Globe's private jets swoop in for Art Basel Miami Beach
By Rachel Tannenbaum
Private jets are the ultimate symbol of opulence and luxury for many, and with Art Basel Miami Beach and the holiday high season, private jets serving Miami are fueling up for trips around the world and back.
"We are very busy this time of year with Art Basel," said Andres F. Arboleda, managing partner of Privé Jets.
"People come from Europe, South America, all over the world," Mr. Arboleda said. "It is a great way to promote international tourism."
Although NetJet, which is sponsoring the 10th anniversary of Art Basel Miami Beach, does a large amount of business during Art Basel, the company also does well year round. NetJet flew more than 5,000 flights in and out of Miami in the past year, said Elizabeth Wise, manager of public relations.
"Miami is one of NetJets' top ten domestic destinations," Ms. Wise said.
Like Art Basel, the holidays are a time when there's more business, Mr. Arboleda said.
"During the holidays, New Yorkers are coming to Miami to get out of the cold, as well as Europeans," Mr. Arboleda said. "We get quite busy."
Although Privé Jets gets lots of booking in advanced and last minute, he said, many wait to book privately until commercial flights are filled.
"Last-minute booking isn't an issue. It happens a lot with bad weather," Mr. Arboleda said. "Sometimes flights are canceled, and we will drive people to different airports and fly them where they need to go."
South Florida is a different market because it doesn't get as cold as other locales, Mr. Arboleda said. Privé Jets is a true global provider, he said, not just for South Florida.
"Snowbirds leave Miami and vice versa," he said. "It offers a lot of international tourism."
Alex Reznik, CEO of NewportJets, said business has taken off a bit since last year, but since the company is based in New York an issue is that people are going straight from Europe to Miami, then to the Bahamas and different islands.
"Miami and Fort Lauderdale are two major connections to travel to the islands, South America, really anywhere," Mr. Reznik said.
Between the meltdown of the mortgage market and troubles with the financial market in Europe, Mr. Reznik said, it has hurt business.
"We are taking things one week to another. Things might get better," Mr. Reznik said. "We are hopeful that it will pick up."
NewportJet is a full-service private jet service unlike other services, Mr. Reznik said, because it offers a pay-and-go service.
"Prices vary from trips, times and demands of the clients," Mr. Reznik said. "We cater to the needs of the clients at the time, and whatever it might be, we try to please them."
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