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Month: December 2022

Tax Super-rich on Private Jet Travel to Fund Public Transport, says UK Charity

Rupert Neate from The Guardian – Reports

Campaign for Better Transport calls on government to make wealthy pay for ‘hugely damaging’ private flights. The super-rich should be forced to pay an extra tax each time they fly on “hugely damaging” private jets to help fund better and cleaner public transport, a charity has said.

The Campaign for Better Transport (CfBT) called on the government to introduce a “super tax” on private jet travel, saying it is “about time that these individuals started paying for the damage their flights cause and the proceeds used to help improve public transport for communities up and down the country”.

The charity said private jets are between five and 14 times more polluting than commercial flights and 50 times more polluting than taking a train. They argue that a “super rate of air passenger duty (APD)” should be applied to account for the damage caused to the planet. The CfBT also called on the government to strip private flights of their current VAT-free status.

“Private jets are hugely damaging to the environment and are the preserve of the super-rich,” said Norman Baker, the CfBT’s director of external affairs and a former Liberal Democrat MP. Currently, private jet passengers are charged the same rate of APD as business or first-class passengers, with a higher rate applied to aircraft of 20 tonnes or more with fewer than 19 passengers onboard.

The campaigners said the new super rate of APD on private jet travel should be set at 10 times the current higher rate for domestic and European trips, which would apply to all private jet passengers, regardless of the size or capacity of the aircraft or distance travelled. They said the tax could raise £1.4bn-a-year – roughly equal to Network Rail’s entire annual maintenance costs.

In addition, CfBT said the government should charge VAT each time a private jet lands or takes off, regardless of size or distance travelled, which would raise a further £79m-£623m. The number of private jets in operation rose by 7% last year and was up 47% on 2020, according to data from the private jet consultancy Wing-X. This contrasts starkly with scheduled passenger airline activity, which remained 35% below pre-pandemic levels.

“With the UK responsible for 19% of Europe’s carbon emissions from private jets – more than any other European country – Campaign for Better Transport is calling on the government to ensure that private jets pay for the pollution they cause and that the money is invested into public transport services,” the charity said. A Treasury spokesperson said: “Since 2017, we have almost doubled transport spending to £27.1bn to help strengthen road and rail connectivity, and from April 2023 air passenger duty will be lower for commercial domestic flights to further bolster links within the UK.

“Larger private jets will not benefit from the new lower domestic duty, and they will also pay more from the new ultra long-haul band on international flights, which ensures that those who fly the furthest contribute the most.”

Travel from New York to Los Angeles in as little as three and a half hours

The U.S Sun – Reports

WANT to travel from New York to Los Angeles in as little as three and a half hours? It will cost you more than $30,000. The extraordinary price point is tagged onto Bombardier’s Global 7500 business aircraft – the world’s largest and longest-range private jet. With a range of 8,860 miles and up to 14 hours, flights from New York can reach as far as London, Moscow, Dubai, and New Delhi.

The massive jet reaches a maximum speed of 0.925 Mach and holds up to 19 passengers. Released in 2018, the aircraft has since been dubbed the “Ferrari of the Skies.” The near-supersonic speed and exclusive features have attracted many celebrities including Kylie Jenner.

Before you go rushing for a ticket, those who wish to try it out for themselves will have to fork over $10,000 per hour.

However, for some, that price may be worth it. Travelers can find four separate living spaces on the jets including a meeting room, dining room, entertainment room, and a master bedroom. The private jet also features a massive galley with microwave ovens, espresso machines and chilled storage.

In all the main areas, passengers can find large wall-mounted TVs, massive windows, and concealable side tables. The plane — worth up to $75 million — also features Bombardier’s signature Nuage swivel seats that are “ergonomically adjustable.”

Additionally, passengers are given access to small dials with which they can adjust the temperature and lighting of the aircraft. While the plane can seat 19 – it can only sleep around eight people comfortably.

The sleeping arrangements are limited to approximately two people in the bedroom, two people on the couch in the entertainment room, two in the meeting room and two in the dining room. Travelers can find lavatory’s in the front and back of the aircraft, which are also next to wardrobes for passengers and staff items. Not only is the Global 7500 an upgrade for passengers, but for the aircraft crew as well.

In November, pilots for private charter company VistaJet – which is the biggest operator of the Global 7500 – told Business Insider the upgraded flight deck design helps boost safety and flight duties management as well as reducing their own workload. Specifically, the pilots have been given “fly-by-wire” technology as well as permanently side-facing jump seats, according to Bombardier.

If you have the cash to spare, the company touts that passengers will have the “smoothest ride” of their life, thanks to Smooth Flex Wing technology.VistaJet is the largest operator of the Global 7500 with 15 of the jets, according to Business Insider. Deep-pocketed travelers can also reportedly rent the plane from other companies like NetJets and Phenix Jet.

Inspired! Surely one of the Most Unique Holiday Rentals in the World!

Alessandro Renesis from SupercarBlondie – Reports

This Boeing 737 has been turned into an ultra-expensive private villa. This decomissioned Boeing 737 has been turned into a gorgeous private villa in Bali, Indonesia.

The Boeing 737 used to be part of Mandala Airlines’ fleet, but Indonesian airline officially ceased operations in 2014. A few years later, a wealthy Balinese resident bought the plane, restored it, and had it installed on a high cliff near Nyang Nyang beach in Bali. The aircraft-turned-holiday rental is truly stunning, as is the location.

You approach the aircraft walking along a stone staircase, hidden behind a wooden gate. Inside the aircraft, you’ll find a fully-equipped kitchen, two bathrooms and two bedrooms.

The cockpit of the Boeing jet was converted into a fancy bathroom inside the private villa. The view from the bathtub is spectacular and the wooden furnishing adds a touch of warmth to the experience.

And as a cherry on top, one of the wings is now a patio jutting out into the sea. The outdoor space surrounding the plane was used to create a beautiful garden. There’s also another patio / hangout spot complete with a fire pit.

And last but not least, there’s an infinity pool that looks out towards the sea. The ‘Private Jet Villa by Hanging Gardens Air’ – this is the official name of the rental – is listed on for around $7,300.

It will be available from July 2023.



Euronews Report on Some Positive Environmental News from 2022

Marthe deFerrer and the Euronews team – Reports

At Sentinel Aviation we are committed to defining a long term sustainable future for the private aviation sector. We aim to be fully carbon neutral across our entire business by 2025 – reducing climate impact of our flying.

We saw this great article on the Euronews website and wanted to share it with you.

“Eco-anxiety, climate doom, environmental existential dread – as green journalists, we see these terms used a lot – and often feel them ourselves.

There’s a lot to be worried about when it comes to the climate and nature crises, but when a sense of hopelessness becomes the overarching emotion, apathy begins to creep in too. Last year three environmental educators, all part of EcoTok, penned this excellent piece for us about dealing with eco-anxiety and the need to remain hopeful – or “stubbornly optimistic”, as Christiana Figueres puts it.

The media has a huge part to play in combatting climate doom. It’s our job to be truthful and accurate in our reporting, not trying to downplay the severity of the situation or greenwash reality. But it’s also our job to show that there is hope!

So, for 2022, as part of our ongoing effort to tackle eco-anxiety (both that of our readers and our own), we are going to be keeping track of all the positive environmental stories from this year.

This article will be regularly updated with the latest good news. It may be something small and local, something silly that made us smile, or something enormous and potentially world-changing.”

For the Full Report please click here. 

Tracking Private Jets is still Legal – for Now!

Jacyln Tropp from Robb Report – Reports

Social media accounts that broadcast flight patterns of noteworthy names have racked up millions of followers, and it’s perfectly legal. Here’s why.

One of the great perks of flying privately is right there in the name: privacy. But the ability to stay away from prying eyes only applies inside the cabin. Social media accounts that broadcast flight patterns of noteworthy names—including Tom Cruise, Kim Kardashian and LVMH chairman Bernauld Arnault, as well as numerous sanctioned Russian oligarchs—have racked up millions of followers combined, with the Twitter handle @elonjet gaining national attention after Musk himself suspended the account. The spotlight it shines is equal parts geeky hobby, gawker-level curiosity and data-driven emissions-shaming—and Arnault, at least eventually got sick of the glare, selling his Bombardier Global last fall and switching to charter flights with private passenger manifests.

And it’s not just business magnates, celebrities and politicians who are vulnerable. Anyone using a private jet is sharing information transmitted through the plane’s black box. For safety reasons, Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B) technology transmits GPS coordinates, altitude, ground speed and other data to air-traffic controllers and surrounding aircraft—but it also gives rise to dangers ranging from corporate espionage to violence.

This is akin to driving on the motorway and having anybody pick up and track your licence plate, explains Doug Carr, senior vice president of safety, security, sustainability and international affairs for the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). “This isn’t just about lifestyles of the rich and famous. It’s about basic security and not being able to track people in real time—which, by the way, is illegal anywhere else.”

The issue came into focus a decade ago, when a restaurant-supply firm CEO, who used aircraft to conduct business, was cyber-stalked and tracked by competitors. Then there were the wounded army veterans who were followed and met by anti-war protestors at their home airports. Martha King, who runs pilot-training academy King Schools with her husband, John from its headquarters in San Diego, California, had several unstable “fans” harassing her from out of state. One showed up unannounced and threatened her. “Privacy sounds abstract, but it got personal for us quickly,” says King. “Now, we’re more cautious flying into unknown airports.”

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is trying to help. After ADS-B became mandatory in January 2020, the agency created several programmes that allow jet operators to opt out of sharing tail numbers, helping to conceal passenger identities. Many private owners signed up for the Limited Aircraft Display Data (LADD) programme, but sources that don’t use FAA data aren’t obliged to obey those restrictions and can still publish the information emitted from a jet’s transponder.

The FAA moved to fix that loophole by creating a way to temporarily disguise a jet’s tail number through the Privacy International Civil Aviation Organization Address Program (PIA). But joining the programme is significantly more complicated than signing up for LADD, requiring physical modifications to the transponder and temporary call-signs—and when it comes to the latter, “you’d likely need to change that code on a routine basis,” says Heidi Williams, NBAA’s director of air traffic services. Besides, the new codes are not recognized outside of US airspace.

As we’ve seen from broader celebrity culture, if there’s enough public interest, the trackers will find a way—the FAA can’t stop enthusiasts or paparazzi from physically watching jet traffic at a local airport and then sharing those tail numbers, for example. Spokesperson Tammy L. Jones says the agency is expanding PIA for US-registered aircraft to include FAA-managed international airspace, but no mechanism currently exists to encrypt secondary surveillance and communication technology, and that modifying the next ADS-B generation could be a decade away.

Meanwhile, the NBAA is in talks with trade associations in Canada and the European Union, which account for 40 percent of global business-aviation activity, to create an international PIA-type programme. But universal adoption would require “a conversation in every part of the globe on what this programme means, and how it would interface with air traffic control systems,” says Carr. All of which leaves pilots like John King—whose wife was physically endangered—frustrated, angry, and wondering: “Why should we have to give up our privacy whenever we get on an aeroplane?”



Private Business Jet Subscriptions are Changing Luxury Travel – Michelin-star food and only 24 hours notice needed

James Durston from SCMP – Reports

If you were to imagine the perfect air travel experience, might it look something like this?

I arrive at the airport 10 minutes before take-off. Hand my passport to a well-groomed man who sorts out the details while I sit down with a drink. Someone else takes care of my bags. I’ve got an open bottle of water and a laptop in my hand-carry, I inform him. “No problem sir,” he says with a smile. My passport is returned almost immediately, and I am invited to board. All within those 10 minutes since I arrived.
The flight is straight out of a brochure. Plush leather seats that swivel and offer music and lighting controls for the cabin. Michelin star-worthy meals served on a white tablecloth, with silver cutlery and crystal wine glasses. Fasten seat belt signs that can be ignored. Zero commands to switch off my phone. A TV room with three-seater couch, a double bedroom, and a smooth, quiet ride that allows for easy cloud-gazing as well as idle chatter.

This kind of premium travel has been available for years, but it is catching on, and while still unaffordable to most, it’s no longer the domain only of the billionaire jet owner. Membership services make this kind of A-list air travel an increasingly accessible option for the world’s business traveller, according to Ian Moore, chief commercial officer for Vista Global. Its VistaJet membership service offers access to a fleet of aircraft around the world, ready to fly within 24 hours notice from and to pretty much anywhere. Members buy, for example, 100 hours of flying for a year, and can then call on VistaJet whenever they need.

“Our competition is aircraft ownership,” says Moore. “Ten years ago we had just 20 aircraft, now we have 350, and our market share is less than 5 per cent compared to private ownership – so the potential is huge.”

The pandemic has helped. As commercial air travel options became limited, the private option surged. Businesspeople who need to be places, fast, could pay US$75 million to buy a Bombardier Global 7500 plane (and around US$4 million per year for maintenance), or just sign up with a membership business and save time, money and hassle. VistaJet, that just bought 18 of those same 7500s, charges US$25,000 per flying hour for that option. And there are other operators too.

While VistaJet owns most of its aircraft, other businesses have emerged that don’t own any. Jettly was founded in 2016 and offers something akin to Uber for planes: a website and app that allows you to charter someone else’s plane as easily as booking a hotel, with more than 23,000 registered aircraft available in 190 countries and territories.
“Going back to commercial travel is extremely difficult once you’ve flown and experienced private flights,” says Justin Crabbe, Jettly’s CEO. “During the pandemic, we experienced a 67 per cent growth in new first-time private fliers. The benefits over outright ownership are quite clear – no ownership costs, no capital expenditures, no storage, no maintenance, no depreciation, no interest on loans, no minimum hours to maintain aircraft manufacturer warranties and no management of crews.”

For the full article by James, please click here.


Flying at 1,400 MPH in the Supersonic F-104 Starfighter Jet

Michael Verdon from Robb Report – Reports

“It was like a missile with a man on it,” says veteran pilot Evan Dick.

With thousands of hours of flight time and a coveted ATP pilot’s rating, Evan Dick has flown many aircraft types, including classic fighter jets like the L-39. But even he wasn’t prepared for the raw, uncontrollable power of the F-104 Starfighter.

“Its power-to-weight ratio is just ridiculous,” he says. “I could tell, with the afterburners, it was going to be the most challenging aircraft I’d ever flown. It was like a missile with a man on it.”

“We can out-run, out-climb, and out-accelerate an F-16 all day long,” notes Starfighters International founder Rick Svetkoff. Florida-based Starfighters offers a two-day F-104 flight training to license

The Cold War F-104 was the first aircraft to reach Mach 2 (1,528 mph) and the first to fly to 100,000 feet while taking off under its own power. The aircraft became a production-series fighter in 1958 for the United States Air Force when it was deployed to deter Chinese MiG-15 and MiG-17 fighters in the Korean Straits. It was eventually adopted into the air forces of the Netherlands, Belgium, Japan, Italy and a dozen other countries.

Dick got tough-love, hands-on training in the apex fighter jet, which finally retired from Italy’s air force in 2004. Star Fighters has four of the last 12 operational F-104’s, keeping them in pristine condition for those who want to experience flying the apex predator of fighter jets.

The pilot quickly understood this was a different animal. Seconds to react on the L-39 are milliseconds on the Starfighter. Flying with Svetkoff in the front seat, Dick recalls trying to level off at 2,000 feet. “It was more like 3,000 feet—just impossible to stay ahead of the jet,” he says. “When I made a split-second glance at the controls, I was suddenly 500 feet higher.”

Then there were the G forces, which were overwhelming compared to anything he’d previously experienced, even with two stints aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard capsule to the edge of space. At one point, while doing a loop, his vision began to tunnel and he felt the blood drain from his brain, forcing him to back off the throttle. “It’s not like the 1,000-foot loops I’m used to on the L-39—those are over really fast. These go on for 20,000 feet and you pull a lot more Gs.”

But Dick is undeterred, saying it’s “by far the most rewarding flying I’ve done” and praises Svetkoff as being “on another level” as a professional fighter pilot. “Rick makes sure you stay inside the aircraft’s envelope,” he says. “There’s a reason they call the F-104 the widow-maker. If you don’t give it the respect it deserves, there are consequences.”


World’s first Boeing 747-8 BBJ ‘Queen of the Skies’ scrapped after just 30 flight hours

Gabrielle Petrauskaite from Aerotime Hub – Reports

A Boeing 747-8 Business Jet (BBJ), the most luxurious ‘Queens of the Skies’ aircraft, will be dismantled at the Pinal Airpark boneyard in Marana, in the United States on December 19, 2022.

The giant passenger plane, registered N458BJ, is the world’s first 747-8 airframe to be scrapped after less than 30 flight hours spent in service and just 10 years after it was delivered to its owner, AeroTelegraph reported.

The Boeing 747-8 BBJ was expected to become a special government plane to operate flights for the Saudi Arabian government, particularly to serve Saudi Crown Prince Sultan Abdul Aziz. However, the prince died unexpectedly in October 2021, around nine months before the scheduled delivery. According to data, in December 2012, five months after the aircraft was rolled out of the Boeing factory, the plane was ferried to EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg Airport (BSL) located in the border tripoint between France, Germany, and Switzerland, where it was scheduled to undergo interior modifications.

Since then, there have been several attempts to sell the aircraft for around $95 million (or one-fifth the value of the new 747-8 at the time) but attempts to find a new owner for plane that has barely flown have failed. The BBJ, which is painted with a white livery, remained parked at BSL airport for more than a decade until April 2022, when the plane was ferried to one of the world’s largest aircraft graveyards in the Arizona desert. It was there that its most valuable parts, the four General Electric GEnx turbofan engines, were removed.

While the aircraft has not yet been fully scrapped, its wing flaps, some parts of the tail and fuselage, as well as the rudder have already been dismantled. The 747-8 had reportedly operated only 16 flights and spent just 29 hours in the sky.

A flying mansion
The 747-8 BBJ aircraft is positioned as the world’s largest business jet currently in active operation, which also falls into a list of the world’s most expensive jets dedicated to serving private customers. When measured from nose to tail, the jet equals 76.2 meters (250 feet).

Based on Boeing’s commercial passenger aircraft, the 747 ‘Queen of the Skies’, the BBJ product line consists of VIP-configured variants dedicated to serving as widebody executive airliners.  The General Electric GEnx is the only engine available to power the 747-8 VIP, which provides the bizliner with one of the highest ranges of any other aircraft manufactured by the American planemaker.

According to Boeing, the private version of the ‘Queen of the Skies’ can fly a range of 16,537 kilometers (8,929 nm) and can carry 100 travelers on board. The aircraft also offers 444.63 square meters (4,786 square feet) of cabin space.  For comparison, the commercial passenger aircraft version of this aircraft has a range of 15,000 kilometers (8,000 nm) at Mach 0.855 when carrying 467 passengers in a three-class configuration. The VIP jet boasts an upgraded flight deck as well as an improved wing design with raked wingtips, spoilers, ailerons, double-slotted inboard flaps, and single-slotted outboard flaps. Its wingspan reaches 68.5 meters (224.8 feet).

Much like its commercial variant, the 747-8 VIP utilizes numerous technologies developed for Boeing 787 Dreamliners. This includes flight deck technologies and instrumentation, engines, as well as wing configuration.  However, the customized interior of a tri-level widebody business jet may require a significant financial investment. It can be fitted with a stateroom, lounges, bespoke storage units, a master bedroom suite, a kitchen, several offices, a conference room, and an enormous dining room. It could also be fitted with private sleeping suites above the main deck, between the upper deck and the tail.

As of December 2022, a total of nine Boeing 747-8 BBJs are currently left in active service operating flights for the Egyptian, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkish, and Moroccan Governments.

Image credit: dreamcatcher-68 / Flickr

Gulfstream Completes First Long-Range Business Jet Flight Powered by Green Fuel

Otilia Drăgan of Autoevolution – Reports

The most daring predictions for aviation envision hybrid-electric and hydrogen-powered airliners completely replacing current commercial fleets. But that would happen in the next decade, at best. The net-zero goal can’t wait until then, without implementing any intermediary solutions. It looks like both the industry and government believe that SAF (sustainable aviation fuel) could fulfill this role.

Back in 1958, the Gulfstream I was paving the way for what would become the incredible business jet industry that is now an integral part of the modern world. Throughout the decades, Gulfstream has maintained its iconic status, always stepping up the game and continuing to improve business aviation.

Already a leader when it comes to cabin design, passenger comfort, and aircraft performance, the jet maker now has a new record under its belt. It claims to have recently conducted a flight powered by 100% SAF, an industry first for business jets. This would make Gulfstream the first OEM (original equipment manufacturer) to achieve this performance in the business jet sector.

However, the company didn’t give out too many details about this important flight, most likely because it was just an initial test. The important thing to note is that a Gulfstream G650 carried out the flight, travelling from Savannah, Georgia, with unblended green jet fuel in its Rolls-Royce G650 BR725 engine.

The particular SAF that was used is made in the U.S. and consists of HEFA (Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids) and SAK (Synthesized Aromatic Kerosene). The HEFA is made by World Energy in California, from waste fat and plant oils, while the SAK is produced by Virent in Wisconsin, from plant-based sugars.

The result is a fuel that can be used unblended in jet engines, without requiring any technical modifications, to obtain CO2 emission cuts by up to 80%.

With several world speed records linked to its name, the Gulfstream G650 broke the norm again with what is surely just the beginning of a green revolution for business aviation.

A Return to Supersonic air Travel Still Seems an Uncertain Prospect in 2023

Jon Hemmerdinger of Flight Global – Reports

2023 will mark the 20th anniversary of the final flight of Concorde, but a return to supersonic air travel still seems an uncertain prospect

The prospect of a return to civil supersonic flight was looking increasingly uncertain as 2023 approached, after several major engine manufacturers confirmed they had no intention to develop powerplants for the application.

However, that has not deterred Boom Supersonic, the most visible player in the segment. Following the collapse of its tie-up with Rolls-Royce, it announced on 13 December plans to develop its own supersonic engine with Florida Turbine Technologies (FTT).

Another player, Massachusetts-based Spike Aerospace, is progressing with its plans, but in “semi-stealth mode”, its chief executive Max Kachoria tells FlightGlobal. “What we are doing is well known. But the specifics are reserved for our key stakeholders.” The supersonic space grew decidedly less crowded in 2021 when US supersonic business jet developer Aerion failed amid financial trouble.

Until recently, Boom, with offices in Colorado, had seemingly been humming along with the development of its Overture, a conceptual airliner the company says will cruise at Mach 1.7 and have range of 4,250nm (7,860km). It intends to deliver the first Overture in 2029.

Increasing Commitments
In 2022, the company revealed plans to manufacturer the Overture at Piedmont Triad International airport in North Carolina, and landed several aerospace partners. It also revealed design changes that included higher-aspect-ratio wings and a shift from two to four engines. Additionally in 2022, American Airlines said it committed to order up to 20 Overtures, building on a commitment from United Airlines.

But that momentum seemingly stalled in September when R-R said it had stopped working with Boom, after performing engine studies for the Overture.

“After careful consideration, Rolls-Royce has determined that the commercial aviation supersonic market is not currently a priority for us and, therefore, will not pursue further work on the programme at this time,” the UK engine maker said. Boom reported the news differently, saying “it became clear that Rolls’ proposed engine design and legacy business model is not the best option for Overture’s future airline operators or passengers”.

Within days, other engine makers – GE Aerospace, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney and Safran – confirmed that they, too, are not developing supersonic civil aircraft engines. Despite that lack of interest from the propulsion community, Boom promised to make an announcement on its engine by the end of the year, a prospect that seemed to grow more remote as Christmas drew closer. However, over the weekend of 10 December, reports emerged that, against all odds, Boom had a solution.

On 13 December it revealed that solution: the Symphony engine – a twin-spool, medium-bypass design, with no afterburner, delivering 35,000lb (156kN) of thrust at take-off. FTT will work with Boom on the engine architecture, with GE Additive providing consultancy on additive technologies, and StandardAero taking the lead on maintenance.

However, Boom has not disclosed how or where the engine will be built, or indeed how much development work has already been carried out. The 2029 entry into service target for the Overture gives the company less than seven years to develop, construct, fly and certificate both an all-new engine and an all-new airframe, an ambitious timescale by the standard of even the industry’s most seasoned manufacturers.

Uncertainty also surrounds Spike’s plan to develop a supersonic business jet called the S-512. In a 2022 blog post, Kachoria conceded companies like his face challenges now that engine makers have seemingly backed off from supersonic civilian aircraft engines.

“Does supersonic flight face difficulties in designing a new civil jet without an engine? Yes, absolutely. Super difficult,” he wrote. “But that is not the end of the story… this is just the beginning of a long road to supersonic flight.” Kachoria declines to specify Spike’s progress in developing the S-512 but insists work continues.

“The Spike S-512 programme is moving along very nicely, and we are very excited about the progress made in the last few years,” he says. “Developing a supersonic aircraft will take years of engineering, testing and certification.

“We have taken on the slogan ‘It’s good to be quiet’ rather than issuing constant press releases about timing, funding or customers.”


Private Jet Menus – What Cuisine to Expect

Devdiscourse – Reports

Thinking about flying by private jet but not looking forward to the nasty aircraft cuisine? Think again; here are some of the amazing dishes to enjoy in the sky.

For anyone who charters or owns a private jet, a life of luxury is something they have come to expect, especially when it comes to flying. Just as you would expect, if you are traveling via private jet charter, there is no cuisine off-limits. Compared to the substandard food found on commercial flights, when it comes to flying private, you can eat just about anything you can think of, and here are some of the best.

Orders and Menus
The menus on private jets are custom designed and curated by flight attendants or cabin crew management surrounding the personal preferences of the guests traveling. The main cogs in this service have to be the caterers who, at a moment’s notice, will deliver a variety of delicious meals and luxurious items. It is the flight attendant’s job to also stock the aircraft with other high-end products for each passenger to enjoy. These products include champagne, prosecco, whiskey, fancy chocolates, and a host of other luxurious items each passenger can enjoy.

Some passengers have restaurants they cannot live without, and why should flying be any different? Flight attendants can make orders from these tasty places to be eaten on board the craft, letting you dine on the go. You can order from one restaurant, you can order from five different places, and there is no budget in most cases. Some of the most requested food orders in London come from Nobu, the Cinnamon Club, China Tang, and Sumosan.

Fine Dining
Fine dining is the best, especially when soaring through the skies. Fine dining will change from place to place, but one thing for sure is that it will always be tasty on a private jet. Europe usually includes dishes such as wagyu beef, lobster, beef carpaccio, Balik salmon, foie gras, and basically anything that contains truffles. Sushi is another extremely popular dish found on private jets, but the quality is the main thing along with the service. Condiments must always be correct to make each dish extra special.

When it comes to fine dining in the skies, every dish is plated to a 5-star hotel standard, and champagne is essential. The choice of champagne, however, may differ from flight to flight. Choose from Dom Perignon, Roederer Cristal, Veuve Clicquot, or Laurent Perrier. Alongside your champagne, you can find a wide selection of fine spirits and wines. Alcohol will not be served on flights in a dry country with different laws. Chocolates and fine desserts are ordered from companies such as Laduree, Fauchon, Patchi, and Sprungli, giving you the finest finish to your fine dining experience.

Middle Eastern Cuisine
Cuisine in the Middle East differs from other places in the world, and this should be no different when flying by private jet. Families in the Middle East tend to eat buffet-style with large selections of traditional dishes. Starters usually contain a selection of salads such as Greek, chicken Caesar, and fattoush alongside hot Arabic snacks like kibbeh, fatayer, and samosas. Another item usually featured on the starter’s menu is a selection of meze like hummus, mutable, and labneh. When it comes to mains, the usual dishes you will see are biriyani, butter chicken, and mixed grills. Pasta dishes are also a very popular option.

If you think that desserts aren’t on the menu, think again. There is ice cream, fruit skewers, and tiramisu. You can also treat yourself to some refreshing fruit juices such as lemon mint, pineapple, and mango. All of these fantastic choices, flying at 40,000 feet. Who knew soaring the skies could be so tasty?

An essential item for all private flights has to be caviar, but it can’t be any style; it needs to be served to absolute perfection, or this expensive treatment is a little bit of a wasted endeavor. The only way caviar should be served is on special dishes over ice using a mother-of-pearl spoon. The special dishes and spoons help the caviar to retain the natural taste it was intended to have, with no influential flavor coming from silver or metal spoons. Traditionally this dish should be served with complimentary dishes of creme fraiche blinis, lemon, shallot, and shredded egg whites and yolk. Beluga caviar is the most popular, followed by Oscietra.

Other Menus
Every passenger has the potential for different dietary requirements and eating habits. The menus offered on private flights can be catered to the personal taste of the passenger. From allergy, diabetic or vegan restrictions, or something entirely different, the perfect menu can always be catered to on a private jet. On the other hand, a passenger may just want to eat from the comfort of a fast food chain such as Mcdonalds or KFC, which can be reheated in the best way on a flight. Away from human passengers, pets can also be catered to, giving them the ideal mid-flight meal.

Children’s Menus
For children, of course, there are options for an altered menu that will cater to their needs and desires. As children have more tastebuds and are much pickier when it comes to food, there are lots of home comforts such as mini cheeseburgers, chicken goujons, and even battered fish at the ready with as much ketchup or mayonnaise as they could imagine. Other meals, such as pasta, are a great choice for children, with spaghetti and meatballs or macaroni and cheese readily available. As with most kids, the favorite course on the menu has to be dessert. Here you will find lots of options; brownies, cupcakes, ice cream, and cakes. Flying private accommodates all who choose to come aboard.

First Stop on the Wildlife of the World by Private Jet – Sabah, Borneo

The Borneo Post – Reports

A team of outstanding National Geographic wildlife experts and their guests made Sabah the first location in Asia to witness wildlife in the wild through their programme – Wildlife of the World by Private Jet.

Sabah was chosen and put on the map as part of the luxury private jet trip because of its wildlife diversity and how much each area has to offer in terms of knowledge and wildlife sightings. The top-notch team of experts includes author and National Geographic emerging explorer Sandesh Kadur, and primatologist and conservationist Mireya Mayor.

The specialists and guests travelled in style aboard a refurbished and decked-out Boeing 757 private jet, branded under the National Geographic brand, across three continents, Asia, Africa, and Europe, staying in exquisite lodgings. After a two-day stop in Singapore, the experts flew into Sandakan for a three-day wildlife adventure. Visiting Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre (SOURC), Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) and spending two nights at Kinabatangan River. While at SOURC and BSBCC, the experts and their guests were given private tours and talks.

“I am pleased that the Nat Geo experts’ team with their VVIP guests were here to experience our amazing wildlife. I commend Sticky Rice Travel for their efficient planning and arrangement in guiding the Nat Geo group in Sabah,” said Noredah Othman, CEO of Sabah Tourism Board.

“We also had a private jet that came into Sabah in October this year, bringing in VVIP guests for wildlife tours. This private jet was brought in by Abercrombie & Kent with their ground handler Asia Top Team Travels. Sabah is a world-class nature and wildlife destination, we are also known for our conservation efforts,” Noredah said.

“A big thank you to MAHB, Sabah Immigration Department, Royal Malaysian Customs Department and PDRM in Sandakan airport for their continuous cooperation and support on the private jet arrangement,” she added.

Grace Chan, Sticky Rice Travel General Manager said, “We are very excited to host up to three private jet arrivals annually to guests who are all very passionate about wildlife. The close proximity of Sepilok and Kinabatangan from Sandakan enhances possibility of experiencing the river and seeing Orang Utans, making it a key destination in the overall program. Thus, putting Sabah on the radar as one of the top wildlife destinations in the South East Asia region.”

Gennaro Nardone, Asia Top Team Travels Managing Director said, “In 2015, Abercrombie and Kent came to Borneo to scout for destinations which we crafted an interesting itinerary for them and finally in 2017 we had the first private jet in Sandakan for a four-day three-night Sandakan and Danum Valley trip. In 2021, private jet was fully sold however due to Covid restrictions the trip was cancelled, but now they are back. Previously in October, we have done another private jet with a full flight of 48 VVIP guests and 20 staff.

“Due to positive response from the guests, Abercrombie & Kent was able to sell off an additional departure private jet for February 2023 and another one for February 2024. Sabah has the potential to be the ‘In’ destination for the high-end market, allowing visitors to see wildlife in the wild and experience what it’s like to live in a pristine jungle,” Gennaro added.

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