This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
Part 135 operator Waltzing Matilda Aviation (WMA) is beginning to see a rebound in charter demand following what it calls a “substantial” pick up in business last week. The Bedford, Massachusetts-based aircraft management company said it is fielding up to 50 charter inquiries a day, compared with five to 10 a day just a few weeks ago.
“We have picked up a number of new corporate customers who have already made the decision not to allow their staff to fly commercially for the foreseeable future and therefore see private aviation as the only viable option," said CEO John Thomas.
WMA expects to be better positioned to respond to an uptick in charter because it maintained full staffing during the past two months instead of furloughing crews like some of its competitors have done during the Covid-19 pandemic. During the lull in charter flying, WMA enhanced its website with a new online booking portal.
Thomas added that he expects the “unbelievably” low pricing currently offered by some charter competitors on flights from the northeast to Florida to be short-lived. “We don't expect this imbalance will last for more than a couple of weeks, after which southbound pricing will rise to their more normal levels,” he said.