Luxury flight for the privileged few

Money Glitz | Janice Huang 31 Jul 2017

Crystal Skye, a luxury plane operated by Crystal AirCruises, a brand of Crystal Cruises, will start its inaugural eight- night trip, "Golden Week Holiday AirCruise" from Hong Kong or Macau during the golden week holiday in China this year.

The charter is being managed by the California-based luxury cruise operator Crystal Cruises' parent Genting Hong Kong (0678). Crystal Skye will be available for charters and other special interest air cruises.

Departing on September 30 and returning on October 8, Crystal Skye will whisk guests away to two destinations - Nairobi, Kenya and Tahiti, French Polynesia. The first trip will accommodate 86 guests.

Each will pay US$45,000 (HK$351,487) for the journey, including accommodation at destinations, cuisine, beverage and entertainment.

The lengthy holiday in China is an opportune time for the launch of Crystal AirCruises in Asia, says Kent Zhu Fuming, president of Genting Cruise Lines. He adds that the itinerary will be attractive to all Asians, including three- generation families, who often travel together during this extended break in October.

The company says Crystal Skye is the only twin-aisle private plane in the world. One of the features of the aircraft is the ability to fly non-stop for 19 hours, longer than any commercial flight and can connect any two points on the opposite side of the earth, surpassing the current longest route from Singapore to New York at 16-17 hours.

Chief executive of Crystal Cruises, Edie Rodriguez says: "Crystal Skye presents incomparable luxury travel options for guests and groups who wish to explore global destinations, events and culinary delights in multiple places."

The cabin crew of Crystal Skye comprises a mixologist, a chief purser, two pilots, a head chef and 10 butlers during the journey.

Guests can enjoy conveniences on board including, iPads, global wi-fi, TVs with programming and music library, power outlets and a live cockpit- to-ground listening channel. Meanwhile, customers will have up to seven choices on any given day of the destination experiences.

Crystal Cruises will take delivery of Crystal Skye on August 1 from Greenpoint Technologies in Washington and will be christened on August 12 in Las Vegas.

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