According to a new report, the coronavirus pandemic is redrawing flight patterns of private US jets, as airports in resort towns see traffic spike while flights proximity to cities fell, according to a new report.
Private jet flights at Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton, New York, jumped 172 percent in October, according to data from Tuvoli, an online payment platform for jets, run by Private Jet Card Comparisons synthetic. Flights at Aspen Airport in Aspen, Colorado rose 135% and flights at Vail increased 95%.
In contrast, private jet traffic at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport – typically the busiest private jet hub in the nation since it was used by wealthy people flying to New York City – fell 52% in October. Private flights at Westchester, another popular New York City airport, also dropped 31%.
Flights by private planes at Chicago’s Midway Airport fell 47%, while flights at Washington Dulles – typically the second busiest private jet airport in the country – saw flights 48% off.
“It’s another proof that instead of staying in their Park Avenue apartment, the rich are in the Hamptons or Aspen,” said Doug Gollan, founder of Private Jet Card Comparisons.
The pattern is similar in cities and resorts across the US, as wealthy people flee New York City, San Francisco, and other major cities in search of their vacation homes. At the same time, business travel on private planes is almost gone, meaning fewer flights to larger business centers.
Private aircraft companies saw a huge increase in new customers for leisure flights during the pandemic as wealthy people – especially older ones – avoid Commercial flights for health reasons and prefer the more controlled environment of private aircraft terminals and their own aircraft.
Gollan said top CEOs and business owners are also conducting business meetings at their homes, which has diverted typical business jet traffic.
“Instead of having a meeting at their office, an executive would have a group fly to their home in the Hamptons or Aspen and have a meeting there,” he said.
Airports in Nantucket, Massachusetts rose 28% in October, while the nearby Martha’s Vineyard rose 19%.
As for whether the private jet’s map will be permanently changed by the new wealthy mansion model, Gollan said, is still unclear.
“There will be a direct correlation between Covid and the speed at which large offices reopen or not reopen,” he said.