The good news is that it appears private-jet travel is making a comeback, but while people may be once again ready to throw down some serious cash for the comforts of flying private, they don’t seem to be ready quite yet for one other luxury that used to go hand in hand with soaring the skies in comfort.
According to recent reports, some of the nation’s luxurious private-jet caterers are noticing an uptick in business which is a very welcome return to the skies after a long and financially crippling year for many. Atikis Flight Catering owner, Kristen Wasyliszyn, said her business was “down 40 percent amid the recession” but notes that demand is creeping back and she expects to be “back in full force” in 2010. High expectations or accurate prediction? Time will tell.
In November and December, flights are up by more than 20 percent compared to last year’s numbers, which is a promising change that is causing many people to breathe a small sigh of relief as 2009 comes to a close.
But there’s one thing that private jet caterers are noticing some of their clients haven’t quite come to terms with yet, and that’s splurging for the finest dining while soaring thousands of feet above the ground. While many private-jetters used to enjoy things like lobster, caviar and champagne treat during flight, Wasyliszen has said, “I’m here to tell you no one is eating lobster. A quick turkey box lunch to slam down while flying to meetings is the order of the day.”
Granted, Wasyliszen’s business caters to people in Minnesota so it’s possible that the new turkey trend is not representative of what perhaps less modest New Yorkers or Californians are munching on while flying private. In addition, the private-jet industry has been trying to rebrand itself as a more “hyper-efficient, practical business tool rather than indulgent golf transport for fat-cat bankers.”
Either way, the increase in business and end of 2009 come at a perfect time when people are anxiously awaiting the return (or at least partial recovery) of the economy they once knew and loved. In the meantime, turkey will suffice.