The Twenties Are Roaring at the Top

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It might be another year or two for overall travel to return to normal, but United Airlines expects demand for leisure trips to surge to pre-pandemic levels this summer.

The airline is so confident in the air travel rebound that it’s on the cusp of acquiring over 200 Airbus SE and Boeing jetliners, Bloomberg revealed over the weekend. It would be one of the largest purchases in its history, and a major signal that the 2020s—which began in a pandemic holding pattern—are taking off… for those who can afford it, at least.

Historic Riches

People thought Jay Gatsby had it nice with a Rolls Royce and a pool, and the années folles of the 20th century certainly set a new bar for wealth on display. But the new Roaring Twenties are taking things up a notch, with record windfalls for the wealthy:

  • Luxury Homes: In the first five months of the year, Dubai saw 22 properties worth more than $10 million sold, the most since 2015 and more than the 19 sold all last year. In London’s wealthiest neighbourhoods, homes are selling the fastest they have in seven years, according to LonRes.
  • Luxury Travel: The world’s largest superyacht, the €500 million, 220-metre, Abu Dhabi royalty-backed Somnio, is selling apartments for €9.5 million on the low end. Meanwhile, private superyachts reached an all-time sale high in May with 68 boats.
  • Investments: Bankers and entrepreneurs are reaping the windfall of a record $350 billion raised from initial public offerings in the first six months of this year, smashing the previous record of $282 billion from way back in… the second half of 2020.

“The rebounding of Dubai’s super prime market echoes a wider global trend, signaling the start perhaps of a ‘Roaring Twenties’,” Faisal Durrani, Knight Frank’s head of Middle East Research, told Bloomberg. “The uber luxury end of the market is a terrific barometer for general market sentiment.”

Rebound Downer: However good things get, the New Yorker rightly joked that the prohibition in the new Roaring Twenties should be on “company mandated virtual happy hour.”