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Behind The Scenes With VistaJet

Hop aboard our tour of Bombardier and the making of their Global private planes

by Karen Day in Travel on 28 March 2013

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When back to back meetings happening on two different sides of the world is a common work scenario, private jetting serves as more than an opulent way to get around—it becomes an essential way to save precious time. Not only can these aircraft fly over the Arctic Circle, whittling a trip from NYC to Hong Kong down to a 15-hour, nonstop journey, but they allow passengers to avoid potential delays on the Tarmac, long lines at customs and the prerequisite early arrival to the airport for an international flight. Plus, the comfort private planes provide goes well beyond what you would find even in first class on a commercial flight (including a lavish standup shower), ensuring you arrive ready to tackle the task at hand. But with the average sticker price of $60M, owning your own plane isn't a viable option for most. Enter VistaJet, a private aviation company that keeps luxury at the forefront of their approach to chartered jet service, so clients can reap the benefits of personalized travel without having to maintain a personal plane.

We recently had the chance to experience VistaJet first-hand on a flight from New Jersey's Teterboro Airport to the Bombardier headquarters and construction facility in Montréal. It's there that Bombardier builds out VistaJet's 142 business jets, a fleet that includes Global 5000, 6000, 7000 and 8000 aircraft and allows them to touch down in almost any far-flung pocket of the world. All VistaJet needs is 24 hours' notice and one of their planes will be at your service.

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Our trip to Bombardier offered insight into how they outfit VistaJet aircraft once the main body has been built. A tour through the woodshop revealed an entirely handmade process, from carving to planing to sanding to spraying. VistaJet's strong attention to detail is as prevalent in the quality of in-flight service as it is in the design and craftsmanship of the components of the plane.

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While VistaJet founder Thomas Flohr spearheads the operations side of the business, his daughter Nina helms the creative planning. Years spent shadowing her mother, founding editor of Russian Vogue Katharina Flohr, has not only given Nina a sense of fine taste, but an immense knowledge of the fashion industry and art world. In 2011 Nina invited revered graffiti artist Retna to paint the tail of their largest private jet, the Bombardier Global Express XRS. For the Global 6000—the mid-size plane we flew in—Nina tapped English abstract painter and Turner prize nominee Ian Davenport to create an original painting of a Faberge egg on the tail in celebration of Easter and a collection of Faberge pendants selling exclusively to VistaJet clients.

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See more photos from our trip to the Bombardier facility in the slideshow below.

Images by Gregory Stefano and Karen Day

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