According to Paul Schweitzer Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing at Air Culinaire Worldwide that operates 16 kitchens in the United States and serves approximately 600 orders per day, “the (Private jet travelers) are the top performers and it is more like being a private chef for a top athlete”.
Private Jets have become a synonymous name for luxury and comfort; this luxurious and comfortable ride does not terminate at ease of flying but also extends further to the food that can be ordered at such a high altitude. There is no doubt that sky is the limit to this air kitchen in the private jet, but what can a jet traveler really expect to order on these flights and what is really available?
Christine Herbert, a spokesperson for NetJets that operates a fleet of over 700 private jets for fractional owners and jet card holders suggests, “The majority of our customer requests for catering are pretty simple; fruit and vegetable spreads, cheese and crackers, smoked salmon. Cold, shareable platters you’d expect to see at a cookout or cocktail party tend to be quite popular along with simple sandwiches and salads”.
Renee Aivaliklis, the Vice President of Client Services at XOJET, a fleet operator that is focused on the charter market, also says her company has experienced similar requests from travelers.
A frequently asked question to the private aircraft in Delhi is what kind of food can one expect on the aircraft? The answer to this question seems to be a simple one that is anything the traveler wants. But, there is indeed a condition attached to this because the flight travelers at times may not know what they want.
Once the traveler book private plane, the cabin is pressurized and airborne catering starts, the caterers on the flight try to provide food that pleases the palate as well as the eye. But, catering in the private jets can be an extremely complicated task and one that is easily affected by regular changes in schedule especially due to the changing preferences and needs of the passengers and their dietary requirements. The passengers are thus suggested if they want to order anything specific they must inform at least a day in advance.
The jets that are smaller and used for shorter flights do not enough space to incorporate a fully functional kitchen and thus find it difficult to heat foods. Therefore, they generally serve cold platters of fruits, cheese, meats, salads, snacks, sandwiches and sushi for dining.
Similar is the case with drinks in these shorter flights which they also tend to keep simple such as keeping variety of teas, coffees, soft drinks and a few alcoholic options as well. When a passenger thinks to hire private charter, they expect extravagance, but due to the limitations of these smaller aircrafts, the reality is that most clients order straight forward meals.
That does not mean that private jet passengers do not enjoy exquisite cuisines. Kisling suggests that there are requests to get meals from fine dining restaurants, but often these restaurants are not happy to have their food taken away, reheated and then reserved. She also adds that regular private jet travelers understand these limitations of the in-flight cooking, which is best known as reheating. According to her, there are yet a few of the favorite restaurants who are willing to provide packaging designed for the private jet service include Cipriani in New York and Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami.
But, neither of them delivers to the airport, so apart from just ordering, the food needs to be picked up, cold packed and then stored at the FBO at the private jet terminal, until the food is ready to be loaded on the plane. Transportation food can really shoot up the cost.
Aivaliklis of XOJET said, “If you want Nobu, we’ll get you Nobu.” But still most eateries do not have packaging that is compatible to private jets which means having an experienced caterer in the middle can be critical. Adding to this she said that “there isn’t a lot of space in the galleys. Even an inch or two in packaging can make a difference, so you really have to know all of the planes, the size of the draws and the configurations”.
Aivaliklis also notes that in remote locations it can be very difficult to find specific requests, be it even something as mundane as a brand and/ or flavor of Greek yogurt, although the mantra of this industry is to do whatever it takes.
Well there still are some exceptions of jet owners who employ private chefs onboard. According to Schweitzer, on Airbus and Boeing versions of private jets, commercial airplanes that can normally seat 150 passengers that have been converted for private use can bill up to an average of $1,700 per segment. At the same time, Schweitzer says for charter planes, the rule of thumb is about 1.5% of the flight cost, thus a $20,000 charter customers typically spends approximately $300.
While flying in a private jet flight, even the pint- sized detail is tailored to provide the travelers with a pleasurable experience. The food menu available on the private jets is no exception to this customized experience. The epitome of a leading provider of private aircraft in Delhi is Arrow Aircraft. This aviation service provider is known to provide quality services that are truly impeccable.