Private aviation was one of the many markets to reach the peak of the economic high from 2005 to 2008 with many businesses and individuals buying private planes. There was also a high demand for partial jet ownership and money saving programs like jet cards for frequent private plane travelers. When the bubble burst in 2009, the private aviation industry experienced a sharp decline.
Compounding the difficulties of a strained global economy were the harsh criticisms from US politicians and media regarding the private aviation industry as evidence of big business wastefulness. Many businesses cancelled orders for private planes and executives curtailed their use of private jets in exchange for less efficient commercial flights.
Slowly but surely, private aviation is getting back on its feet. The first quarter of 2010 has shown promise of a return to a thriving market for private aviation. Private plane sales have begun to increase and Gulfstream reported the first quarter of 2010 as its biggest sales quarter since 2008. Criticism of private jet use has eased in the media.
Additionally, commercial airlines have become less attractive with reduced seat capacity, numerous airline strikes, longer wait times and extra fees. With frequent delays and hassles, private aviation has become financially attractive again with all of the opportunity cost saved through more efficient time and money management. Businesses pay slightly more for the flight, but save money everywhere else.
While the private aviation industry is still facing hardship, experts believe that the industry will be recovered by 2011.