Social distancing is alive and well in air travel. In fact, when it comes to private jets it’s obligatory. Many are flying high to avoid the pitfalls of air travel in the Corona Era.
The habits of serious flyers force them to now stand in metres-apart queues at many airport checkpoints. Check-in routines are getting complete overhauls too. The usual minor inconveniences of plane ticket scrutiny, luggage X-rays, and personal frisks, have been joined by compulsory mask-wearing and finger pricks for blood tests. Not to mention, drastic cuts in flight routes are limiting one’s options to travel, leaving only capital cities as the principal destinations for some time now.
There are, of course, ways to get around these disruptions. Luxury travel does not play by the same rules, and VistaJet’s playbook is all about breaking the norms with their fleet of more than 70 private jets waiting to fly travellers to their destinations minus the hassles of crowded airports, evolving intrusive protocols, and inconvenient layovers.
Flying privately has gone from indulgence to necessity, be it for entrepreneurs travelling for business across the world to families escaping the crowd. Privacy, ease of travel, direct and discreet access to a fleet of private jets, 24/7 customer service, and the ability to fly whenever and wherever dreams dictate allure the jet-set crowd.
VistaJet thrives on a simple, transparent subscription-based model. Members sign up for a minimum 50 hours of travel with complete control of their preferred itineraries, just as if they owned the plane. It’s more than just buying seats, it’s an investment in efficiency. This membership model is all about paying for the hours that you intend to fly rather than paying for a private jet even when the asset is sitting idle in a hanger, slowly depreciating every day.
“One of the biggest things that’s missing in private jets before VistaJet came into play is transparency in how much does a flight really costs,” says VistaJet’s Chief Commercial Officer Ian Moore.
“We felt it was a great opportunity to build up our customer base based on transparency. By owning our aircrafts, we know what our costs are so we can price it correctly when the customer comes on board. That’s the ownership element. We replicate ownership for people.”
“It’s the right business model for people who are serious flyers,” Moore adds. “We cover 96% of the world, except for the war-torn countries. You can put a pin on the map and we’ll get you there.”
Whether it is a 3-year subscription commitment or an on-demand call, clients can travel across continents to their heart’s desire, accessing private islands, smaller runways and destinations that are not serviced by commercial planes, while avoiding hours of unproductive layovers. Landing at private airstrips on the remote islands of the South Pacific or arriving at a party in Ibiza’s luxury resort becomes less of a dream and a hassle.
“Because of the aircraft types we have, we can fly people regionally, and we can fly people across continents,” says Moore. “You could buy into one aircraft type but you can change up and down into a mission aircraft. You’re buying an ability to use an ultra-long-range jet if you choose to do so.”
The smallest jet of its fleet, Challenger 350, flies with up to 8 passengers. Its ultra-long-range jet, the Global 6000, can accommodate up to 14 people with a range of 13 hours.VistaJet is also the first global private aviation company to fly passengers on the Global 7500, the world’s largest and longest-range business jet, as far as from New York to Hong Kong.
Travelling in luxury
Each jet comes with a fully equipped business suite and a curated library of books handpicked by the London-based library Heywood Hill. Buttery Italian leather seats, cashmere eye masks, feather-down duvets, and Egyptian cotton bed linen match with a personalized air fragrance from Le Labo.
Each flight is staffed by at least one Cabin Hostess who is trained by the British Butler Institute and has WSET Level 2 certification in wines and spirits. Once a VistaJet member, booking a private jet is as easy as giving the 24/7 team a call or with a few taps on their app, flights are made available in 48 hours.
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Private jets are projected to have high demands in Southeast Asia. Flights within the region currently take up 10-15% of VistaJet’s overall clientele, ranging from small Hong Kong to Singapore hops, to longer international flights, such as Dubai to ever-busy New York City. Whether it’s the security of skipping commercial flights – or just the need for spontaneity in one’s travel experience – there’s comfort in travelling without disruption, and in this post-pandemic age, a luxurious necessity. ◼
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© This article was first published online in May 2020 – World Travel Magazine.