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Month: September 2023

I’m a Luxury Travel Agent: 10 Destinations My Wealthy Clients Are Booking for 2024

Jennifer Taylor for GOBankingRates – Reports

Volcanoes National Park — Rwanda, Africa
Average Trip Cost: $20,000-plus per person — excluding international flights — for a one-week trip
Cost Factors: Permits to spend time with gorillas, luxury accommodations

“While we book numerous safari destinations, trips to see the mountain gorillas in Rwanda seem to have spiked in interest over the last six months,” said Daniel Jackson, CEO at The Travel Whisperer, a luxury travel agency that focuses on ski and safari trips. “Rwanda really is the most luxury way to do a gorilla trip, with a day permit costing $1,500 per person in the Volcanoes National Park, which allows you one hour with a troop of gorillas.”

He said a one-week trip would include two days with the gorillas.

“This trip is popular with 40-to-60-year-olds with higher disposable income and some time on their hands,” he said. Visiting the gorillas can often mean hours of trekking to find them, so it tends to attract active, outdoor enthusiasts with a passion for nature and adventure.”

Beaver Creek, Colorado
Average Trip Cost: Varies, but accommodations can total more than $15,000 per night and one-day ski lift pass costs $299
Cost Factors: Pricey accommodations, ski lift passes, local activities, high-end dining

“Multi-generational families are looking for the perfect getaway that has something for all during the winter and Beaver Creek ticks lots of those boxes,” Jackson said. “The skiing is phenomenal, with virtually no lift lines and amazing staff on the mountain to help you out with whatever you need.”

“The village has amazing restaurants for foodies and plenty of activities for the kids, including an amazing ski school,” he said. “If you want premium space on the mountain, then the cost can add up.”

During the holidays, he said exclusive homes can easily cost more than $15,000 per night and a one-day ski lift ticket at the window will cost $299 per person. However, he noted that there’s a variety of lodges to stay in — at varying prices — and great ways to save on ski lift tickets.

“It is definitely one of our most popular ski resorts, attracting those families looking for something a little less busy than neighboring Vail,” he said.

Average Trip Cost: Approximately $10,000-$15,000 per person for a week
Cost Factors: “High-end resorts, private yacht charters and Michelin-starred dining,” said Wallis Fairvalley, co-owner and travel advisor at Red Letter Travel.

“With its translucent turquoise waters and jet-set clientele, Sardinia is an Italian gem that offers the ultimate in Mediterranean luxury,” she said. “Yachting along the Costa Smeralda is a must, providing access to secluded beaches and coves that are perfect for a private, romantic getaway.”

Mallorca, Spain
Average Trip Cost: Around $9,000-$13,000 per person for a week
Cost Factors: “Boutique hotels, private art gallery visits and custom wine tours,” Fairvalley said.

In the past, Mallorca had a reputation as just a beach destination, but she said it’s an emerging hotspot for cultural tourism.

“Wealthy travelers are drawn to its quiet sophistication, be it the Moorish architecture or the burgeoning art scene,” she said. “It’s a more laid-back, but equally opulent alternative to other Mediterranean hotspots.”

Average Trip Cost: Approximately $12,000-$20,000 per person for 10 days
Cost Factors: “Private safaris, helicopter trips over the dunes and high-end lodges,” Fairvalley said.

If you want an adventurous escape, without compromising on luxury, she said Namibia might be your ideal vacation destination.

“The dramatic landscapes of the Namib Desert and Sossusvlei dunes offer a unique backdrop for safaris, while the Skeleton Coast offers an eerie but beautiful sense of isolation,” she said. “The focus here is on experiential luxury — think champagne breakfasts atop a dune after a hot air balloon ride.”

Kyoto, Japan
Average Trip Cost: Around $9,000-$14,000 per person for a week
Cost Factors: “Traditional ryokan stays, tea ceremonies and private geisha performances,” Fairvalley said.

“Kyoto is the cultural heart of Japan and a city that perfectly blends the ancient with the ultra-modern,” she said. “Wealthy travelers are drawn to its sublime gardens, ancient temples and the chance to experience traditional Japanese luxury.”

Average Trip Cost: Around $5,000-$10,000 per person
Cost Factors: “Iceland offers breathtaking natural beauty, from glaciers to waterfalls,” said Hans Mast, a travel agent and travel expert at Golden Rule Travel.

“Costs include luxury accommodations, private tours to explore ice caves and volcanoes, and fine dining featuring Icelandic cuisine.” He said Iceland’s natural beauty makes it popular with high-end clients.

“Wealthy travelers are drawn to Iceland’s pristine landscapes, the chance to witness the Northern Lights and the exclusivity of experiencing untouched wilderness,” he said.

Average Trip Cost: Approximately $10,000-$20,000 per person.
Cost Factors: “Bhutan’s high costs are due to its government-mandated daily tariff, which includes luxury accommodations, guided tours, and meals,” Mast said.

“Visiting Bhutan is a unique opportunity to explore its rich culture and stunning Himalayan scenery.” This can be a great option for those who want to immerse themselves in culture.

“Bhutan’s focus on sustainable tourism, its stunning monasteries and the opportunity to experience an authentic Himalayan culture make it a top choice for wealthy travelers seeking exclusivity,” he said.

The Maldives
Average Trip Cost: Starting from $10,000 per person
Cost Factors: “Luxury overwater bungalows and private yacht charters contribute to the high costs,” Mast said.

“Activities include snorkeling, diving and spa treatments.” Travelers looking for an exclusive paradise will likely find that in this South Asia paradise on the Indian Ocean.

“The Maldives’ secluded, idyllic setting, pristine white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters offer an unmatched tropical paradise for those seeking relaxation and privacy,” he said.

Average Trip Cost: Around $7,000-$15,000 per person
Cost Factors: “Costs cover private wildlife safaris to see lemurs and unique flora and fauna, luxury lodges and private charters for island-hopping,” Mast said.

An island country off the southeastern coast of Africa, Madagascar offers the luxurious journey of a lifetime.

“Wealthy travelers are attracted to Madagascar’s extraordinary biodiversity, including rare wildlife and untouched landscapes, offering a sense of exploration and adventure,” he said.

“These up-and-coming destinations offer wealthy travelers unique experiences, exclusivity and the opportunity to explore untouched natural beauty and cultures,” Mast said. “While the costs are high, the allure of these destinations lies in their ability to provide unforgettable, tailor-made experiences that cater to the desires of luxury travelers.”

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NetJets Wants To Buy Up To 1,500 Cessna Citation Private Jets

Jonathan Hendry from Simply Flying – Reports

The deal provides for 100 aircraft per year over the next 15 years and makes NetJets the launch customer for the upcoming Cessna Citation Ascend.


  • NetJets has entered into a record-breaking deal with Textron Aviation to purchase up to 1,500 Cessna Citation jets over the next 15 years
  • The agreement includes the upcoming Citation Ascend, set to launch in 2025, and will meet the growing demand from NetJets’ waiting list of potential owners.
  • NetJets and Textron Aviation have a longstanding partnership, with NetJets already operating over 850 Textron Aviation aircraft, and the deal is estimated to be worth up to $30 billion.

Photos Courtesy of Textron Aviation

In a record-breaking deal, NetJets announced it will purchase up to 1,500 Cessna Citation jets from long-term partner and aircraft manufacturer Textron Aviation. The option allows the fractional jet ownership provider to receive up to 100 aircraft annually over the next 15 years. This includes the upcoming Citation Ascend, which is due to take to the skies in 2025.

Why so many?
NetJets has seen measured growth over the last several years and has a waiting list of potential owners in the thousands. The new agreement provides for a mix of Cessna Citation jets, including the Citation Latitude and Citation Longitude aircraft, depending on customer preference.NetJets will further become the fleet launch customer for Textron Aviation’s newest midsize jet, the Citation Ascend, when it commences delivery in 2025. Doug Henneberry, NetJets Executive Vice President, Aircraft Asset Management, noted how popular the Citation jets were with its customers and expressed his enthusiasm to launch the Ascend:

“Based on past demand for the popular Citation Latitude and Longitude, the new Ascend and all our new Citations will undoubtedly be well received by our Owners, particularly those who depend on NetJets to help them do more and miss less.

“As a longtime, trusted ally who shares our commitment to safety and service, Textron Aviation is the ideal partner to help us expand our offerings to NetJets Owners, first with the introduction of the new Ascend to our midsize jet class, and second by growing our overall fleet.”

Photos Courtesy of Textron Aviation

According to analysts, the deal could be worth up to $30 billion.

Longstanding partners
This monumental deal makes sense, given the two companies’ longstanding connection. NetJets has been operating Cessna Citation jets for many years and has taken delivery of more than 850 Textron Aviation aircraft over the last forty years. Its fleet is set to reach over 300 Citation Latitudes and Longitudes soon, having previously flown models including the Citation SII, V, Excel/XLS, Sovereign, and X. NetJets currently has an estimated 76 Citation XLSs, 37 Sovereigns, 191 Latitudes, and 47 Longitudes in its fleet. Ron Draper, President and CEO of Textron Aviation, noted just how important the line of business jets remains:

“NetJets customers around the world continually select Citations as their aircraft of choice. We’re honored to continue to be selected as the largest provider of industry-leading aircraft to NetJets.

“Expanding and adding the Citation Ascend to the NetJets fleet will provide their global customers with even more versatility and flexibility to accomplish their missions.”

Over half of all Cessna Citation Latitude jets in service are operated by NetJets and NetJets Europe.

What is the new Citation Ascend?
The newest model in the jet family is an improvement on its popular XLS+ series. The Citation Ascend brings an entirely new cockpit with avionics upgrades with a Garmin G5000 system. It is designed to offer improved performance and a more luxurious cabin to the midsize business jet market.

Many of the features are seen on current Citation jet models, but some will be unique to the Ascend when it lands in 2025. NetJets Owners and guests will benefit from redesigned swiveling seats for up to seven passengers in the standard configuration. Several of the seats even fold down for increased storage. There is a full refreshment center, spacious baggage compartment, larger windows, and three 14-inch ultra-high-resolution displays with split-screen capabilities.

Cessna Citation Ascend interior

Photos Courtesy of Textron Aviation

In terms of performance, the Ascend will run on Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545D engines, which offer fuel efficiency and increased thrust. The aircraft is also designed to run on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), and customers will have the option to take delivery of their aircraft with SAF and refuel using SAF wherever it is available.

The Ascend will join over 30 Citation models certified over the past 50 years. There are currently six Citation models in production: Citation M2 Gen2, Citation CJ3+, Citation CJ4 Gen2, Citation XLS Gen2, Citation Latitude, and Citation Longitude.

Our Private Jet Charter Airbus ACJ319neo Returning to the UK Yesterday

Another successful Sentinel Aviation private jet charter completed!

The Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ) 319neo can accommodate up to 19 passengers with a range of 6,300 nm (11,670 km) and is equipped with 5 auxiliary center tanks for intercontinental range and non-stop flights up to 14 hours.

Features Include:

  • 18 sleeping positions. Master bedroom with double bed and connecting bathroom with shower
  • Luggage capacity 25 suitcases
  • Maximum altitude 41,000 ft = 12,400 m
  • Standard crew 2 pilots and 2 flight attendants
  • 2 bedrooms / 3 washrooms
  • Master bathroom with walk-in shower
  • Air Humidification system
  • Inflight Entertainment System with Full HD-screens
  • Airshow and 5 external cameras
  • Gogo 2Ku high speed Wi-Fi, up to 70 Mbit/sec for streaming and video calls (charged extra)
  • Video on demand and DVD including a 55” TV, music streaming, PlayStation, external cameras with tailfin view, airshow, satellite phone

A huge thank you to all those involved.

If you would like to enquire about a charter please reach out and contact us.

5 Ways In Which Business Flight Operations Have Changed In The Past Two Decades

Dr. Omar Memon from Simple Flying – Reports

Newer business jets are offered with a wide variety of applications.

Business and private jet travel has significantly increased in the last decade. The desire for extreme flexibility and convenience, particularly for business owners and executives, has given rise to more business jets. Currently, there are more than 22,000 business jets in the world, 68% of which are registered in the United States. If the business jet market continues to grow at the same rate, it is expected to surpass $40 billion by 2040.

Apart from the consistent growth, business aviation has changed in many ways in the past two decades. In the early 2000s, only billionaires, celebrities, and business tycoons had access to business jets. While used for business and private use, the aircraft provided efficiency and ease of use. Business executives are able to squeeze multiple meetings at various locations into their day, thanks to their fast jets.

Moreover, these types of aircraft provide a comfortable environment where administrators can catch up on work during travel. One can argue that business class cabins on commercial airplanes also offer a comfortable work environment. However, the flexibility of schedule and the ease of travel is taken away. According to billionaire Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball franchise, who purchased the Gulfstream V in 1999,

“Since I’ve owned the GV, there are too many examples to count of how the airplane has helped me. Flying out after a late-night game to be at a meeting the next morning. Leaving a meeting to get home in time for my daughter’s first daddy-daughter dance. It’s part of my life that I can’t be without.”

In the past two decades, newer business jets have catered to a wide range of audiences. From leisure travel to transportation mediums for sports teams and humanitarian cargo and aid missions, business jets come in all sizes, shapes, and applications. Manufacturers also offer a variety of cabin and cargo configurations to attract all types of customers. In this article, we explore five ways in which business flight operations have changed in recent years.

1 / Business and leisure combined
Most business jets are no longer only used for business travel but also for leisure for those who can afford it. This is particularly true for those who own their jets. For example, individuals may use their planes for business most of the year. However, they are also used for leisure, family, and other travel purposes.

Executives like Mark Cuban use their business jets for leisure travel with friends and family. With their busy schedules, the jets provide the flexibility of going on a vacation with family while also catching up on work-related tasks. According to Mr Cuban,

“It (referring to his Gulfstream V jet) means I have more hours in my day to spend with friends and family. It means I can get more work done. It means I can travel comfortably with my family. It’s a life- and game-changer.”

Owners of business jets are also known for hosting private parties, such as birthdays, anniversaries, and other informal celebrations in their aircraft. Both Boeing and Airbus offer large business jets that are derivatives of their respective narrowbody commercial aircraft. Irrespective of the size of the plane, its cabin configuration can be switched to cater to a different audience when needed. Business jet charter and leasing companies also configure the cabins based on customer requirements.

2/ Fractional ownership of business jets
Business jets do not have to be wholly owned. In recent years, fractional ownership has become increasingly common. Under such contracts, multiple individuals or corporations own a share in a plane. In other words, the ownership is divided between various entities, thereby reducing costs and risks for everyone.

All parties pay a portion of the upfront cost and maintain the operating and other expenses annually. Aircraft management and leasing companies typically maintain fractional ownership contracts. Each owner is allocated a set number of flying hours a year. Such agreements have enabled more companies and individuals, including entrepreneurs, to gain access to private jets.

A single entity may not be willing to spare $25 million for a medium-sized aircraft and pay massive overhead and operating expenses. Instead, ten parties can come together to pitch in $2.5 million each and still own the aircraft. Some fractional ownership contracts also allow the owners to access a wide range of aircraft within the management company’s active fleet.

3/ Pay-per-use access
While on-demand aircraft charters are not new, those who are interested also have access to what is called private jet membership cards, or Jet Cards. These are paid memberships with private jet management companies that maintain a fleet of executive aircraft. Customers use their choice of aircraft by pre-paying through the membership card. According to that offers private jet rental through the use of Jet Cards,

“A Jet Card is a prepaid card bought in 25-hour increments, that is redeemed to book a flight on one of our private aircraft with as little as 72-hour notice. It’s a simplified and cost-effective way to experience our safe and luxurious private travel.”

These business jet access streams are ideal for those who like to minimize their own risk while still being able to use corporate jets frequently. NetJets, another private aircraft management company, states that Jet Cards are most suitable for those who wish to use private aircraft for 25 or fewer hours in a year.

4/ Humanitarian missions
Business jets are increasingly being used for humanitarian missions worldwide. From rescuing people during a natural disaster and providing medical support to transporting refugees, private aircraft come in handy for time-sensitive missions. During the recent Russian conflict with Ukraine, hundreds of repatriation flights were performed using private jets.

The operation of these jets can bypass the traditional complexities of air travel and fulfill the mission more simply and efficiently. Similarly, in the aftermath of natural disasters, such as the Haitian earthquake in 2019 and the earthquake in Morocco this month, private jets played a significant role in rescue missions.

With most private jets able to operate from unconventional runways (unpaved surfaces, grass, dirt, and gravel), they can bypass conventional airports and operate at secondary airfields. As such, more people closer to the site of interest can be addressed quickly. While helicopters are usually deployed for humanitarian assistance, private jets are significantly faster, can accommodate more people, and fly farther.

5/ Transport of essential cargo
As mentioned earlier, business jets can be configured for a wide range of applications. Not only do newer business jets provide in-cabin cargo space for passenger luggage, but entire cabins can be configured for cargo-only operations. That means essential cargo can now travel in a pressurized cabin at controlled temperatures. This is particularly ideal for medicines and other drugs that must be stored in a controlled environment at all times.

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of private jet flights were run across the globe to transport essential cargo, including medical ventilators, vaccines, and face masks, to remote areas. While most large commercial airliners were busy transporting critical cargo to and from major airports, private jets served as much-needed feeder medium for smaller, more remote areas.

Rolls-Royce Unveils the $30 million La Rose Noire Droptail

Ian Douglas from Spears Wealth – Reports

Rolls-Royce unveils the La Rose Noire Droptail, the first completed car in the third project from Rolls-Royce’s ultra-exclusive Coachbuild division – and, with a price tag rumoured to be more than $30 million – the world’s most expensive car.

It has been passed to its commissioning client family at a private event near Pebble Beach, demonstrating the carmaker’s commitment to bespoke design and private client service.

The car – the first of the four individually designed and built models that will comprise the Droptail project, each in their own unique colours and finishes – has been in development since 2020 and has benefited from an unprecedented level of involvement from the buyer. The client’s identity has been kept confidential but they are rumoured to be a billionaire French family.

A unique blend of deep reds
Prior to its handover, the car was demonstrated to select members of the press including Spear’s at the Rolls-Royce factory in Goodwood. It is a blend of two deep reds with dark chrome brightwork that has never before been used before, nor will it be used again, on any series model.

The colour was taken from the favourite rose of the matriarch of the family – the black baccara, a black-red tea rose with a high level of variation of colour – and decorated with roses in details around the car. As with the rose, the car appears to be different shades of red or black depending on the angle from which it is viewed, achieving an effect of dark iridescence.

The sweeping curved marquetry wooden panels alone took almost two years to design, develop and make. A dedicated artisan spent months doing nothing else but cut, colour, shape and finish the 1,603 carefully selected slivers of wood to achieve the desired effect of abstract rose petals scattered over a French sandalwood background.

Uniquely for a Rolls-Royce the dashboard has no clock. Instead it has an automated retractable holder for a watch, developed by Audemars Piguet, that can be worn when out of the car.

The roof is a detachable hard unit with an electronic chromatic panel, allowing it to be opaque or transparent according to the wishes of the occupants.

The engine is the V12 unit used in other cars including the Wraith and the Ghost, tuned to achieve the livelier performance of a drophead roadster.

The Coachbuild programme represents the finest cars that the company produces, with the client as a co-creator rather than simply a client. Rolls-Royce offers a high level of customisation on all of its cars through what it calls its Bespoke programme, but the Coachbuild cars are separated from the models offered to the rest of the public.

As a spokesperson said, ‘It’s the most rare, the most valuable, the most exquisite thing that we do here.’

Business Jet Market to Witness Astonishing Growth by 2029

OMR Global – Reports

Business jet market is anticipated to grow at a considerable CAGR of 5.3% during the forecast period. Rising disposable income, increasing urbanization, an increase in high-net-worth individuals, an increase in air travelers, and other factors are driving global market growth. Business-class jets are mostly used for business travel and individual use by multimillionaire celebrities. They provide a more pleasant and comfortable journey and are more convenient and safe. Companies are also launching new business jets to meet the increasing demand. For instance, in February 2023, during the IDEX expo in Abu Dhabi, Embraer Defense & Security displayed a mockup of the P600 airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft it is developing in collaboration with IAI/Elta Systems. The P600 is based on the Embraer Praetor 600 super-midsize business jet’s airframe and is outfitted with a low-weight, cutting-edge, high-efficiency digital S-band Elta AESA radar in a dorsal radome. In addition, the aircraft will have civil and military IFF, ESM, ELINT, and COMINT capabilities, as well as an innovative and strong self-protection suite. The P600 will be outfitted with a full communication suite that includes data networks and satellite connectivity for operating beyond line of sight (BLOS).

Segmental Outlook
The global business jet market is segmented by type and platform. Based on type, the market is sub-segmented into light business jet, mid-size business jet, and large business jet. Based on platform, the market is sub-segmented into on-demand service and aircraft management service. Among platforms, the on-demand service segment is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period, owing to the growing demand for new business aircraft in the US, China, and the UAE. Additionally, the growth is also supported by the presence of many private jet service providers in emerging and developed economies.

The Large Business Jet Segment Holds a Prominent Share in the Global Business Jet Market
Based on type, the market is sub-segmented into light business jet, mid-size business jet, and large business jet. Due to significant investments in establishing new aircraft service centers in various countries, the large business jet segment is expected to account for the largest market share. For instance, on December 7, 2022, Bombardier announced the opening of a new service center at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) by 2025. Bombardier is a major producer of innovative aircraft and is well renowned for its world-class experiences and services.

Regional Outlook
The global business jet market is segmented based on geography, including North America (the US and Canada), Europe (Italy, Spain, Germany, France, and others), Asia-Pacific (India, China, Japan, South Korea, and others), and the rest of the world (the Middle East and Africa and Latin America). The market can be analyzed for a particular region or country level as per the requirement. Among the regions, the North American region is expected to generate the highest market share, followed by the European market. Substantial expenditures in research and development efforts, expanding regional air travel, and increasing disposable income are important drivers driving market revenue growth in Europe.

The North American Region is Expected to Dominate the Global Business Jet Market
The North American is anticipated to grow at a considerable rate in the marker. According to the data presented by Stratus Jet Charters, there were over 21,979 operational private jets across the globe in 2019, and North America represented approximately 71% of all private aircraft. The growing presence of leading market players such as Bombardier, Textron Inc., and others is a primary driver of market revenue growth. These firms are making major investments, in increasing comfort and simplifying flight characteristics. Businesses are also collaborating with various pilot training colleges to create aircraft models that are properly constructed for teaching and built for adventure. For instance, on December 6, 2022, Joby Aviation, a California-based aircraft manufacturer, joined Aviation High School to teach aircraft mechanics. The New York City high school programme is a component of company’s goal to develop services and infrastructure for aircraft. This is particularly important as electric propulsion gets traction in aviation technology and dozens of high school students acquire experience servicing and operating aircraft systems. Additionally, increased adoption of innovative aircraft systems and growing support from corporate aviation in the US are boosting market revenue growth in North America. Due to the advent of hybrid-electric propulsion technology, the US is likely to account for the greatest revenue share holder.

Market Players Outlook
The major companies serving the global business jet market include Airbus SE, Bombardier Inc., Cirrus Design Corp., Dassault Aviation, Embraer, and others. These companies are considerably contributing to the market’s growth through the adoption of various strategies, including mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, collaborations, investments, and new product launches to stay competitive in the market. For instance, in August 2022, Bombardier purchased the first Challenger 3500 Business Jet based in Europe for use in charter operations with Air Corporate SRL. In addition, Textron Inc., the parent company of the aviation brands Cessna, Beechcraft, and Bell, said in March 2022 that it had struck a deal to acquire Pipistrel, a world-renowned developer and leader in electrically powered aircraft with offices in Slovenia and Italy.


The Private Jets Of Google Founders Larry Page & Sergei Brin

Alexander Mitchell from Simple Flying – Reports

The Silicon Valley moguls maintain an impressive fleet.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two cofounders of American software and technology giant Google, maintain an impressive collection of private aircraft. Alongside Eric Schmidt, the executives own five different private jets for their own personal use. Notably, these are not Google corporate jets, the aircraft are neither owned nor operated by the company itself.

In fact, Page, Brin, and Schmidt have combined forces into a holding company called H211, which officially operates all the aircraft. With their immense influence within Silicon Valley, it is not surprising to see these three wield significant influence over private aviation in the center of the American software industry. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the jets owned by these moguls and analyze how they have left their mark on aviation in the region.

The jets themselves
In 2005, Larry Page and Sergei Brin joined forces to purchase a Boeing 767-200 widebody airliner. The purchase of $15 million would make waves as the pair would go on to sink another $10 million into a complete overhaul of the long-haul jet’s interior.

Photo: Daniel DeBolt via The Mountain View Voice

As was reported by several outlets, including The Register, the pair got into an argument about what size bed to have in the jet’s primary bedroom, with Brin wanting a California king-sized bed. Ultimately, Schmidt intervened to resolve the issue, yielding the following memorable quote:

“Sergey, you can have whatever bed you want in your room; Larry, you can have whatever kind of bed you want in your bedroom. Let’s move on.”

The group also owns a pair of Gulfstream Vs, in addition to a Boeing 757 the pair acquired in 2007. In 2008, the pair would make another acquisition, purchasing a Dornier Alpha fighter jet, a unique choice for private civilian operators.

Photo: Gulfstream Aerospace

A private terminal
In 2011, the three Google executives invested $33 million to renovate Hangar One, a historic hangar located at Moffet Airfield in Mountain View, California. The hangar, which was originally constructed in 1933 to house the US military’s USS Macon airship, is one of the world’s largest freestanding structures and maintains a designation as a historic location.

In exchange for paying to renovate the hangar, the three executives received the right to utilize two-thirds of the space to store their private jet fleet. In 2014, NASA granted Google a lease to operate and manage the facility, which will cost the technology giant a total of $1.16 billion over the next 60 years.

Photo: NASA

In 2016, the terminal entered the news again for toxic paint. However, Google indicated that they were performing tests to identify the best way to resolve the issue. After further investigation, Google indicated that complete renovations would be finished by 2025.

The two Google co-founders, alongside fellow executive Eric Schmidt, maintain a truly impressive fleet of private aircraft. Furthermore, they have also constructed a new terminal for their own use while helping conserve historical aircraft infrastructure. It will be fascinating to see what the tech moguls choose to do with their fleet in the future.

What Does Working As A Private Jet Flight Attendant Entail?

Patricia Green from Simple Flying – Reports

A deep dive into the private jet life. Private jet flight attendants have a range of responsibilities, including greeting passengers, serving meals, and ensuring passenger safety. They may also be responsible for tasks such as planning flight itineraries, arranging ground transportation, and providing VIP services.

Working on a private jet can be rewarding, with opportunities for travel and meeting interesting people, but it also requires long hours and professionalism.

Working on a private jet can entail a variety of tasks, depending on the size of the jet and the specific needs of the passengers. On smaller aircraft, you may work alone or ‘fly solo,’ while on larger types, there may be four or five crew members.

Regular tasks
Some of the common duties of a private jet flight attendant include:

  • Greeting passengers and providing them with refreshments and snacks
  • Preparing and serving meals
  • Making sure that the cabin is clean and comfortable
  • Attending to the needs of passengers during the flight, such as providing pillows, blankets, or reading material or setting up the entertainment system
  • Ensuring the safety of passengers in the event of an emergency

In addition to these duties, private jet flight attendants may also be responsible for other tasks, such as:

  • Planning and coordinating the flight itinerary
  • Arranging ground transportation for passengers
  • Handling luggage and other cargo
  • Providing VIP services, such as catering to the specific needs of celebrities or high-profile executives
  • Sourcing specific items for the aircraft or the passenger
  • Shopping for the aircraft pantry
  • Planning menus and ordering catering

The requirements
The qualifications required for working on a private jet vary depending on the specific job. There can be restrictions on age, nationality, languages required, and the experience level of the flight attendant. However, most employers look for candidates with the following:

  • A high school diploma or equivalent
  • A valid passport
  • Visas may be requested for places like the US, India, and China
  • Experience in the hospitality industry
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Strong communication and organizational skills
  • High level of personal presentation
  • Excellent time management
  • The ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • The ability to speak multiple languages
  • Cabin crew training and experience

There are certain soft skills that a private jet flight attendant also needs to have:

  • Know when to be invisible
  • Follow protocol and confidentiality rules
  • Be situationally aware
  • Be culturally aware
  • Have emotional intelligence
  • Be discreet

The rewards
Working on a private jet can be a very rewarding career. It offers the opportunity to travel the world, meet interesting people, and provide excellent customer service. However, it is also a demanding job that requires long hours and a high level of professionalism. Whilst you are on duty, your life is not your own!

Here are some of the pros and cons of working on a private jet:


  • Travel the world and often unusual destinations
  • Meet interesting people from all walks of life
  • Provide excellent customer service
  • Higher salary than commercial cabin crew plus per diem
  • Flexible hours
  • 4 or 5-star hotels whilst away
  • Rotational roster with a set number of days on/days off
  • No security screenings
  • No baggage restrictions


  • Long hours
  • Demanding job
  • Can be lonely
  • No airline perks
  • Training costs are often covered by the flight attendant

If you are considering a career as a private jet flight attendant, it is important to weigh the pros and cons carefully. It is a challenging but rewarding job that can offer you a unique opportunity to see the world and meet interesting people.



Make Your Safari a More Intimate Experience With the New Microcamps

Mark Elwood from Robb Report – Reports

These safari camps from Kenya to Indonesia provide smaller, more focused glamping experiences for nature lovers.

North Island, or Xuxuga, sits in one of Botswana’s prime safari locations, right at the top of the panhandle. The waters of the Okavango Delta slosh through year-round, making the soil rich and damp; riverine forests edge the island, while plush grassland covers the interior of its 302,000 acres. These natural assets keep it teeming with game, especially predators such as leopards, cheetahs, and lions. Each year, 18,000 or so elephants trample through, following a corridor that stretches up to Angola, and the area’s waters are consistent enough that mokoro trips—silent glides along the Delta in the local canoe-style boat, spying more than 450 different bird species—are also a staple.

Photo Courtesy of Martin Harvey

No wonder that luxe-safari operator Natural Selection, a Botswana specialist, eyed this as the site for the latest of 13 camps it operates in the country. But this newest addition is radically different from the traditional expedition template: North Island Okavango, which recently opened with just three rooms (a fourth and final villa arrives early next year) is a microcamp.

A tent at North Island Okavango, from Natural Selection

“We could have built a 12-room camp,” cofounder Dave van Smeerdijk tells Robb Report during an exclusive preview, “but we chose to build a much smaller one, somewhere that’s both more intimate and flexible.” It’s a footprint (and business model) that’s newly emerging in the broader ultra-luxe adventure space.

A sister site, Duke’s East, opened elsewhere on the Delta this spring, with just four tents ranged around an ebony and leadwood tree grove. Sitatunga Private Island, also in Botswana and a new arrival this summer, has three suites, all built from recycled materials and with a basket-shaped design inspired by the local Bayei fishermen. The five-room Fuzz’s Camp in north Kenya is a birder’s dream, also ideal for fishing and horseback riding. Outside the African-safari space, consider Bawah Reserve’s Elang Private Residence, in Indonesia, a standalone offshoot of the main hotel situated on its own island, with six cliffside lodges. Then there’s the six-pod Echo Camp, operated by White Desert, which offers the chance to overnight in Antarctica, or the soon-to-open AndBeyond camp in Punakha, Bhutan, which will offer just eight glamping rooms close to the winter home of the Bhutanese royal family.

The sumptuous design of Duke’s East

Van Smeerdijk says the shift is driven by consumer behaviour. Safaris have long been prime for buyouts, where a multigenerational group might commandeer 15 or so rooms for exclusive use. The pandemic-induced preference for privacy, though, has brought that idea to a wider audience and to smaller groups—a new niche that microcamps can occupy. He adds that, in Covid-19’s wake, buyout requests at their camps have increased around 100 percent, making it imperative to design properties that can be easily (and affordably) booked by a single client. Cannily, the footprint is modular enough that North Island’s four rooms will seem equally private should they be reserved individually, too.

Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell runs Cazenove + Loyd, a firm focused on buyouts, who says there’s even greater demand now—perhaps 50 percent more than in pre-pandemic times. Camps such as North Island, he notes, act as entry-level options for safari-mad families trading up from a traditional resort for the first time. “It’s about controlling your own environment—maybe you want to do things in a way that wouldn’t suit other people, and you can choose to do the safari in your own fashion,” he says. “The manager of the lodge is absolutely at your disposal.”

Cape buffalo crossing a channel near Sitatunga Private Island

Why not bring your own wine to stock the cellar, for example, or carouse late into the night and skip the morning’s activities entirely, opting instead for a leisurely brunch? Many have long paid premiums for private game-drive vehicles to avoid a mismatch with the needs (or personality) of a fellow guest; a microcamp expands that safeguard to the entire experience. “Part of it is protecting yourself from other people, part protecting other people from how you want to do things,” says Wilmot-Sitwell.

Natural Selection is certainly banking on the long-term viability of microcamps, with plans for similar sites in Botswana as well also next door in Namibia, on the Skeleton Coast. “People will pay a premium for privacy like this,” says van Smeerdijk, who doesn’t levy a surcharge for buyouts at North Island (another departure from industry norm), as it’s designed for takeovers. “And for the quality of the experience, it’s not such a radical extra cost.”


Which Private Jets Has NASA Used Over The Years?

Justin Hayward from Simple Flying – Reports

NASA has a long relationship with Gulfstream, but there have been other jets.

NASA operates a fleet of Gulfstream jets for various purposes including research and transportation of personnel, including astronauts.
The current military-configured Gulfstream jet used by NASA is the Gulfstream C-20A, which is a modified version of the Gulfstream III.
NASA also operates standard-configured Gulfstream jets, including several Gulfstream III jets and one Gulfstream V, for transport and research projects.

Photo: Jonverve via Wikimedia

NASA is likely best known for its space and near-space flights and research. Unsurprisingly, the space agency has operated a wide range of aircraft over the years – including transport aircraft, helicopters, military jets, and experimental aircraft. The modified Boeing 747s used to transport the Space Shuttle may be well remembered – but they are far from the only aircraft used. Perhaps with a lower profile, NASA has also long operated private jets. These have seen use to transport personnel, including astronauts, around the world, and as part of research operations.

Current military configured Gulfstream jets – Gulfstream C-20A
NASA’s current private jet fleet is made up of Gulfstream jets. The agency has a long relationship with the US manufacturer Gulfstream (as do other US government agencies). It currently operates the C-20A, the Gulfstream III, and the larger Gulfstream V jets.

The Gulfstream C-20A is the military variant of the Gulfstream III (modified to take just 14 passengers). These jets were taken on by NASA after government service and are seen painted in the standard blue, white, and gold livery of the US Air Force.

NASA currently operates at least one of these aircraft. It carries the registration NASA802 and was acquired in 2008. It is based at the Armstrong Flight Research Center and is used mainly for research projects. One such recent project is the Unmanned Air Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) project. This uses the C-20A to test new radar equipment and has been used recently for mapping wildfires in California. The photograph below clearly shows the aircraft fitted with this radar pod.

Current private Gulfstream jets – the Gulfstream III and V
NASA also operates standard-configuration Gulfstream jets. These are the same models as in private jet use and have all been acquired from previous operators.

The agency currently has several Gulfstream III jets, and one Gulfstream V. The Gulfstream III is a popular model, first introduced in 1983 and with many updates over earlier models. NASA operates several aircraft – based with the Armstrong Flight Research Center, Langley Research Center, and the Johnson Space Center. These are used both for transport and research projects.

The Gulfstream V is a larger and longer-range aircraft (it was the first ultra-long range aircraft in the Gulfstream fleet). NASA only has one of these aircraft, based at the Johnson Space Center.

Looking back – earlier Gulfstream jets and Learjets
Before its current Gulfstream III and V jets, NASA has operated several other types. Sticking with Gulfstream, the agency previously owned both the Gulfstream I and Gulfstream II jets (the Gulfstream II is pictured below). These likewise were used to transport staff and crew, and for research purposes. As these aircraft were in use during the 1960s and 1970s, they would no doubt have been used for astronaut transport during the days of the Space Shuttle program.

Photo: Eric Salard via Wikimedia

Aside from Gulfstream, NASA also previously operated the Learjet 24 (pictured below) and the Learjet 25. These flew in the earliest days of the agency. The Learjet 24 has a special place in private jet history as one of the earliest private jets, launched in 1966. As well as for passenger transport, NASA used one of its Learjet 24 aircraft as an observation platform (equipped with telescopes) as part of its Airborne Observatory platform project.

Lego’s New 2,000-Piece Concorde Supersonic Jet Set

Bryan Hoof from Robb Report – Reports

You may no longer be able to fly on the Concorde, but thanks to Lego you can build one of your very own. The Danish company has just unveiled a new set based on the famous supersonic jet two decades after it went out of service. And as is becoming increasingly common of the brand’s most detailed kits, the model has features that function just as they did on its full-size counterpart.

The Concorde was built during the 1960s as a joint venture between France-based Aérospatiale and UK-based British Aircraft Corporation. It was the first supersonic passenger jet and could fly from Europe to the east coast of the US in half the time it normally took. Despite this, the tailless aircraft never caught on, partially due to the fact that it was limited to transoceanic flights due because of the sonic booms it produced over land. In 2003, after 27 years of commercial service, the Concorde was retired.

Lego’s version of the jet measures nearly three-and-a-half feet in length and has a wingspan of one-and-a-half feet. That means that while tiny compared to the 202-foot aircraft it’s based on, it is one of the brand’s larger current models. The kit consists of 2,083 pieces and faithfully captures the jet’s iconic shape, including its long and skinny fuselage and curved delta wing.

The pint-sized Concorde features several functional mechanisms like some of the recent automobile-based sets released under the Lego Technics banner. The chief of these is the plane’s landing gear, which can be raised or lowered with a twist of the tail cone. The model also features an adjustable droop nose that can be lowered to make takeoff visibility better, just like the actual plane. Finally, you can remove part of the top of the fuselage to get a look at a scale recreation of the Concorde’s infamously cramped interior inside (sadly it’s not big enough for any of the company’s trademark microfigures).

Do you have room in your personal hangar for a new Lego plane? The Concorde kit is set to go on sale September 7th (or the 4th if you’re one of the brand’s VIP members). It will be available to buy through the company’s website and toy stores for £170.

Images courtesy of Lego.

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