Image: First class passengers in a BOAC Boeing 747 are served lunch, 1970 | Source: Getty Images

Make the Switch: Trade First Class for Private Jets

First-class air travel seems to be a thing of the past. Due to the pandemic first-class is unavailable on major airlines including Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines and Qantas. And while this may not be a surprise – the decline was well and truly on its way before the pandemic hit.

According to the Financial Times, there was a 45 per cent drop since 2010 while, over the same period, the number of business-class seats grew 42 per cent to 184.48m.

Carriers such as Air New Zealand, KLM and Turkish Airlines had ditched first-class seats well before the pandemic, but the disruption of the past year has further reduced the number of first-class seats in the air.

So it doesn’t come as a surprise that those who travel frequently are opting for a more comfortable and convenient journey and choosing to fly private.

Flight crew salaries, maintenance and fuel are just the tip of the iceberg with owning your own private jet. Of course, there are more economical flying alternatives to maintaining a private jet – like partial ownership and chartered flights. For those who are in the market looking to upgrade their air travel experience here are some of the best private jets, you should consider for your next route abroad.

Lineage 1000E: Skyranch One

Costing upwards of A$95 million, the Skyranch One interior of the Lineage 1000E takes flying to the next level.

“Think Dallas’ JR Ewing meets the daughter of a Brazilian rancher,” Jay Beever, Embraer’s vice president of interior design, reportedly told Business Insider.

Designed for Brazilian private jet maker Embraer, the Lineage 1000E sits 13 to 19 passengers and has all the trimmings. Including a bison horn faucet, of course.

Gulfstream G700

With an additional 10 feet of interior space to its predecessor, the Gulfstream G700 offers a luxurious level of space. With a bedroom and ensuite onboard, the G700 allows for the most comfortable form of air travel and if you’re tired of having flights catered, bring a chef aboard where they can prepare fresh meals in a well-equipped galley.

Priced at around A$100 million, this private jet is top of the range and can cover an impressive 7,500 nautical miles.

Gulfstream G650ER

Holding the record for the farthest and fastest flight in business aviation history, the latest G650ER costs around A$96 million. Covering a maximum of 7,500 nautical miles and including up to four living areas, the G650ER makes globetrotting convenient and caters to your every need. Large panoramic windows offer natural light while handcrafted seats offer superior comfort.

Bombardier Global 7500

With an impressive range of 7,700 nautical miles, the Bombardier Global 7500 goes the extra mile in all aspects. Offering four highly customisable living spaces, including a luxurious master bedroom, the Global 7500 has been designed as an extension of your home and office so you can travel comfortably.

With a starting price of approximately A$100 million, the Global 7500 is up there with the most expensive private jets money can buy.

Airbus ACJ 319neo Infinito

When Airbus Corporate Jets and Automobili Pagani collaborate, the result is the sleekest and convertible-like private jet you’ll ever see. Featuring a sky ceiling, leather and wood finishes and a full bedroom, the Airbus ACJ319neo is the height of luxury and cutting-edge design.

Being smaller and lighter than the ACJ320neo model, the 319neo can complete over 15 hours of nonstop flying- depending on the number of passengers on board. With prices starting at approximately A$134.7 million, this private jet is a considerable investment.

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