Flying from Tokyo, Japan back to the U.S. to get to the Super Bowl and watch her boyfriend Travis Kelce play was very important to pop superstar Taylor Swift—so important that she apparently had a second private jet on standby.
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The existence of a second private jet for Swift, who was in Tokyo giving a series of concerts, was reported on Saturday by FlightRadar24, a global flight tracking service, and aptly named “Backup Quarterback” on its website. Jason Rabinowitz, co-host of FlightRadar24’s AvTalk podcast, added that private jet operator VistaJet had mechanics on standby at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport in case something went wrong.
“The logistics of flying #TaylorSwift across the planet to a football game is quite a production,” Rabinowitz said in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “I’m told @vistajet didn’t just have mechanics at HND [the Haneda Airport code] in case anything broke, it had a whole second jet there on standby. Basically, a private Air Force One.”
Rabinowitz told Gizmodo he was told about the second jet, a Bombardier Global 6000 with call sign VTJ968, from friends in the private jet industry who have access to the information, but he declined to be more specific. Gizmodo reached out to Swift’s team and VistaJet for comment on the purported second jet but did not receive a response.
Luckily, there was nothing wrong with the first jet, also a Bombardier Global 6000 with call sign VJT993, which FlightRadar24 named “The Football Era.” But how can we be sure this was Swift’s flight? Ian Petchenik, FlightRadar24’s communications director, told Gizmodo in an email that while they couldn’t confirm whether she boarded the plane, the team had a “high degree of confidence” that this was her flight based on the information they had received.
VJT993 departed Tokyo at 11:36 p.m. local time and is set to arrive in Los Angeles at 3:27 p.m. local time Saturday, giving her plenty of time to get to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl on Sunday. An average of 6,000 people monitored Swift’s 9-hour flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles on Saturday at any given moment, Petchenik said. In the final hour of the flight, Gizmodo confirmed that were there more than 10,400 people monitoring the flight live.
As for the “Backup Quarterback,” also known as VTJ968, it appeared to take off in the opposite direction after Swift’s flight took off.
If a second jet for Swift was indeed on-site in Tokyo, that would take her carbon footprint to an entirely new level. It’s one thing to lend out your private plane to your friends or use it to go see your boyfriend, but it’s another thing entirely to have a second plane fly out just in case the first one breaks and then send it back empty.