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In May 2014, Etihad announced the launch of its new, ultra luxurious Residence and Apartment suites on board its A380 aircraft. And in November, TPG himself bought a $32,000 one-way ticket and flew the inaugural Residence route from New York-JFK to Abu Dhabi – a total over-the-top experience, even though the airline forgot to load his bag. And back in July, TPG Editor-in-Chief Zach Honig flew the first-class Apartment suite from Sydney to Abu Dhabi and was equally impressed with his experience on board the most luxurious accommodations in commercial skies.
However, because Etihad’s first-class Residence and Apartment accommodations are only available from select airports, such as New York’s JFK, London’s Heathrow and Sydney’s Kingsford Smith, the airline is doing something to make the luxury more available to people in other parts of the world. Etihad announced this week that it would be partnering with the on-demand private jet charter company, Victor, to offer Residence and Apartment passengers an upscale way to transfer to their luxury long-haul international flights. This way, the in-air experience won’t have to start only when passengers board the plane, but when they’re picked up from their local airport – wherever that may be – and transported to the gateway airport to begin the A380 first-class portion of their trip.
Victor, a private jet company that launched in 2011 and has bases in London, New York and California, boasts that it is the fastest-growing on-demand private jet charter company in the world. On its website, it claims to be the only service that offers end-to-end charter booking both via its app and website, with a network that includes more than 7,000 jets at 40,000 airports worldwide via 131 partner operators.
Here’s how it’ll work. When the service becomes available (it was not as of this writing), Victor members will be able to log on to their account via its website or app to book their Residence or Apartment trip together with the Victor private jet trip. Also, members of Etihad Guest will receive a Victor card worth $1,500 to use toward their first private jet charter when using the app.
With the partnership, Etihad will become the first scheduled airline to partner with a private jet provider to promote specific flights. As you can see, it appears that in order to book a seat on a Victor jet (from Chicago to New York, in this case), it’ll cost you – but that $1,500 credit for members of Etihad Guest could definitely come in handy. However, if you are going to book a one-way trip in the Residence in cash, you might have a bit extra to spare in order to get to the airport via a private jet.
If you’re going to use the Victor app to book, make sure to sign up with a card that will get you bonus points for travel, such as Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Citi ThankYou Premier Card. Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.