More passengers are taking their beloved pets to the skies, prompting private airline VistaJet to enhance its VistaPet programme with dedicated crew training and partnerships.
According to the company, the number of animals onboard jumped 86% over the last two years, with one-in-four passengers flying with pets — and in increasing varieties too.
While dogs continue to make up the bulk of pets in flight, "rabbits are a recent new breed of pet flown by VistaJet, [and] the number of cats spiked 357% from 2019 to 2020," said Matteo Atti, EVP marketing & innovation.
Now, the more than 200 crew cabin hostesses undergo pet first aid: including CPR procedures, warning signs of choking, understanding indications of poisoning and bites as well as treatment for each.
It is not just humans who experience fear of flights; animals do too. Crew members are thus trained to read 'body' language — a fearful dog with ears back and tail bucked, or observing cats' eyes, ears and whiskers. Pre-flight four-week courses are also offered to help dogs overcome air pressure, air-turbulence and sounds of jet engines.
When on board, pets also get to eat from meals curated by a clinical veterinarian, while natural flower essences can be mixed into pet's drinks to foster relaxation.
Handmade Labbvenn sleep mats are laid near passengers' seats, and pets even have special in-flight Pochettes: bio-organic pet food from Rockster, treats created by Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux for The Dog House, Furzu rope toys, and Kibble Pet’s water-free shampoo and wipes in the amenity kit.
Upon touchdown, VistaJet members staying with participating Rosewood Hotels & Resorts can additionally have their pets automatically signed up for tailored menus, exclusive amenities, massages and cabanas.
Finally, for all flights departing from Hong Kong, VistaJet will be opening donations towards SPCA (HK)’s 100-year milestone, in addition to 100 sets of VistaPet Pochette for the non-profit animal organisation's upcoming charity sales.