Queenstown Airport hosted a record number of private jets this week – with a combined value estimated at about $450 million.
Eight luxury jets were parked up at the airport on Tuesday.
Airport spokeswoman Nina Crawford confirms it’s the most the airport has ever hosted at once.
“The fact is we’ve never had eight jets in at one time.”
Aircraft ranged from a smaller Falcon 900 to the larger Global Express and Gulfstream V, which has the same wingspan as a Boeing 737. Mountain Scene understands one carried a member of an Arab royal family – it’s believed he and his party stayed at Queenstown’s exclusive Spire Hotel and dined at Botswana Butchery on Tuesday night.
Crawford says some of the craft flew in directly from overseas while others transited in Auckland and Christchurch.
“Typically the aircraft have up to 20 seats but can be personalised for business and family configuration with sleeping areas.”
Queenstown Airport Corporation earlier this year more than doubled capacity for private jets in anticipation of the Rugby World Cup.
The airport apron was extended and a new hardstand was built.
QAC reported 12 jets arriving in a two-week period over the last Christmas-New Year holidays, with five parked up on one day.
It also reported 120 private jets arrived at Queenstown Airport last year – a third more than in 2009 – with the busiest month being February, with 20 arrivals.
Private jet landing fees brought in $72,400 last year – an average $603 per plane.
One-third of planes flew direct here from overseas.