Having not travelled abroad since CoVid-19 put a stop to the international way of life, I couldn’t have wished for a more stylish re-introduction to the ‘high-life’ on my most recent trip, to foreign lands, thanks to leader in private aviation, NetJets.
NetJets kindly invited TLE along to experience just what it’s like to be a NetJets Owner and enjoy a whistle-stop tour of two of Europe’s most glamorous and prestigious world class events; Art Basel and the Monaco Yacht show. Read on to discover more.
NetJets was established in 1964 and has been leading the way in private aviation ever since. With 760 plus (and growing!) jets, in 5,000+ airports spanning more than 200 countries along with its flexible and fractional ownership model means that NetJets Owners can access the most luxurious fleet of jets, whenever and wherever their lifestyle demands dictate.
The business operates around four core principals; safety, service, access and exclusive events –tailored to Owners’ individual interests. The tailored and exclusive events are a result of the longstanding relationships NetJets strives to develop with its Owners and a prime example of this was the two-day experience I enjoyed at Art Basel and the Monaco Yacht show.
Taking place at Messe Basel, the world-renowned event opened this year on 23rd September, with preview days on 21st and 22nd September. Preview days are by invitation only and, this is just one of the exclusive privileges NetJets Owners can enjoy. Preview days’ buzz with an eclectic mix of who’s who in the art world, wealthy collectors and the crème de la crème of high society – miss it and it’s highly likely you’ll miss out. As a NetJets guest I found myself as part of this select VIP ‘in-crowd’ this year.
Along with access to Art Basel preview days, NetJets Owners are invited to a private dinner, which was hosted this year at the stunning The Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois, a historic five-star hotel overlooking the Rhine. But this is more than just dinner, this is an evening of elite artistic indulgence, where art-lovers meet artists and gallery Owner’s vibe with fellow enthusiasts, made possible only by the exclusive experiences that NetJets prides itself upon. We enjoyed the company of the Austyn Weiner, a Miami born, LA based multimedia artist whose practice donates and engages a recourse in chaos. The entire evening, was itself, an exceptional work of art.
Doubtful if the much-anticipated flagship fair would even take place this year, Art Basel was rescheduled from its usual slot in June to September which perfectly coincided with the dates of Monaco Yacht Show, making Basel to Nice an even more popular route for NetJets Owners than ever before, and this is the flight path I was about to encounter.
The Flight Experience
A NetJets car took us from the hotel to Basel airport, we were running slightly late but that didn’t matter…. travelling by private jet means we had more control over our own schedule. We were greeted by on the on-ground team who whisked away our luggage and as is if by magic made its way to the aircraft. Coffee, tea, champagne along with sandwiches and sweet treats were served in a relaxed manner in the lounge where we met our pilot, co-pilot and stewardess. The passion, and pride, they have for their respective roles, guests and each other was more than clear to see.
We proceeded to board the Challenger 350 super mid-size jet which accommodates up to nine passengers. All jet interiors and layout are designed by the expert team at NetJets and is done so with the utmost comfort and style in mind. This in-house design also sets a standard so that NetJets passengers are assured consistency no matter which aircraft they choose to travel on. The sun was shining, conditions were clear and life felt good!
Life soon became exceptionally good as our delightful stewardess, Rollenda, served us warm Pasteis de Nata – an acknowledgement to her Portuguese heritage, before pouring us a glass or two of fizz to accompany our lunch. We learned that Rollenda has been with NetJets for 21 years and Paul our pilot 17 years – these are just two examples (of which there are many more) of loyalty to the company and testament that it is not just the jet Owners who are well looked after by the business.
The flight time from Basel to Nice was only one hour, and I completely understand time saving is one of the key benefits of private jet travel, however I could have happily spent the afternoon soaring in luxury at 45,000 feet.
This altitude is higher than the average commercial flight which tend to cruise at 35,000-39,000 feet and because we are flying ‘above the weather’ the result is a much smoother flight. Despite flying at such altitude, the cabin air pressure is lower than that of a commercial flight, which means passengers are less likely to suffer jetlag, it is much better for the skin. Win win!
After (reluctantly) disembarking the jet we took a short car journey to the helicopter which was waiting for us in Nice, again the ground team warmly welcomed us and the whole transition was smooth and entirely stress-free. The helicopter ride to Monaco was a speedy seven minutes with spectacular views of the twinkling Côte d’Azur below.
The Monaco Yacht Show
This world class event represents the pinnacle of luxury lifestyle, with the iconic Port Hercules welcoming more than 30,000 yacht enthusiasts to view, buy and sell the biggest, grandest and glitziest yachts – even the tender boats deliver a more than impressive wow factor!
NetJets has been an exhibitor at the prestigious MYS since 2014 and with many of their jet Owners sharing a passion for the yachting lifestyle, it’s the perfect place for the brand to entertain their sea-loving clients; offering them VIP access along with invitations to exclusive events.
As a guest of NetJets I was invited to step aboard (glass of champagne in hand!) and enjoy a private viewing of, NetJets long-standing partner Northrop and Johnson’s, Liberty – a 164ft super yacht that oozes space, style and charm. With exclusive amenities and a stunning interior designed by Rene Van Der Velden – think hammered mother of pearl bathroom wall, cashmere and silk blend carpet – this beauty charters at approx. €225,000 euros per week (+ expenses at around 30%) has six cabins which can accommodate up to 13 guests and is ran by a crew of 11. It’s currently on the market for €17,995,550 and with the pedigree market very much weighing in favour of the vendor it’s unlikely this super-yacht will be with a ‘for sale’ sign long.
To draw the whirlwind of a day to a close, we were invited by NetJets to enjoy dinner at the Yacht Club De Monaco. Founded in 1953 by Prince Rainier and presided over by HSH Prince Sovereign Albert II since 1984, the historic and prestigious club boasts more than 2,500 members from over 80 countries. It holds a highly unique position on the international yachting scene, and as testament to this the Yacht Club de Monaco’s burgee is flown by many of the world’s most esteemed private yachts.
In keeping with the revered nature of the Yacht Club it is extremely unusual for dinner reservations at the 1909 Restaurant – which takes its name from the year when the Yacht Club’s flagship Tuiga was built – to be held by anyone other than members, however, the NetJets magic wand was waved once more and we were seated at our tables in the elegant surroundings of this historic Yacht Club. A delicious and beautifully presented three course dinner, crafted by acclaimed Executive Chef, Renato Secchi and his team, was served. The food was perfection on a plate and the view overlooking the grandiose of the YCM Marina will be etched in my memory forever.
This trip was designed to give a little taste of the services and experiences NetJets Owners enjoy. All the glitz and glamour of literally living the high-life was unreservedly incredible and I’m hooked! I’d whole-hearted recommend NetJets to anyone considering private aviation Ownership – it’s more than being just an Owner its being part of a passionate, interesting and interested community.
After speaking to the team who make all this happen I gained an insightful appreciation of the effort and meticulous planning that goes into the execution of such a trip. Behind the scenes there is a team of 40 plus across multiple disciplines (from logistics, language specialists in customer care, event planning, weather experts and more) all of whom have the capability of making a trip like this feel effortless to those enjoying the experience. Along with this it is highly evident that the team are more than just work colleagues, they are a family, bound and united by the common goal of delivering the highest of standards in everything that they do. Their shared passion for quality and personalised service is unwavered and the sky is literally the limit for the success this high-flying brand deserves.