It’s a question I’m often asked, especially by those new to private aviation: What will I be given to eat and drink on a private jet? The answer? Just about anything you like.
Private jet catering is of an exceptionally high quality. As the passenger, you can let the chefs select a seasonal dish of their choosing; or specify your own menu, as long as you request it beforehand. Whether it’s coffee and sandwiches; a gluten-free pasta dish; a specific label French wine; pizza; lobster mayonnaise; or a spicy beef rendang – most tastes and diets can be accommodated.
For those travelling last minute there will always be standard VIP catering included on the flight. For short flights, this is usually cold meats, salad, fruit, sandwiches or pastries. Champagne is always available on-board (except for some flights within the Middle East), as is a range of soft drinks, tea and coffee.
Bespoke catering is all part of the service – and service is ultimately what private aviation is all about. Daniel Hulme is Managing Director of On Air Dining, a London-based company which provides catering for private jet flights. He says “Service is as vital as a soft landing and a pilot who knows where they’re going”.
In addition to using the best quality ingredients and expert chefs, private jet catering is also about preparing food in such a way that it is tastes and looks perfect when it is served – at altitude and sometimes hours into the flight. On Air Dining chefs pre-prepare dishes to a certain point, with cabin crew finishing the dish on-board, according to detailed instructions and step-by-step photos supplied by the innovative London company.
Other dishes are outsourced, such as specialist regional cuisines. On Air Dining works with amongst others Michelin-starred restaurant Tamarind to prepare Indian cuisine. A great deal of effort is then put into packaging and transport, to make sure the dish can be served in the best possible condition. The growth of private jet industry into developing markets is also having an impact on the types of catering requests. Mr Hulme notes that “many Asian and Chinese clients request their own regional food, but African private flyers tend to choose European cuisine”.
At PrivateFly, we see a wide range of catering requests from our clients. And nothing fazes our Flight Team. It’s not always about fine dining, it can just be a very specific request. From birthday cakes to a certain brand of herbal tea, our team like nothing better than making sure the customer’s experience is as enjoyable and comfortable as possible.
Sometimes we go to great lengths to get it absolutely right. Here’s how we made sure we had one client’s favourite brand of soft drink on-board, even though it wasn’t available in the country at the time! Going the extra mile for our customers.