Sunday, January 21, 2018

Eleven of the most incredible places in the world that are best reached by private jet

From the free-flowing Champagne and luxurious, comfy seats to the abundant Instagram opportunities, there are many benefits of flying by private jet — or so we're told. 

But the biggest draw has to be the flexibility it gives passengers to travel fuss-free to remote islands, exclusive resorts, and lesser-known destinations in a fraction of the time. 

We asked a selection of private jet charter companies for the standout destinations their planes serve which would be difficult or complicated to reach by other means of travel.

Paro, a valley town in the Kingdom of Bhutan, sits 2,225 m (7,300 ft) above sea level and is surrounded by the Himalayan mountains.

Bhutan’s Paro international airport is said to be one of the most dangerous to land at, and you can see why in this video.

The "exciting" descent brings you closer to the mountain tops than normal, according to the tourism board — so you'll want to make sure that you're in safe hands.

A spokesperson for private jet charter company Victor told Business Insider that a political stop in India is often required for visitors arriving from certain countries, and that it can sometimes take up to 10 days to get permits. However, fly private, and you can arrive direct and have a permit secured on your behalf. 

The airport is also only served by two commercial airlines, according to the tourism board.

Bob Seidel, CEO of Alerion Aviation private jet company, told Business Insider: "One destination that is only accessible via private jet is an island called Norman’s Cay in the Bahamas.

Once the headquarters of the Medellin Cartel, the famous drug smugglers from Colombia, he said: "Today, it is a super exclusive resort being developed by the Four Seasons Owners in Miami."

They recently extended the runway to accommodate private jets, as beforehand you could only get there by turboprops — or a boat, of course.

And it looks pretty dreamy. It's popular with travel bloggers and explorers, with a big draw being the iconic C-46 plane wreck that crashed in the 1980s, which you can visit in the shallows. 

Luxury private jet tour operator TCS World Travel told Business Insider it has a cunning route to a popular destination, involving exclusive access at a military base.

Richard Butler, who has has circled the globe 26 times in his role as an expedition leader for the company, said: "The beauty of a private jet is that you can fly point-to-point to places like Agra, where we fly straight into the military airport. Then we stay in a hotel where every room has views of the Taj Mahal so you can watch the sunrise."

Claire Dineen, marketing manager for the company added: "Commercially, guests would have to land in New Delhi and transport down to Agra by road, taking several hours."

TCS World Travel takes passengers to the Taj Mahal as part of its "Timeless Encounters" 24-day around the world expedition also stopping at Bora Bora, Dubai, and Prague — that's if you've got the spare $135,000.

Dineen also said that you would often have to overnight in Santiago, Chile, before flying to Easter Island.

"We fly direct from Lima, Peru — or anywhere we choose," he said of TCS.

Easter Island is one of the destinations served by the company's 24-day "Around the World" expedition aboard their 80-man private jet which costs upwards of $80,000 per person — and includes a variety of first-class luxuries including an on-board executive chef, physician, and tour guides.

There are a number of bizarre facts about Lanai. Once known as the "Pineapple Island" because it was home to a plantation that produced 75% of the world's pineapples, it is also majority-owned by Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison.

One of the lesser-known Hawaiian islands, the exclusive resort is apparently favoured by the likes of Jessica Alba and Cindy Crawford — who we imagine almost certainly arrive via private jet.

A spokesperson for XO Jet, a California-based private jet charter company, told Business Insider that Lanai is one of their top destinations in the world that is best reached aboard your own plane.

There's no direct service to Lanai from the US, so visitors must either fly into Honolulu or Kahului Airport on the nearby Maui island. According to XO Jet, ferries from nearby islands take a minimum of 45 minutes, so to avoid the faff, your best bet is to take your own charter — like the celebs.

If you're planning on visiting the millionaire's playground of Saint-Barthélemy (also known as St. Barts or St. Barths), the best way to arrive in style is by private jet, according to the experts.

Jason Johnson, president of Exclusive Charter Service, told Business Insider that if you want to get there without a private jet, you'd have to fly into St Maarten, then take a boat or a shuttle plane.

Private Fly, a private jet charter network, wrote in a blog post: "Gustaf III Airport, otherwise known as Saint Barthélemy Airport, is well known for its extreme runway.

"The arrival descent is extremely steep over a hilltop, while departing planes fly right over the head of sunbathers – meaning that only specific aircraft are qualified to use the airport."

A spokesperson from Private Fly told Business Insider that the Faroe Islands in the Arctic Circle provide another good example of a difficult-to-reach place that you're better off visiting by private plane.

The 18 major islands of the Faroe Islands in northern Europe offer 1,289 km of coastline and abundant dramatic landscapes.

"It's one of the best places to view the Northern Lights, and with a private jet you can fly directly into Varga Airport," according to the company.

If you're not fortunate enough to have access to your own plane, two airlines currently serve the remote islands: Atlantic Airways and Scandinavian Airlines.

There are non-stop flights to the Faroe Islands from a handful of European destinations, such as Copenhagen (Denmark), Reykjavik (Iceland), Edinburgh (Scotland), and Bergen (Norway), as well as seasonal flights from places like Barcelona, the Canary Islands, Mallorca, Crete, and Malta.

Or, if you've got time to kill, the Faroe Islands can also be reached by ferry from Iceland and Denmark. But be warned this really does sound like the scenic route, as the board describes it as "slow travel [at] best."

Anguilla is another stunning island best reached by private jet, according to a spokesperson from XO Jet.

The island is a British overseas territory in the Caribbean that boasts crystal clear waters and picture-perfect beaches, and offers visitors a quieter alternative to the nearby buzz of St. Maarten.

"The island is serviced by Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport, which, with its 5,000-foot-long runway, is too small to accommodate mainland commercial flights," according to the company.

"Circumvent the ferry or commuter connection through St. Maarten or Puerto Rico by chartering a small-to-medium-size private aircraft— be it a Challenger or Citation — and touching down just minutes from your beachfront resort."

If you're partial to a bit of glitz and fancy après-ski with the likes of the Swedish royal family, the exclusive resort of St. Moritz is the only place to be seen — and according to travel experts, it's a faff to get to without your own private charter.

Nick Davies, head of travel and concierge at Air Charter Service, told Business Insider you have two options: St. Moritz is 15 minutes from Samedan Airport, which offers no commercial flights but can be reached by private jet, while it's three hours on the road from Zurich, which you can reach by commercial flight.

According to St. Moritz Switzerland Travel, Samedan can't accommodate commercial planes because of its short runway.

"It is one of the European airports situated at the highest altitude (5,600 ft/1,707 m), that is why impressive views of the Swiss Alps are guaranteed," according to its website.

TCS World Travel told Business Insider it also benefits from access to Tibet by private jet through Kathmandu, Nepal.

While commercial airlines do serve the Nepal-Tibet route, there are only a handful of flights a week, and doing this trip by private jet will also mean you have a whole crew of personnel at your disposal to sort out complicated visas and other paperwork.

Exclusive ski resorts go hand-in-hand with the private jet lifestyle. And Johnson, president of Exclusive Charter Service, told Business Insider that there are some popular and prestigious resorts, like Telluride and Aspen in Colorado, that you can't fly commercial into directly.

Telluride is an exclusive ski town in south west Colorado which is set against the stunning San Juan mountain. It's nearest major airport, Montrose Regional, is 90 minutes away by car, according to a XO Jet blog post, whereas private jet passengers can use the Telluride Regional Airport, just six miles from the resort.

Meanwhile, with Aspen, Johnson says: "You'd need to fly into Denver, then drive four to five hours on a good day. With snow, it could take an entire day."

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