There has been a surge in people taking their pets on board private jets, according to a report by US news agency CNN.
Private aircraft travel has become more accessible in recent years, and has witnessed increasing demand following the travel chaos caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Now private jet companies are reporting a surge in bookings from travellers – many of them new to the private jet world – who want to bring their pets on board with them.
Global aviation company VistaJet has reported an 86% increase in the number of animals it’s flown over the last two years – and it’s not just cats and dogs getting their wings.
According to Matteo Atti, executive vice president of marketing and innovation, one in four of its members now flies with a four-legged companion, while the number of birds being taken on board is also on the rise.
“Rabbits are a recent new breed of pet flown by VistaJet, and while dogs continue to make up the majority of animal passengers, the number of cats spiked 357% from 2019 to 2020,” he said.
Another private jet company, NetJets, has even developed the hashtag #NetPets for its pet travellers, so that images of them can be shared on social media.
One reason for the increase in pet flights has been put down simply to the surge in pandemic pet ownership, with more people than ever before owning pets.
However, Daniel Hirschhorn, co-founder of boutique private jet charter company Luxury Aircraft Solutions, said: “We’re seeing an increase in the level of leisure trips versus business trips. You’re not going to take your dog into your meeting, but you’ll certainly take it to your other house, if that’s convenient for you.”