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Private Jet Flyers Takeoff For Thanksgiving Amid New COVID Restrictions

As more cities and states close restaurants and implement restrictions to combat the COVID spike – in New York State, in-home gatherings are restricted to no more than 10 people – the private skies continue to be busy. However, there’s a mix of bookings and cancelations.

The CEO of a large private jet operator who asked not to be identified said in the first 72 hours after Governor Andrew Cuomo put a dent in many Thanksgiving plans, phones started ringing. “We have definitely seen an uptick in requests since this last announcement. We also have gotten a ton of requests for basic information and regulations about the process of re-entering the state.”

New COVID-19 restrictions are having a mixed impact on the travel plans of private jet users for the … [+] upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, say industry executives. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Paul Class, a senior vice president with Solairus Aviation, the sixth-largest Part 135 operator in the country, said he does not see an exodus from the Empire State. “In fact, it’s been the opposite. We’ve actually had a few cancelations this week with people traveling into New York who figure the hassle is just too great.” He adds, “Overall, Thanksgiving travel still looks solid.”

Patrick Gallagher, president of NetJets, the world’s largest private jet operator, says, “What we see right now is a lot of uncertainty. Flights are being booked and canceled, then rebooked more so than usual.”

Instead of big family gatherings, he says customers are opting to get away with their nuclear family.

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