U.S. Corporate Elites Drive Private Jet Spending to 10-Year High

Luxury business private jet with open door ready for passenger boarding
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If you’re stuck in a line somewhere waiting to board a regular commercial flight or queueing on arrival in the vain hope you’ll soon be reunited with your baggage, one thing is certain.

No member of the global corporate elites will be there with you because they are riding high in a private jet that uses facilities far removed from the madding crowds.

The Financial Times (FTreports spending by U.S. companies on private jets for personal use by chief executives and chairs hit the highest level for a decade last year as many businesses relaxed restrictions on using them because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Spending on airborne luxury rose 35 percent to $33.8mn among S&P 500 groups in 2021 — the highest since 2012, according to ISS Corporate Solutions, a division of investment adviser Institutional Shareholder Services.

The business elites have seemingly grasped the appeal long ago recognised by Hollywood, tried it and have no intention of going back to their old ways as everyday fliers are forced to in crowded commercial airports.

Who is enjoying the corporate travel stakes? The FT sets that out:

Among the biggest spenders were Facebook parent Meta and aerospace group Lockheed Martin as many companies eased rules on using private jets because of fears over contracting Covid-19 on commercial flights. Meta spent $1.6mn on private jets for chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, while Lockheed spent $1.1mn on flights for boss James Taiclet.

Lockheed Martin said it broadened its private jet spending last year ‘in light of the Covid-19 pandemic’.

This included $353,303 for Taiclet’s personal travel as well as for commutes to his home out of state and deadhead flights, when an aircraft is used for a one-way charter, Lockheed said in a regulatory filing this year.

The FT story relates the average amount spent on chief executives and chairs for private jet use jumped 36 percent to $170,660 last year, with the increased spending boosting private jet operators such as New York-based Wheels Up and Jettly.

The move to private jet travel does not look like it will end anytime soon.

Jettly chief executive Justin Crabbe told the FT “it’s quite difficult to go back to flying commercial” once a group has offered executives private flights.

Other companies confirmed they loosened restrictions on private jet travel for personal use during the pandemic and will keep their executives flying separately from everyday people.

That way they can avoid the chaos increasingly bringing so much international travel to a standstill and forcing travelers to cancel flights and stay home.

Passengers queue at the check-in counter at Duesseldorf International Airport (DUS), western Germany on July 1, 2022. Airlines and airports are currently struggling with the lack of staff and high levels of sick leave due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, flights are canceled and passengers have to wait in long queues at the airports. (INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

For example, people traveling in the U.S. for July 4 have reportedly experienced a huge number of delayed and cancelled flights over the break as they seek to reunite with family and friends.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled last weekend and on Monday as more and more Americans prepared to travel, as Breitbart News reported.

The massive cancelation numbers come as the American Automobile Association (AAA) predicted some 3.5 million Americans will be traveling over the holiday weekend and in some cases dropping off passengers for the lines that stretch outside terminals and into the streets beyond.

Corporate fliers will not be among them.

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to: skent@breitbart.com


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