Demand for chartered jets rose in the first half of the year—a sector recovery that has been boosted by wealthy travelers who are more inclined to lease rather than buy aircraft, industry experts said.

The growth represents a continued turnaround for a private charter industry that was among the sectors hardest hit by the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession., a worldwide air charter marketplace that connects travelers with available private jets, recently reported an increase of 61 percent in visitors and trip requests through its Web site during the first and second quarters.

“We believe there is enough evidence to support the fact that the industry is coming back,” said Robert Hart, president at

Federal Aviation Administration data shows takeoffs and landings for business jets have risen 20 percent from 2009 through May 2014, although they are still 14 percent below the 2007 peak, said Rolland Vincent, president of the airline consulting firm Rolland Vincent Associates. Takeoffs and landings were up about 4 percent from May 2013 through May 2014.

"We expect this utilization to continue to climb as the recovery accelerates in the U.S.," Vincent said.

He predicted the industry will experience higher growth rates in 2015 and 2016, as business and luxury travelers remain wary of the risks and expenses tied to owning private jets.

“Memories of sharp devaluations in residual values remain fresh in the mind of many who need or desire private air transportation but want to avoid the risks and costs of aircraft ownership," he said.

Bob Mann, an airline industry analyst who heads up R.W. Mann & Co. Inc., said recent problems on commercial flights will boost private travel.

"Four airplanes were diverted over seat space squabbles," Mann said. "Everything negative that happens on the commercial side will make it more attractive to use a private jet."

Fractional jet ownership has also shown signs of growth. The number of fractional shareowners increased last year for the first time since 2008, going from 4,350 in 2012 to 4,365 in 2013, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.