September 29, 2020

Wealthy Fliers Worried About Coronavirus Turn to Private Jet Service

For travelers concerned about the environment, the private jet companies offer programs to offset carbon emissions. Terrapass, which has partnered with Magellan, can calculate carbon offsets based on the size and age of a plane and where its flying. Magellan includes carbon offsets in jet cards greater than 50 hours.

New fliers may be driving some of the increase in sales, but existing clients are refilling their jet cards with more hours.

  • Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

    Updated May 28, 2020

    • My state is reopening. Is it safe to go out?

      States are reopening bit by bit. This means that more public spaces are available for use and more and more businesses are being allowed to open again. The federal government is largely leaving the decision up to states, and some state leaders are leaving the decision up to local authorities. Even if you aren’t being told to stay at home, it’s still a good idea to limit trips outside and your interaction with other people.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      More than 40 million people — the equivalent of 1 in 4 U.S. workers — have filed for unemployment benefits since the pandemic took hold. One in five who were working in February reported losing a job or being furloughed in March or the beginning of April, data from a Federal Reserve survey released on May 14 showed, and that pain was highly concentrated among low earners. Fully 39 percent of former workers living in a household earning $40,000 or less lost work, compared with 13 percent in those making more than $100,000, a Fed official said.

    • Is ‘Covid toe’ a symptom of the disease?

      There is an uptick in people reporting symptoms of chilblains, which are painful red or purple lesions that typically appear in the winter on fingers or toes. The lesions are emerging as yet another symptom of infection with the new coronavirus. Chilblains are caused by inflammation in small blood vessels in reaction to cold or damp conditions, but they are usually common in the coldest winter months. Federal health officials do not include toe lesions in the list of coronavirus symptoms, but some dermatologists are pushing for a change, saying so-called Covid toe should be sufficient grounds for testing.

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

    • How can I help?

      Charity Navigator, which evaluates charities using a numbers-based system, has a running list of nonprofits working in communities affected by the outbreak. You can give blood through the American Red Cross, and World Central Kitchen has stepped in to distribute meals in major cities.


“We’re seeing members purchase larger increments, so someone at 50 hours is renewing at 75 hours,” said Mr. Tivnan of Magellan Jets. These fliers want to lock in availability for themselves and family members, should they need it, he said.

The prices are not cheap. Magellan’s entry-level jet card for a Hawker 400XP, which seats six to eight people, is $130,000 for 25 hours. For the 14-passenger Gulfstream 450, it’s $313,950.

But tax breaks are available. The CARES Act, the economic stimulus package passed in late March, waived the 7.5 percent excise tax on all private jet flights and hours bought this year. That savings adds up. The same 25 hours on the Gulfstream 450 would have been $25,000 more expensive before the tax break.

Owners who put their planes into chartered service can also take advantage of tax exemptions. The 2017 tax overhaul allows an owner who uses a plane at least 50 percent for business purposes to deduct the entire purchase price in the first year of owning the jet. But that business purpose could be putting the jet into the market for other fliers to use.

Experts caution, however, that the supply may catch up to the demand.

The price for chartering a plane to fly in the United States — as opposed to buying flight hours — is low now. A one-way chartered flight from New York to Los Angeles, for example, would typically cost around $30,000 for a jet that seats eight people, said Jean De Looz, head of Americas for MySky, which helps jet owners manage costs. But that has fallen to $12,000 to $17,000.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/30/your-money/coronavirus-private-jets.html

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