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We’ve seen some pretty crazy wide-body private jet concepts. A few have actually materialized as flying mansions, but for the most part these jaw-dropping interiors never make it past the design phase.
Even more rare is an opportunity for regular folks like myself to experience one of these beauties, but after coming across operator Deer Jet’s custom Boeing 787-8 at the Dubai Air Show, I made it my mission to get onboard — and got the grand tour:
This incredible plane took more than two years to build including the interior, and is owned by China-based HNA Group, which besides Deer Jet has sizable stakes in a large variety of businesses, including Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and other local carriers. It even owns 25% of Hilton. (But I don’t think you can earn Hilton Honors points for chartering this plane.)
HNA Group uses the aircraft often, but when it doesn’t it’s available for charter operations.
Rates vary depending on a large variety of factors, but I’d expect to pay in the ballpark of $70,000 per hour for the privilege of flying on this VIP 787, known as the Dream Jet. The aircraft boasts 2,400 square feet of usable space, which is incredible if you think about it — we’re talking a large single-family home, with wings.
After stepping through the forward door, you’ll walk down the long corridor above. There you’ll come across one of the only elements shared with commercial 787s — the door you’ll typically walk through when boarding a regular passenger Dreamliner.
Around the corner you’ll find a lobby area, with another long hallway at one end and the entrance to the master bedroom at the other.
Turning left into the master bedroom brings you through a large wardrobe area, with loads of closet space.
Then, there’s a massive king-size bed in the next room — it even puts Etihad’s Residence to shame.
The bedroom has its own wall-mounted television, as you’d expect, and plenty of room to move around.
The bedroom is comparable in size to many hotel rooms I’ve stayed in — it’s easy to forget that you’re on a plane!
There’s a fantastic master bathroom as well, complete with two sinks and the largest shower I’ve seen on a plane. Unfortunately I wasn’t permitted to shoot in there, though.
Then, down the next long hall you’ll find the main living space.
There’s an open floor plan here, with a living room area, seating along the sides and a dining room. Almost all of the seating offers safety belts, though I didn’t see any on the main sofa in the center.
There are a total of four recliners along the walls, too, including two that face toward the rear.
Then there’s a large television in the center of the room — there was even an Apple TV system set up during my visit, though I imagine you can plug in any entertainment you’d like.
At the other end of the room is a dining area, with seating for 12.
Each side has a sofa with four seats, plus two captain’s chairs. I’m sure there have been some pretty lavish dinner parties in here! What’s another few thousand dollars for food when you’re already spending $70k per hour in the air…
Past the dining areas is another doorway, with a large cylindrical structure in front — it looks like it could be an elevator or staircase, perhaps.
Instead, it’s just a washroom — a pretty luxurious one, though it’s nowhere near as posh as what you’ll find in the master suite.
Speaking of not-so-posh, the 18 business-class seats just behind are a fairly average off-the-shelf model.
These are the same seats you’ll find on Hainan Airlines, interestingly enough, though the finishes are obviously far more luxurious here.
They’re all lie-flat, but with a 2-2-2 configuration some passengers will need to step over their neighbors if the cabin is full.
Behind that are six premium-economy style seats, with leg rests and extra recline.
Finally, there’s a standard Dreamliner galley at the back of the plane…
…though I did notice a few slight modifications, such as coolers and an off-the-shelf rice maker.
With a capacity of just 40 passengers and incredible furnishings, this certainly isn’t your average Dreamliner experience — low-cost carriers like Scoot pack more than 300 seats into the same space, for example, so this really is a treat.
This version of the 787-8 can fly up to 17 hours nonstop, with a range just shy of 10,000 miles, which means nearly the entire world is within reach.
So how do you book? If you’re lucky enough to have the funds to pull off a trip on this tricked-out 787, you can call UAS International Trip Support at +971 4 299 6633 for more details. And if you have some room to spare, my camera and I would be happy to join for the ride!
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