FIVE Hotels & Resorts has launched Fly Five, a luxury private jet beachclub in the skies, in a hint of what’s next in the private aviation scene. By Antonia Windsor
I walk up the steps of the ACJ Two Twenty jet and am greeted by stewards in an attractive grey uniform of full skirts and tight, puff-sleeved bodices that make them look like 1950s usherettes. “Welcome to Fly FIVE,” they say, offering a glass of champagne. The cabin is flooded with purple light, a platter of sushi gleams on a low table and an upbeat club track blasts out of the speakers. This is about to be the first party in the sky for the ultimate party plane, and one that will no doubt appeal to business travellers and corporate groups.
Fly FIVE is the brainchild of Dubai hospitality group FIVE Hotels and Resorts, who were keen to bring the music-led party vibe that’s made their hotels so popular to the sky.
“We’ve seen a real increase in demand in private aviation,” says FIVE Hospitality’s CEO Aloki Batra, offering me a shot of tequila. “Having a plane with the global position of Airbus and then adding all the party elements: the club speakers, the different lighting systems, it’s really worked for us. We can give guests their favourite food, their favourite playlists, everything is customisable. This is experiential luxury in aviation.”
The US$85 million jet, 9H-FIVE, dubbed Fly Five, is based at the private airfield Jetex, south of Dubai city centre and can be hired on an hourly or daily basis, with a two-hour flight starting at US$40,000. The ACJ Two Twenty, (the first available for private charter, is a souped-up version of the commercial airbus A200-100, with added fuel tanks, a low cabin altitude of around 6,000 feet and a relative humidity of 20 per cent, which means less jetlag and more party vibes.
The cabin is divided into a meeting area, a cinema room, and a master suite with full-size double bed and ensuite shower. The new plane has capacity for 16 passengers, with nine sleeping positions, while the hold can take 60 bags, or 2,000kg of luggage.
The 12-hour flight time makes direct trips to most major cities possible, so you can party in Dubai one day and in Ibiza the next, or simply just party at 39,000 feet. Our one-and-a-half-hour flight, Fly Five’s inaugural outing, takes a circular route over Abu Dhabi and Oman before turning back to Dubai. However, it’s long enough to give me a hint of the future of private aviation.
The original version of this story ran in JETSETTER Magazin
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