A new trend is emerging in private jet travel as high net worth fliers and celebrities look to charter bigger aircraft – so they can take support staff with them on board.
Nannies, chefs and private security staff often follow wealthy fliers abroad, especially when they are heading to a second home for an extended stay. In the past they would often fly separately, perhaps by scheduled airline, and arrive in advance of their employers. Now, however, the pandemic means it is safer for everyone to travel as a bubble, and that requires an upgrade.
Ruth Edwards is senior consultant at Tiger Recruitment, a company which specialises in matching HNWI (High Net Worth Individuals) from prestigious households and offices with private staff. She said: “It is not unusual for clients to require their permanent or temporary holiday staff to travel to their private summer residence or to join them on family vacations.
“This could include their nanny, butler and close protection staff, to perhaps a temporary private chef or even a yoga teacher for their yacht. These days, with Covid-19 safety a priority, it makes sense for them to travel together in a secure bubble.”
The trend has been confirmed by private charter companies who look after travel arrangements for celebrities and wealthy fliers. Claudette Gharbi, group VIP charter director at Chapman Freeborn, says her company is increasingly being asked to charter bigger aircrafts so that clients and their support staff can travel together – even in groups of up to 19.
“We have certainly noticed that clients are choosing to travel in a group bubble, whether that is with friends, family or staff,” she said.
“In fact, this is where private jet travel really comes into its own. Travelling by private jet enables a group to remain physically apart from anyone who is not in their bubble, however many people that may consist of.
“From choosing the airport you wish to travel from to identifying the ideal aircraft for your needs, the perfect journey can be created for you.
“If your group is up to 12 people, an Embraer Legacy 650 may be best suited to you, or for 19 people an Embraer Lineage 1000. For smaller groups of just eight people, a Citation XLS might be best.
“By taking into account not just the size of the group, but also the luggage or maybe even the pets travelling too, every element can be bespoke.”
The good news for wealthy fliers is that flying on a private jet brings many benefits, especially in a world where Covid-19 remains a serious consideration.
Chapman Freeborn has chartered aircraft for movie stars, pop stars, business moguls and high-net-worth individuals for many years and knows how important it is to be Covid-safe in the current climate. Claudette added: “Choosing a private jet enables you to avoid a busy terminal building, circumventing the need to mix with large crowds of strangers and reducing touch-points whereby viruses and other germs could spread.
“On top of that, aircraft are sanitised for you prior to boarding, ensuring no cross-contamination from other passengers.
“Medical screenings can be arranged not just for you and your group, but for the aircraft crew as well, with hygiene kits made available to all passengers.
“We have found these measures are increasingly important to clients, even ahead of luxury – although that comes as standard on a private jet.
“Wealthy clients are realising that a combination of travelling with their own team of staff and chartering a private jet provides the safest and most insular travel experience. It negates the need for their group to risk contamination from airport to airport, keeping them as safe as possible.”