Four Seasons has a new weapon in the luxury travel wars: its own Boeing 757.
The Toronto-based luxury resort company said Wednesday that it's launching the first Four Seasons-branded private jet. The plane will come with many of the amenities of a Four Seasons suite — from puffy duvets and chef-prepared meals — and will ferry passengers to Four Seasons resorts around the world on tours that cost more $100,000 per person.
"Taking our legendary service to the skies is a natural extension of what we've been doing in our hotels for more than 50 years," said Susan Helstab, executive vice president for marketing. "It will be relaxed and elegant and comfortable and come with all of the Four Seasons' service and the ability for the individual to tailor the experience to whatever their desires."
The jet ratchets up the competition in the burgeoning business of private-jet tours. Companies like Abercrombie & Kent, National Geographic and Smithsonian Journeys have been launching private-jet tours that carry a few dozen guests to exotic locales around the world aboard a private plane.
The tours often include gourmet meals, luxury suites, learned tour guides and an education in the wildlife or culture of specific landmarks. While of the trips can cost $60,000 to $120,000 a person, most have been selling out quickly.
"Wealth and affluence continues to grow, and what we're seeing is that travel continues to be one of the highest spent categories for disposable income among the rich," Helstab said. "They're looking for the kind of experiences that they haven't had before, things that are memorable, things that are really considered to be one of a kind or you know not something that is available to everybody."
Four Seasons already offers jet tours, including its popular around-the-world trip, a 24-day adventure that goes to nine Four Seasons resorts. Its current tours use a chartered jet. But with the new Four Seasons plane, the company aims to add more tours and improve the experience.