Dejected onboard meals, last-second cancellations, and trying to catch some shuteye in a compact, airborne tin can – from Heathrow to Hawaii, these are just a handful of the many drawbacks of flying commercial. Take off from the runway via private services, however, and you’ll feel the liberating experience of bypassing snaking queues, circumventing the hoi polloi clamour, and sinking into as much space as your legs can stretch, allowing you to leave and hit the tarmac with peace of mind.
Founded in 2004, VistaJet, the first and only global business aviation company, is Gentleman’s Journal’s favourite. VistaJet prides itself in offering the soft-comforts of flying private and its world-renowned leading service in business aviation, providing its client base with access to a global fleet without the burden of owning an aircraft. On its iconic fleet of silver and red business jets, VistaJet has flown corporations, governments and private clients to 187 countries, covering 96% of the world – many who have used the service say that there is flying private, and then there is flying with VistaJet, so superior is its offering.
VistaJet’s flagship Program membership is a tailored flight subscription, offering guaranteed availability at fixed hourly rates from 50 hours per year. However, for those not needing so many hours, yet still looking for the same exacting standards, last year, the company announced a new addition to its portfolio of membership options: VJ25 — an agile option for globetrotters seeking an extensive choice of aircraft and the unparalleled VistaJet service, with low-frequency travel.
This recently launched membership has cut the minimum in half to agreements from just 25 flying hours per year, with the option for Members to roll over up to 20% of their hours to the following year, should they need to fly less.
When it comes to the fleet available, there are over 360 aircraft at Members’ disposal — the headliners of which include 18 of the industry-leading Global 7500, which has the capacity to fly up to 17 hours straight without having to refuel; the Challenger 350, a super-midsize jet that’s renowned for its sizeable cabin space; and the Citation XLS.
The jet is for the sole use of the Member for the whole journey, so whether they need it as a fully enabled business suite or a relaxing family space, the experience is unique to them. Each comes with at least one Cabin Host who is well-versed in both hospitality and safety, thanks to training at the British Butler Institute, the world’s leader in its field; MedAire, an international medical and travel security support company; childcare specialist Norland College; and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
For further cocooning, passengers are also free to enjoy VistaJet’s Private Dining, which comprises an extensive, comprehensive prep process, from creating a tailor-made menu as soon as the flight is booked to the final plating. To counter the challenges posed when it comes to cooking and dining at 45,000 feet in the sky, VistaJet works with more than 7,000 trusted suppliers around the world: the finest producers and purveyors, private chefs and Michelin-star restaurants, all of whom offer the freshest and highest quality ingredients and dishes. Every dish is prepared for in-flight, high-altitude, with menus constantly changing with the rhythms of the seasons in order to bring new, vibrant flavours to every journey.
Spring, for example, may see heritage carrots with mixed leaves, while in autumn there’s quail’s breast with grilled stone fruits, pistachio wafers and pan juices. And, perhaps most notably, the revered chef Nobu Matsuhisa, lionised around the world for his contemporary take on Japanese fare, has created an exclusive dish of steamed dry miso salmon for those who set foot on board.
“We have been on a long journey to transform the private dining experience in air – to make it something to savour. Simple things, big flavours and the best ingredients cooked and prepared to perfection will always travel well,” says Thomas Flohr, Founder and Chairman of VistaJet.
By dovetailing flexibility, simplicity and convenience, all while retaining a premium feel, this new flight programme might well be considered the model template for the next stage in luxury travel – one which is positioned to only soar from here.
Now to the packing. Here are all the essentials you need for the long-haul…
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