The rich are flying again — in the comfort of their private jets

The pandemic has sent demand for commercial airline flights into a tailspin, but business is soaring for the private jet companies that fly corporate bigwigs and deep-pocketed travelers looking to wing away to an exclusive getaway.

The trend demonstrates once again that the outbreak of COVID-19 is having vastly different effects on Americans depending on the size of their bank accounts.

Despite the pandemic’s severe blow to flying and the economy, private jet companies such as XO Jets, NetJets and Surf Air report that they are booking about 80% as many flights and hours in the air as they had before the pandemic struck the U.S. And many of those fliers are new to the private jet scene.

Meanwhile, demand for flights on traditional airlines has sunk to as low as 10% of pre-pandemic levels — a drop so severe that United Airlines recently served notice that it may furlough

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