As the jet lag super rich, from IV drips to Aztec rituals

Writer Hazel Plush boarding a VistaJet aircraft – Sam Churchill

“If you are a chief executive paying five million pounds per year, then it will cost the company thousands or more if you miss just one day with a delayed jet,” says Matteo Atti cooly, not phased by such extraordinary figures . “That’s why in-flight fitness isn’t an insult: it’s an investment. You need to be in good shape to meet your investors, or to shake that billion dollar deal.”

While the rest of us deal with eye masks and neck pillows, private jet passengers have a wide range of gizmos and advisors to help them jump between time zones. In-flight menus designed by nutritionists, double beds on board with memory foam mattresses, pre-departure IV drips to boost rehydration: in Atti’s world, these are all de rigeur. And as chief marketing officer of VistaJet, the world’s second largest private aviation provider, he not only has first-hand experience of this way of life – he’s driving it forward.

We met on a gray March morning at Farnborough Airport, one of the UK’s busiest private aviation hubs – and not even the lashing ritz rain could dampen its runway. Gulfstreams, Embraers, Cessnas: these sleek, multi-million-dollar aircraft were resting on the apron, about to jet-ski to Geneva, Dubai, Aspen and beyond.

VistaJet's client list includes the likes of the Clooneys, the Obamas and the BeckhamsVistaJet's client list includes the likes of the Clooneys, the Obamas and the Beckhams

VistaJet’s client list includes the likes of the Clooneys, the Obamas and the Beckhams – Eric Thayer

But VistaJet’s Bombardier Global 7500, the largest custom-built private jet in existence, known to those in the know as the “Ferrari of the skies”, was the most impressive of all. The RRP is US$75 million (£59 million), and VistaJet has 18 in its fleet – the single largest collection in the world – each available at US$25,000 (£19,700) per hour, the flagship of its established charter offering on membership.

The company’s client list is equally exciting: the Clooneys, the Obamas and the Beckhams have all been seen emerging from its silver and red physicians in recent years. Taylor Swift reportedly used a VistaJet plane to fly from Tokyo to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas last month, making even bigger headlines than the game itself.

Food fit for F1 champions

You might think that if you cross the globe while sleeping in the Global 7500’s double bed, or sitting in its ergonomic “zero gravity” leather seats, you will land at your destination feeling pretty sharp. “But what if you could arrive feeling better than you did when you left?”, said Atti rhetorically, a ready segue to VistaJet’s new wellness program, designed with the expertise of nutritionists, physicians and other health experts – the first of its kind i. the aviation world.

Taylor Swift's flight from Tokyo to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas grabbed more headlines than the game itselfTaylor Swift's flight from Tokyo to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas grabbed more headlines than the game itself

Taylor Swift’s flight from Tokyo to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas made more headlines than the game itself – Getty

“We start with a 90-minute pre-flight consultation,” explained Jenna Daou, the company’s private food specialist and trained dietitian. “I learn about the members’ lifestyle, tastes, medical history and dietary needs, creating a profile that I use to curate menus for all their flights.”

No time for a consultation? Daou has also devised sample menus, including a Performance Athlete menu created in collaboration with F1 champion Charles Leclerc. Think grilled chicken, vegetables, salmon, whole grains – the kind of food your GP recommends. VistaJet flies Ferrari drivers all over the world – “and they are very particular about what they eat”, laughs Daou.

Alternatively, the Rejuvenate menu contains ingredients loaded with probiotics, collagen and antioxidants – such as beetroot juice, asparagus and fermented foods. The Revitalize menu includes iron-rich organic filet mignon served rare, with raw spinach and watercress.

Buddhism, baths and ‘bithhacking’

VistaJet’s billionaire founder and chairman Thomas Flohr reportedly spends more than 200 days a year flying, traveling between their homes around the world – as well as the homes of his daughter Nina, who married Greek and Danish royalty.

Hazel tries out some of the Guerlain cosmetics provided during the flightHazel tries out some of the Guerlain cosmetics provided during the flight

Hazel trying out some of the Guerlain cosmetics provided in-flight – Sam Churchill

The range of its aircraft is equally extensive: since 2004, the VistaJet fleet flies to 2,400 airports across 96 percent of all countries. “And we thought to ourselves, this gives us the greatest wellness treatments in the world,” said Atti, handing me a weighted brochure titled Private World. Its pages are filled with extraordinary experiences in destinations: think helicopter trips to Everest base camp for guided meditation with Buddhist monks – or “biohacking” at Six Senses Ibiza, which includes cryotherapy (extremely cold) and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, typically used by the top athletes to help muscle recovery.

If you’re flying to Mexico, you could take part in a cacao ceremony, a “euphoric experience” rooted in Mayan and Aztec rituals, the brochure explains – that involves drinking pure cacao and “engaging in meditation, ecstatic dance and breath work”. In Costa Rica, “sound bath” medicine uses the vibration of Tibetan singing bowls to “clear excess negative energies” after your trip, and in India, snãn mangal (meaning “auspicious bath”) involves oil anointing and massage – all accompanied by live musicians, rituals that are historically performed on royalty.

Inflight yoga and ‘daylight simulation’

True to the brand, the Global 7500 also sports plenty of ways to reduce the toll of air travel. I snooped into the airy aircraft – all soft leather and polished wood, with huge windows and touchscreen temperature controls for every seat. The cabin’s “daylight simulation” lighting system uses set wavelengths to synchronize its passengers’ circadian rhythms with the time zone of their destination, and is pressured to mimic the altitude at 4,000 feet: a more majestic environment than a typical 8,000-foot airplane .

Hazel chats with Naomie Shortt, VistaJet's 'Cabin Host'Hazel chats with Naomie Shortt, VistaJet's 'Cabin Host'

Hazel in conversation with Naomie Shortt, VistaJet’s ‘Cabin Host’ – Sam Churchill

“When you land, it feels like you’ve barely been anywhere; no bloating, no tiredness,” smiles Naomie Shortt, one of the cabin crew – or “Cabin Host” in VistaJet parlance. I peeked into the bedroom, with its high-thread-count sheets and built in library, and wondered if Clooney had ever dribbled into his hypoallergenic pillows.

Cashmere socks, cotton pyjamas, custom face creams and serums from premium brand Guerlain – all provided in-flight, as well as yoga mats, massage balls and rollers (there’s more than enough space in the cabin for an in-flight session ashtanga). I had to laugh at the four-disc yoga DVD, which was pretty Noughties back – provided you can’t stream a workout from your phone.

It’s all so noble, so contradicting the notion of a rock-n-roll private jet lifestyle. When did the 1 percent get so healthy? “The jet set has a reputation for overkill, but that’s inaccurate,” says Atti. “When you’ve tasted the best champions, you’ve tasted them all: it gets blurry, doesn’t it? But with fitness, the possibilities – and the benefits – are endless.”

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