in March 2020. Subsequently, until mid-September, only flights to selected countries were allowed, but these were accompanied by strict border measures. After the record years of 2018 and 2019, these factors represented a huge loss for the Bratislava airport.

“After years of development, the pandemic has pushed the airport 18 years back,” said Jozef Pojedinec, the airport’s general director.

The airlines operating in Slovakia have resumed most regular flights, although at a lower frequency compared to the past.

“At present, traffic is slowly returning to normal, but the airport is still far from achieving pre-pandemic operating performance,” Hrabovský told The Slovak Spectator, adding that in the winter flight plan, Ryanair will even launch two new routes – Lanzarote in the Canary Islands and Copenhagen.

Slovakia is no exception to the global decline in air transport, though.

Related articleLogistics getting greener Read more 

“The operation of commercial airlines was reduced which, in turn, has supported the charter market for private jets,” Markéta Janatová of ABS Jets, one of the largest business jet operators in central and eastern Europe and the leading organisation on the Czech and Slovak markets, told The Slovak Spectator.

Flights for business and holidays dominate

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Top stories

News digest: Preparations for Bratislava Christmas markets are in full swing

Getting a jab while shopping, challenges of cycling in Bratislava and a solution for clients of failed alternative energy supplier Slovakia Energy.


11 h
Actor Noël Czuczor portrays Alfréd Wetzler in "The Auschwitz Report".

The Allies knew about Auschwitz atrocities, but they bombed the Bratislava refinery instead

A report about the atrocities written by two Slovaks who escaped the camp was ignored for weeks and months.


13. okt
Children flying kites in Žilina.

Short stories about 'unicorns' win a prize

Philip Morris has opened an interactive laboratory in Banská Bystrica, and private radio stations will say goodbye to Slovak music.


14 h
Cyclists and scooter riders wave their way on Obchodná Street.

How to cycle in the centre of Bratislava

Obchodná Street is one problematic stretch for cyclists in the capital.


14. okt
Skryť Close ad