Private jet flights leaving Florida spiked as Hurricane Ian approached

The volume of private jet trips leaving Florida spiked this week ahead of Hurricane Ian’s landfall as deep-pocketed residents sought to avoid the powerful storm.

A total of 319 private, business or chartered flights departed airports located in Naples, Tampa and Orlando — cities in the storm’s path — on Monday and Tuesday.

That was an increase of 71% compared to the same days two weeks ago according to statistics from tracking service FlightAware.

The data was first obtained by Bloomberg and later confirmed by The Post. The data was accurate as of 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

Some of the flights were bound for exotic vacation locales, such as Nantucket, Mass., and Aspen, Colo., the flight records showed. The data does not reveal who is traveling on the private flights or how many passengers are on board.

Hurricane Ian
Hurricane Ian is a Category 4 storm.
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Luxury private jet operator Flexjet said it has received a large number of requests from people seeking to depart Florida in the days ahead of the storm. The company added that some passengers actually sought trips into the state, presumably to make preparations at properties in the hurricane’s path.

“The request volume coming in has been heavy but manageable,” a Flexjet spokesperson said in a statement to The Post.

Hurricane Ian
Hurricane Ian is causing massive storm surge along the Florida coast.
Loni Architects via Storyful

“Our experience tells us that if there is damage to any area, there will be a new surge of trip requests to get in or fly people out afterwards – which we are prepared for,” the spokesperson added. “In addition, airport closures in the area and whether they sustain damage could impact our ability to get in and out of desired locations for our aircraft owners.”

The hurricane caused widespread disruption to commercial flights in the days prior to making landfall.

Hurricane Ian damage
Hurricane Ian is already causing widespread damage in Florida.

Tampa International Airport and Southwest Florida International Airport have suspended operations since Tuesday and canceled departing flights through at least Thursday in response to the storm. Orlando International Airport ceased commercial operations as of Wednesday morning.

Florida state officials ordered more than 2.5 million residents to evacuate as Hurricane Ian approached. The hurricane made landfall on Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 storm, with massive storm surges and winds as high as 155 mph.

Flexjet said it has received a “heavy” volume of requests.

“This is going to be a nasty nasty day, two days,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a press conference earlier Wednesday.

As The Post reported, Walt Disney World instructed its guests already on site to shelter in place and closed its theme parks and resorts.