You Can Now Charter Your Own Private Boeing 777
Crystal Cruises is finally making the dream of chartering a private Boeing 777-200LR jet come true. Best known for ultra-luxe cruises, the company took to the skies with the launch of the Crystal Skye — the largest privately-owned tour jet in the world — on Sunday, August 13, when the plane was christened in Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport (LAS).
The opulent, decked-out airplane can shuttle up to 88 guests to far-flung locales (for about $55,000 an hour) in such luxury that could make some first-class passengers on a traditional commercial flight envious.
The plane's seats are arranged in a staggered 2-2-2 configuration and you can expect customized privacy surroundings, a four-way adjustable headrest and individual storage ottomans. The Crystal Skye also features amenities like Bose headphones, iPads, Etro-branded amenity kits, 25-inch IFE screens and unlimited Wi-Fi.
Just like with premium cabins on most long-haul commercial fleets, each seat reclines to a fully lie-flat configuration of about 70.5 inches, so if you're on the taller end of the height spectrum, beware.
The plane features a 24-seat lounge with a dedicated bar and sofas, while details such as a custom ceiling and stone accents adorn the interior of the cabin.
In-flight meals are cooked by a private chef with access to a steam oven and sous vide cookers; wine is sourced by an in-flight sommelier.
Crystal originally planned to offer highly curated itineraries, dubbed "AirCruises," but shelved the plan after customers began to request specific chartered flights. The Boeing 777 was originally built for Air Austral in 2011 and flew for more than four years with the airline before it was eventually purchased by its new owner.
According to The Standard, Crystal Skye is set to fly its inaugural journey on September 30, hauling 86 passengers from Hong Kong on a specialized eight-night itinerary that includes stops in Nairobi, Kenya, and Tahiti. To date, three bookings have been finalized — including one with the National Hockey League — and another dozen are in process, according to Edie Rodriguez, CEO of Crystal Cruises.
At about $55,000 an hour, it's no surprise that chartering a private jet isn't cheap — let alone a Boeing 777. But if you can pony up the cash, the plane can be used for just about any event — think destination weddings, celebrations, as a private event space for product launches, private jet tours or entertaining a group of your 87 closest friends.
H/T: Airways Magazine