Very, very, Important Person travel is a space that most of us only dream of glimpses at; usually through photographs or television segments. In this line of work, at least I can get occasional in person view.
DeerJet’s first 787-8 VVIP aircraft came to Seattle’s Boeing field. Providing me with just such the brief view. Not only is it the first 787-8 (or 787 of any flavor) Boeing Business Jet – it’s full of out of this world luxury.
All that said. Let’s take a look around!
Have you ever wondered what half a million Yuan per hour can buy you? (That’s about $73,000 U.S.)
I can’t say I had until I learned the cost. This thing, clearly, was going to be pricey. But somehow, when I was quoted that rate – it seemed reasonable.
Why? Simply because it has an unbeatable capacity within its market segment; capricious to the point where DeerJet believes that they can use it as an economical solution to corporate travel where, originally, three or more planes were required at higher cost.
Frank Fang, Vice President of DeerJet said that this could be a perfect aircraft for my hometown company: Microsoft’s C-suite and directors. In fact, HNA Group CEO, Adam Tan, was in Redmond earlier that day to not only be a part of the CEO summit but to extol the virtues of grouping your corporate travel onto an aircraft like 2-DEER. He would know, he flew to Boeing Field on it from Doha.
For those of you unfamiliar with DeerJet – they are the executive aircraft management and charter wing of the HNA group, which are the same people who own Hainan Airlines, twelve other airlines within the PRC, and Avalon Leasing & Management Services. The HNA group has over 1600 planes, as well as more than 300 billion in assets. Mind boggling numbers.
DeerJet got its name, twenty-two years ago, from a Hainanese folk-tale about a man who chased a wild deer that turned into the most beautiful princess. They then married. Apparently, the ceremony was very opulent – inspiring a connection to the VIP market segment. I have bipartite reasons for mentioning this. Firstly, I’ve always wanted to know the significance and thought others might. Secondly, so many people have associated DeerJet with an American agricultural company – I wanted to provide even further differentiation.
DeerJet is actually the largest private jet management company in Asia, with a fleet of over 300. They have Gulfstreams, Learjets, 737-BBJs. This is not a small company with too much money and even bigger dreams. When you look at their fundamentals, you can understand that Guernsey-registered 2-DEER was actually the next logical step in growing their business.
The HNA group and DeerJet believe in this segment so deeply, that they were proud to announce their second VVIP 787-BBJ 2-EPIC at the same event. Whether or not 2-EPIC will be a 787-8 or a 787-9 remains unclear. We also do not know when it will be ready. We do know that it will bring an unprecedented degree of luxury to the charter market. Glowingly alluded to as somehow managing to beat the aircraft we saw.