Luxury travel firm Crystal Cruises takes delivery of its first VIP jetliner, a Boeing 777, its extravagant interior designed by Greenpoint Technologies of Kirkland.
On commercial airlines today, traveling in coach is a pain, while the wealthy are well looked after in first class. But for the ultrawealthy, there’s a whole other level available.
For China’s “Golden Week” holiday at the beginning of October, a group of rich Asians will take off from Hong Kong on a lavishly appointed Boeing 777 for a nine-day tour with stops at luxury hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and Tahiti. The cost is $45,000 per person.
On Tuesday, that 777 was handed over to Crystal Air Cruises in a ceremony at Boeing Field.
It features a large cocktail-bar area, with seating for 24 guests to mix socially. To pass the time on a long flight, the tabletops in the bar can be inverted to offer video games or gaming.
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A typical 777-200LR airliner like this one normally carries just over 300 passengers, but aft of the bar on this jet is a passenger cabin with just 88 first-class, lie-flat seats.
After it was built in Boeing’s Everett factory, the plane spent two years at Moses Lake, where the customized interior — mostly white, with stone veneer and marble accents — designed by Greenpoint Technologies of Kirkland was installed under contract by a team from Aviation Technical Services, the Everett-based airplane maintenance firm.
Accepting delivery of the jet was Edie Rodriguez, the chief executive at Crystal Cruises. Now owned by Chinese cruise and resort holding company Genting Hong Kong, Crystal’s high-end travel offerings include ocean cruises, river cruises, yacht expeditions and now air charters.
Rodriguez touted the jet as “the most luxuriously appointed aircraft in the private aircraft industry.”
Guests are cosseted by a crew of 20, including a chef, a sommelier, a mixologist and a dozen mostly young women whom Rodriguez insisted on calling butlers — “not flight attendants.”
Rodriguez took every opportunity to promote the Crystal name and its connotation of wealth and luxury.
“It’s my great Crystal pleasure,” she declared in a brief speech accepting the airplane. She said the 777 augments Crystal’s exceptional “lifestyle and hospitality brand portfolio.”
Explaining the business model behind the purchase of the luxury jet, Rodriguez said that initially…