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Sight | Luxury long-range jet

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Take a look at the world’s largest and most luxurious private charter jet.


Take luxury cruising to new heights—literally—as Genting Hong Kong’s Crystal Air- Cruises introduces its flagship aircraft, Crystal Skye, to the Philippines and the world.

“The vision was to expand the portfolio of products of Crystal Cruises. [Crystal Skye] complements the growing luxury life- style portfolio of Crystal Cruises,” Thatcher Brown, president of Crystal AirCruises and Dream Cruises told High Life during the jet’s introduction to Manila on April 30.

Crystal Skye, a large-body Boeing 777-200 long-range jet is a welcome addition to Crystal Cruises’ myriad of offerings for the luxury set (Crystal Cruises, the American luxury cruise line of Genting Hong Kong, has two ocean liners—Symphony and Serenity, the latter of which ported in Manila in March—five river boats in Europe, and a yacht).

What’s inside a plane touted as the largest privately owned aircraft in the world? A lounge/dining area which seats 25 and has its own bar with food prepared by an onboard executive chef, South African Francois Van Zyl; 88 plush cream-colored seats made from English hand-sewn leather (each seat has a massage function and can turn into a full flatbed; it comes with US$500 Italian pillows, a cashmere blanket, a 24-inch entertainment system, Bose noise-cancelling headphones, and free wi-fi); and opulent lavatories (while they don’t have showers, they’re almost the size of a hotel bathroom).

Sight | Luxury long-range jet

And since the plane comes with its own chef, dining at 40,000 feet (or more) is an experience as chef Van Zyl offers specialized wine pairing menus and destination-focused meals with locally sourced ingredients. Every effort is also made to fulfill guests’ culinary requests, whether a Chinese breakfast or a feast to celebrate a birthday.

“People ask me ‘what is luxury?’ Luxury is time. People who go on Crystal Skye want to go to a destination the fastest and most luxurious way possible,” said Mr. Brown. The jet is capable of bringing its passengers around the world, holding enough fuel for a 19-hour flight.

While Crystal Skye offers curated tours—its maiden flight saw passengers brought to Fiji and Tahiti, setting one back a cool US$45,000 per person—much of its earnings come from charter flights. Clients include professional sports teams, musicians, actors, and prominent families.

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Mr. Brown said that one of his favorite trips was to Nairobi, Kenya, which took place in February and cost US$22,000 per person (double occupancy). The seven-day, six-night trip included a safari through the Maasai Mara game reserve, where one en- counters cheetahs, elephants, and zebras; and witnesses the ancient jumping dance of the Maasai tribe warriors.

Another memorable trip, Mr. Brown said, was the New Year’s trip they did where passengers were able to welcome the new year twice—once in Sydney and again in Hawaii. Visit crystalcruises.com. — ZBC