Enquiries from artists up 50% – even on pre-pandemic figures
A global summer of music is driving record enquiries for the air charter industry as musicians plan how to get back on the road.
Most of the world’s biggest bands are on tour over the next few months, with gigs and festivals returning with a bang after two years of pandemic restrictions.
Chapman Freeborn Airchartering, which has flown some of the biggest music stars in the world, says enquiries have risen 50% compared to pre-pandemic figures.
Catriona Taylor, Group Passenger Operations Director at Chapman Freeborn, said: “This is a real boom time for music gigs and festivals, and I have never seen a summer like it before.
“Our enquiries are up by half compared to 2019 before the pandemic, and up 600% on 2021 when so many events were postponed or cancelled.
“The competition for venues and for aircraft is intense because everyone is playing at the same time, and everyone wants to tour.”
The demand for chartered aircraft, whether it is private jets for rock and rap stars or passenger jets for bands and their crew, is huge. So much so that finding a plane can be a challenge for some destinations.
Catriona said: “The demand for private jets is extremely high, especially in the United States and Europe – almost to the point of struggling to keep up with demand.
“All our brokers are working hard to stay ahead of the curve and to find aircraft for clients. Fortunately, we have been in the industry for almost 50 years and that helps. Experience is vital at times like these.”
The boom is being driven by many factors, not only the fact that so many artists are on tour at the same time.
New venues and festivals are opening to keep up with demand, smaller bands are choosing to fly in a bid to fit in as many gigs as possible after so long without work, and the music industry is changing, too.
Catriona said: “What we are seeing is an increase in the number of musicians and bands with an audience big enough to justify a tour.
“The way the industry now works, driven by streaming and social media, means it is easier for artists to find an audience and to become famous more quickly.
“This is reflected in the type of enquiries we are getting. I don’t think there have ever been as many up-and-coming artists on the market.
“Smaller artists than ever before are considering private jet travel and discovering that it may be affordable. The mindset has changed. Chartering an aircraft used to be a High-Net-Worth topic, now the clientele is far more diverse.
“The advantages of using an expert broker instead of going direct is that they know where aircraft are and how to access them, even at short notice.
“Unlike individual airlines, charter brokers are not restricted to using a single fleet – and they understand the niche needs of the music industry.
“When you are on tour for a long time, anything that eases stress and reduces travel time is a major benefit for artists and their crew.”