On the Wings of Luxury: Private jet-setting in elevated style is the hot ticket across a reopened world

By Joseff Musa
May 17, 2023

Leaving or living on a private jet plane has revolutionised the way people travel, offering a luxurious, convenient and flexible alternative to commercial airlines. While it may seem expensive at first glance – and let’s be honest, flying on a private jet is really an over-the-top luxury – it can be cost-effective for certain types of trips and can save travellers time and hassle. With a range of aircraft to choose from, jet-setters can customise their travel experience to their needs and preferences, and with the top private-jet rental companies providing safe, secure service, peace of mind while soaring above the clouds is assured.

When international borders reopened, “revenge travel” emerged – a means to make up for lost holidays after the pandemic – and affluent leisure seekers took the trend quite literally to another level. After all, private jets are the closest thing possible to teleportation in the 21st century – allowing people to fly whenever and wherever they want in an environment tailored to their tastes. The question is, how do we make the right choices when it comes to boarding that private jet plane?

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Sky is the limit
The extravagant portrayal of flying on a private jet in films and television shows is more fact than fiction nowadays. Private aviation, undeniably, delivers the ultimate in ease and elegance. The most frequently asked question by travellers thinking of making the step up to private-jet rental is how the onboard experience compares to commercial flights. The convenience it offers is certainly one of the most significant benefits. People can choose their departure time and destination, and they do not have to worry about connecting flights or layovers. Private jets can take off and land at smaller airports too, allowing closer access to one’s final destination.

Privacy, comfort and a personalised experience that cannot be found on commercial flights also tip the (now redundant) baggage scales in the favour of jet rental. It avoids long lines and security checks, allowing more time to relax and enjoy the trip – be it for business or pleasure. Isn’t that what travelling and taking a breather should be all about?

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Private aviation truly redefines the way passengers travel. A fully equipped business suite provides those travelling for work with a comfortable conference room in the sky. There’s a dedicated private dining team, and many private flights offer a top-notch sommelier for wine pairings, as well as caviar tastings. Even pets get VIP treatment, with a menu created by leading veterinarians and comfortable travel suites and sleeping mats instead of the obligatory crate required on commercial flights. Extraordinary dining experiences combined with unique entertainment make every trip enjoyable and unforgettable.

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A standout private aviation company is VistaJet – the first company to provide a fleet of Bombardier Global 7500 aircraft, providing customers with access to destinations across the globe with the world’s largest and longest-range business jet. With direct flights from Hong Kong to New York and on-the-go departures, it’s easy to set off anywhere, anytime, to participate in important conferences and industry events while enjoying a luxurious home-away-from-home experience.

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Onboard for bright flights
The cost of renting a private jet varies depending on the type of aircraft, the distance travelled and the duration of the rental. The hourly rate for a private jet can range from about HK$20,000 to HK$100,000, with larger planes costing more. As a testament to the upscaled revenge-travel trend, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has launched a series of new journeys on its Four Seasons Private Jet. Over the past few years, this five-star ‘air cruise’ has enjoyed an overwhelming response, sell-outs and extensive waitlists – a signal of considerable pent-up demand for travel.

“Now more than ever, guests are planning bucket-list trips to far corners of the world to make up for the lost time,” said Christian Clerc, President of Global Operations for Four Seasons, in 2021. “To meet this demand, we’ve introduced additional opportunities to explore new and remote destinations with legendary Four Seasons service in the sky.”

Luxury hotel companies have increasingly entered partnerships with private jet companies to ease travel to and between their properties as luxury travellers seek dream trips across multiple destinations.

(Read the full article in the May 2023 issue (pg: 132). Available on the Gafencu app on Android and Apple.)