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London on lockdown for Xmas? Apparently not a problem for clients of private jet services, as surge in booked flights reported

London on lockdown for Xmas? Apparently not a problem for clients of private jet services, as surge in booked flights reported
A “growing number of enquiries” are reported from rich people seeking to return to London for Christmas after many countries imposed a flight ban with the UK due to the spread of a new strain of Covid-19.

Spending the holidays with family is a bit simpler for those who have the means, and even an air travel ban isn’t a problem for those who can rent a private jet. According to Mark Baffa, the CEO of the global aircraft charter firm Air Partner, there was a surge in demand for its services in the past few days as wealthy individuals seek ways to circumvent the restrictions.

“This includes private jets for individuals and families, as well as businesses wanting to charter larger aircraft so they can urgently fly employees home for Christmas after commercial flights have been cancelled,” he said as cited by the British media.

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“Ultimately, this is a continuation of the trend we have seen throughout 2020 of many people turning to us to enable them to travel in a reliable and safe manner in these disrupted and uncertain times.”

The UK is under a virtual quarantine after dozens of countries shut down flights to it due to a new strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus identified in England. The British government announced on Saturday that contrary to its promises, there will be no relaxation of social distancing rules for Christmas because the new strain appears to be more infectious than others, and is “running out of control.”

Other nations thought it was prudent to put travel to the island nation on pause, but the restrictions do not apply to charter flights. Demand was on the rise even before last week’s announcement, as businesses wanted to have freight capacity reserves for a possible no-deal Brexit at the end of the year.

The air industry saw a plunge in demand in 2020 as international travel grinded to a halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but private jet operators are generally doing better than their mass travel cousins. Air Partner reported a nearly 220-percent surge in profit before tax in the first half of the year, a record, compared to the same period of 2019.

The boost was driven by the need to haul personal protection equipment in large quantities and evacuate customers from coronavirus-stricken parts of the world.

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The global crisis caught up with the company, but its private jet division still showed a 12.5-percent increase in gross profits, with its pay-per-hour rent option being particularly popular among clients.

People who can’t afford a five-figure sum for a quick jump across the English Channel sarcastically noted how simpler the lives of the well-off are…

…and hope their freedoms help them solve the problems of humankind.

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