The private aviation industry for the most part has always had a hard time wrapping itself around positioning the private jet as something that is part of the luxury lifestyle. After all, the industry is a convenient punching bag for politicians who want to rail against rich people and big companies, even though many are frequent private jet flyers themselves.

The National Business Aviation Association, the industry trade group, takes pains to showcase how private aviation is used as a business tool, helping executives increase productivity, making it easy to visit hard to reach factories, stores and customers.

However, as Bob Dylan sang, “The times they are a-changin.”

In the past year there has been a tidal wave of companies launching mobile apps, many promoted with sexy images, such as chic models strolling across the tarmac, Birkin bag in hand, Maserati in the background.

And now companies are creatively coming up with luxury private jet travel packages for private groups. For example, Presidential Aviation, a management, maintenance and charter broker, launched Presidential Private Jet Vacations. The company offers a wide range of itineraries, including Africa, Argentina, Australia, Canada, India, Spain and the South Pacific. A 15-day South American tour is priced at $79,900 per person based on 12 people on a 16-seat Gulfstream G-V. If you have a larger group or want a larger plane, you can pay more and get one with bedrooms and showers.

Last year Abercrombie & Kent partnered with NetJets to offer its customers custom vacations. XOJET offers its customers access to the “trip designers” at Butterfield & Robinson. Now PrivateFly, a charter broker is partnering with Black Tomato, a U.K.-based luxury travel agent.

The offer, announced last week, is a trans-Pacific fantasy trip for ski enthusiasts. On day one, you fly from Teterboro to Jackson Hole for two days of skiing, staying in a superior suite at Amangani. After that, head to Vancouver for two days in Whistler where you can test your times again past Olympic champions. On day five you fly to Tokyo for to test the powder of Mount Naeba for two days, before heading back to New York. Apres ski there are natural hot springs to sooth those sore muscles.

Because of that little thing called snow, the trip is available until May, and then will be offered again for departures starting in mid-December. Price is $18,550 per person based on 12 people traveling together on a Gulfstream G-IV. PrivateFly via Black Tomato can also customize the trip from wherever you want, but it’s recommended to leave at least a month in advance to make your booking.

- Source: Forbes        Photo: Robert F. Bukaty