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In the world of private jets, it helps if you can distinguish yourself from the competition. Especially if your intended customer base includes heads of state and ultra-high-net-worth-individuals.
So when it came to launching a new high-end aircraft operator, the team at Privajet decided to create the world’s first two-star Michelin restaurant at 41,000 ft.
With a D check for its BBJ1 on the horizon, the Privajet team set about completely re-designing the interior of a 2000-build Boeing Business Jet 1 (msn 30791 / 9H-BBJ). Once the design phase was completed, they awarded the six month task to Jet Aviation in Basel, Switzerland.
The interior of the imposing Boeing Business Jet has been completely re-imagined, split into a zonal layout that allows guests and crew to remain completely separate. Entering the aircraft through the left one door, an expanded galley area allows extra space for the chef to cook. Backing on to this is the crew rest area, a fully enclosed space that’s comfortable enough for all the crew to rest on long flights.
Walking into the cabin itself it’s clear that the design brief must have dictated a bright and airy feel. Immediately to the left are four chairs in pairs of two facing each other; each set – as well as the single pair on the right hand side – can be converted into fully flat beds
The next zone includes a conference table with seating for six and a dinning table (it is here that we later get to sample the type of food that the skilled chef will be creating).
Moving on though the cabin is the guests’ bathroom, a beautifully appointed room that includes a full-size shower and enough room to comfortably dress afterwards. The there’s another more private conference area with seating for six.
The back of the aircraft is dedicated to the principle flier, with a bedroom featuring a full-size double bed and there’s another bathroom right at the back of the aircraft, which includes another shower.
We’re soon ushered back to the main dining area to sample the type of food that guests can expect to enjoy on Privajet flights.
Our chef today is François Verhulst, one of two chefs that Privajet will use from Yves Mattagne’s Sea Grill, a two-stared Michelin restaurant in Brussels.
Privajet’s plan is to rotate two chefs through the aircraft, with a six month rotation through the aircraft, followed by six months back in Brussels. Privajet deputy general manager Christian Webber explains later that this plan allows the chefs to return to their kitchens in Brussels to top-up their skills, while learning new ones.
Today we’re sampling a two-course meal that Privajet clients can expect to receive, but before the first course can arrive we’re treated to some of the wine and champagne that guests will receive.
I have three glasses in front of me, and it’s not long before each is filled with the finest red wine, white wine and champagne that money can buy – and each glass is refiled quickly before an empty one is put down.
An entrée of caviar is served in an attractive tin emblazoned with the Privajet logo, and following this we are served our main course, a beautiful cut of beef cooked to each of our tastes.
Over dinner the champagne and wine flow, and we’re quickly discussing the company’s future plans. Although the aircraft won’t have a permanent base, it will be loosely based in the Middle East. Privajet’s intended client base are heads of state and ultra-high-net-worth’s and the the company’s own internal research suggests that the middle east will be its largest market.
The BBJ itself has been fitted with extra fuel tanks and holds the record for the longest range in the charter market, with the ability to fly 6,000 nautical miles or roughly 12 hours.
The aircraft is available for charter immediately, with it’s first revenue earning flight taking place the day after my visit.