If you’re looking for, say, a new watch, there are plenty of walk-in shops in most major cities that will allow you to compare pieces from different brands and get a feel for the product on your wrist before you buy. The same is not true when it comes to private jets, or at least it wasn’t until industry veteran Steve Varsano—who had previously worked at XOJET and Virgin Galactic—opened his street-level business jet showroom in London in 2011.
Seven years later, his firm the Jet Business—which focuses mostly on the buying and selling of large and long-range jets—has moved to a much larger new space in London’s upscale Mayfair district, just a few blocks away from its original location in Belgravia. Inside, customers receive the same face-to-face service you would find at a car showroom or boutique clothing store, building a rapport that helps ease the buying or selling process. And the approach seems to be working: according to the company, the showroom has attracted more than 2,400 guests, has serviced 157 billionaires and 326 corporate jet owners/principals, and has been visited by heads of state, royalty, and other dignitaries.
But to understand what really makes the Jet Business’s new showroom so special, you need to see it. So let us take you on a short tour of one of private aviation’s most fascinating sales spaces.