12:17 PM PT — John Castellano, VP of Commercial Sales at Air Charter Service, joined us on “TMZ Live” and said they are seeing a huge uptick of flights from Hong Kong … and anyone catching these flights is dropping a boatload of money.
For example, we’re told that a private flight from HK to NY can come up to about $200k … families are grouping up and flying together to bring costs down, but it’s still a very pretty penny.
That said, he says pets are family and that the company just wants to be helpful to families … most of the time, he says the pets are actually pretty chill and relaxed on the flights. Of course, he adds that when they fly with ACS, they’re in good hands.
It’s next to impossible for pet owners in Hong Kong to get their animals out of the country … as a result, pet owners in large numbers are chartering private jets for their animals.
Here’s the deal … flights out of Hong Kong are packed to the brim and pet owners can’t get dogs and other house pets on board.
Enter Top Stars Air, which has found a niche with group charters for pets.
The owner of the company says pet owners have chartered jets for dogs, cats, hamsters and rabbits. Forget businesspeople … the target audience now has 4 legs.
A flight from Hong Kong to New York runs $22,000, but plenty of folks have plunked down that kind of loot for their beloved pets.
As for how many … the owner of Top Stars says business is up 700% since the beginning of the pandemic.
Pet owners in Hong Kong may have reason to fear because the country has some of the most restrictive and in some cases drastic COVID restrictions in the world.
Authorities there have been euthanizing small animals by the thousands over COVID fears.
More than 2,500 hamsters and other small pets have been euthanized after authorities tested a hamster in a pet store that turned up a positive COVID read.
Originally Published — 6:43 AM PT