A YORKSHIRE-based private aviation company has reported a surge in clients from Ilkley and the surrounding areas.

Aviation Needs is an SME which provides private jets and helicopters to rockstars, the rich and famous and high-net-worth individuals. It says its biggest growth in clients this summer came from Ilkley and Burley-in-Wharfdale, with a 300 per cent increase in people from Ilkley using private aviation.

Managing Director of Aviation Needs, Matt Cheshire, said: “I’m from Yorkshire so I’m delighted more people from here are flying with us.

"I think there are several reasons. It’s three years since the pandemic and the backlog of holidays that it brought so there was a buoyant feeling generally during the summer and we saw a lot more confidence than ever before about flying abroad.

“This brought a surge in demand for scheduled airline flights and unfortunately, service didn’t meet demand in the aviation market. Many found that scheduled airlines were already booked up because many carriers were still not up to pre-Covid service capacity.

"Airlines like Jet2 and EasyJet suffered crew shortages and the threat of strikes. As a result, we saw more people forgo scheduled airlines and instead charter private jets.

“We’ve also seen a change in attitude generally when it comes to holidays. People seem to value time more preciously. They want to spend their time as effectively and pleasantly as possible, surrounded by the ones they love. People who could afford to, really valued being able to take off immediately after check-in or after check-out at the other end, especially if they had young children or pets.

“Our Ilkley clients aren’t frivolous - they’re Yorkshire folk after all. Nor were they all super wealthy - some just wanted to treat themselves. Whatever the reasons, I’m expecting this trend will continue into next year.”

The primary reason for travel was for pleasure and key destinations were Portugal and Palma.

Matt added: "Winter enquiries are looking to Chambery and Geneva for quarter one of 2024 for snow and Tenerife and the Canaries for the sun."