Meet the SportJet

Sport today is more of a science than an art. And today’s professional sportsperson has more demands on their body and schedule than ever before. So travel arrangements for individuals, and especially for larger teams, can prove challenging.

When flying to compete, the priority for most is to get in and out of a destination as quickly (and securely) as possible, all while maintaining the optimal environment for the athletes’ health and wellbeing.

Private aviation is a natural fit, offering bespoke scheduling, privacy and security; and a wide choice of aircraft. But for larger teams in particular (including coaching and support staff who often travel as part of the group), and longer flights, there can be a limited number of aircraft available to suit their needs.

Sukhoi SportJet

The SportJet is a modified version of the Sukhoi SuperJet 100 (Image: Sukhoi)

But now Russian manufacturer, Sukhoi, has just developed the first, fully-customisable SportJet – a large cabin private aircraft that is fitted out specifically to meet the needs of professional sportspeople.

The SportJet is based on the existing Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100), a twin-engine regional jet, with a large cabin space that can accommodate 8 to 108 passengers, depending on its configuration.

On the SportJet, athletes can use the flight time to receive all the attention they need before (or after) the big game. The aircraft is equipped with four separate zones including a massage table, coaching room and a diagnostic capsule to track athletes’ health.

Interior Sukhoi SportJet

The jet will be equipped with sports equipment (Image: Sukhoi)

Everything on board is designed to monitor the health of the passengers, including sensors in the seats that notify the athletes if they’re dehydrated or sleep deprived. And to help them relax, plus a curved 4K resolution screen on the ceiling to entertain the athletes during the flight.

In addition to its specialised interior, the aircraft itself is very versatile and has the short field landing ability to land at a wide range of airports, including those with steep or shorter approaches, such London City Airport. This gives it an advantage over many other large private jets (such as the BBJ) – so athletes can get even closer to the action.

Massage Bed Private Jet Sport Jet

Massage table on board (Image: Sukhoi)

The SportJet has already helped one team, with its first regular flight taking the Republic of Ireland soccer team to UEFA Euro 2016 in France, earlier this summer.

The question remains such a specialised aircraft will be a success. Embraer’s Legacy range, regional aircraft that are converted into VIP airliners, are already popular and well-established choice within this segment.

The SportJet is on sale for $600 million and will be presented at the Rio Olympics next month. Further production is scheduled for 2017 and Sukhoi is aiming to make deliveries in 2018.

The SportJet is not yet available for charter, but our expert Flight Team has extensive experience of arranging business aviation flights for the sport industryFor advice and personalised pricing for any flight, contact us or call our 24/ 7 Flight Team on +44 1747 642 777.