Private jet business booming over coronavirus fears

Wealthy travelers are clamoring to fly private jets amid the rapid spread of the highly contagious coronavirus, according to a report.

Private jet operators have seen a recent boom in business since the late December outbreak of the virus in China.

“While a large portion of the increase can be related to Chinese New Year travel, we also attribute the growth to customers preferring a private flight rather than a commercial option during a delicate time affected by the coronavirus outbreak,” said Ian Moore, chief commercial officer of VistaJet.

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Darin Voyles with Paramount Business Jets said there’s been a “considerable uptick” in prospective clients, including those looking to return to China.

But the Australia-based firm can’t take on the majority of the requests, he said.

“Aside from the risk of exposure for the crews, the operational and business concern is that when they return from mainland China, they will essentially be unable to work for two weeks as they will have to go into quarantine immediately,” Voyles told the BBC.

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Some of the clients are people stranded as several airlines have grounded flights in China in addition to authorities restricting travel in high-risk areas of the epidemic.

American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and China Eastern Airlines are among the carriers that have suspended flights over the virus, which has spread to more than 73,000 people across the world.

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