Add another win for the same segment, but this time, it’s not for people. Pet travel is soaring, CNN says, especially in hubs like Hong Kong. Put it simply, people are chartering jets to see their pets flying out of the city. The issue is more complex than just “a bunch of rich people paying to see their pampered pets fly out” because the region has been under strict travel restrictions for a very long time. Longtime residents are moving out, and they must make arrangements for their pets to fly out and join them at their future homes.
It’s not just rich people, either: the report notes that working- and middle-class people are pooling resources to charter jets for their “furry children,” with tickets selling for upwards of $20,000 for one pet and a human companion. In a context in which there are few to no domestic flights, getting a pet out of the city is an impossible dream unless you go private.
CNN says that several private aviation companies have reoriented since the start of the health crisis and are now operating as pet-travel companies exclusively. Top Stars Air, for one, reports a 700% boom in demand for charter jets for pets, whether they’re cats and dogs or more unusual pets like birds, turtles, hamsters, and rabbits.
“In terms of business, it has been a huge positive,” Olga Radlynska, founder and director of the airline company, says. “But at the same time it is devastating to see people that are basically evacuating Hong Kong with their pets. And they want to leave yesterday.”