Davos: With the World Economic Forum's annual meeting starting here today, nearly 2,000 private jets are on the job to ferry the rich and powerful of the world to this Alpine resort town, while the Swiss Army is using its own choppers to carry many public figures.
For the first time ever, the top delegates for the WEF meeting, after landing at a private Duebendorf airport near Zurich, are being ferried in helicopters to Davos, as per an elaborate plan put in place by the Swiss Air Force.
The army officials refused to divulge the identity of the leaders using these services, citing security reasons.
Separately, nearly 2,000 private jets have been commissioned, mostly by business leaders, to attend the Davos meeting. This is also expected to clog the landing slots in Zurich and other airports.
The Swiss Army has allowed one of its air bases to be used to ease the traffic.
The private jet rates are currently in the region of USD 10,000-20,000 per hour, while some operators are offering additional services like chopper service to Davos from Zurich and other major Swiss cities.
Airport officials said that an estimated 250-300 helicopters are expected to fly from Zurich alone.