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Flights outpace commercial airlines as more passengers are prepared to pay a premium. Soaring numbers of wealthy flyers are switching to private jets to reduce the risk of catching coronavirus from other passengers on regular commercial flights.
‘Increased interest in private jet travel took off earlier this year, with enquiry levels double our usual volumes and flight bookings ahead of last year during the summer peak,
Several private jet operators and brokers have reported an influx of business from first-time users who are happy to pay a premium for a bespoke itinerary, involving minimal contact with the travelling public. Private jet passengers are often able to drive straight on to the tarmac to get to their flight, cutting out any mingling with other passengers at the airport or on board.
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While commercial flight numbers have halved, the number of private flights only dipped 10 per cent between September 1 and October 15 compared with last year, according to aviation consultancy WingX.
In August, the number of private flights rose compared with last year, boosted by travellers racing home ahead of new restrictions in the face of rising case numbers.
‘The crisis has helped raise the profile and benefits of flying privately among those who can afford to do this,’ Oliver Stone, managing director of broker Colibri Aircraft, told the FT.