Pet-owners pay $16,000 for private jet to be reunited with furkids during India lockdown

PHOTO: Zoe Man/Handout via Reuters

Dogs are often referred to as "Man's best friend", a phrase said to be coined by Frederick the Great, the 18th-century King of Prussia.

For others, pets are like family members, and no family should be left behind, especially during this pandemic. 

25-year-old Deepika Singh from Mumbai had arranged for a plane to bring her stranded relatives back from Delhi, but not everyone wanted to travel with pets onboard the jet.

“Some people wanted to travel with their pets but when the others refused, I decided to arrange for another jet,” Singh told The Print.

She approached the Accretion Aviation, a portal providing private jets, helicopters, yachts and other luxury transport modes, and managed to charter a pets-only private jet to specially transport the animals back on a separate flight. 

Private jet to rescue stranded pets; ride from Delhi to Mumbai. Call ☛ +91 9575340786. Online Booking ☛...

Posted by Accretion Aviation on Saturday, June 6, 2020

Singh has booked a six-seater plane, and the entire charter will cost her Rs 9.06 lakh (S$16,694.30), with each seat coming up to Rs 1.60 lakh.

She said: "Till now, four people have agreed to bring their pets from Delhi to Mumbai,” including 58-year-old Harvinder Kaur. She had to leave the capital due to a family emergency and now wants to bring her two 14-month-old Shih Tzus back from her relative's home.

Kaur shared that she didn't care about the money, because her dogs are like her family and she misses them terribly. 

With four seats currently filled, the private jet will still require two more pets to fill the plane before it is able to take to the skies. 

The owner of Accretion Aviation, Rahul Muchhal said: "The plane will be ready to fly in the second week of this month.”

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The pets-only private jet might sound like a cute idea, bringing up mental images of puppies seated comfortably on plush seats by the windows. However, Muchhal explained that the pets will still have to be caged.

While there have been reports of animals contracting the coronavirus, it's still not known if there is animal-to-human transmission. 

Muchhal said that the animals will undergo screening, and their temperatures will be taken to ensure they're all in good health.  

The private jet is only currently available from Delhi to Mumbai, but Singh is considering to expand the service to other states in India.

melissagoh@asiaone.com