Flying from Tokyo, Japan, back to the U.S. to get to the Super Bowl and watch her boyfriend Travis Kelce play was a big deal for pop superstar Taylor Swift — so big that she apparently had a second private jet on standby.
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 their 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 go to a football game is quite a production,” Rabinowitz said in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “I was told that @vistajet not only had mechanics in HND (the Haneda airport code) in case something broke, but they had a full second plane on standby. “Basically, a private Air Force One.”
Rabinowitz told Gizmodo that friends in the private jet industry who have access to the information told him about the second plane, a Bombardier Global 6000 with call sign VTJ968, but he declined to be more specific. Gizmodo reached out to the Swift and VistaJet team for comment on the alleged second plane, but did not receive a response.
Fortunately, nothing happened to the first plane, also a Bombardier Global 6000 with call sign VJT993, which FlightRadar24 dubbed “The Football Era.” But how can we be sure that this was Swift’s flight? Ian Petchenik, director of communications for FlightRadar24, 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 pm local time and will arrive in Los Angeles at 3:27 pm local time on Saturday, giving it enough time to arrive in Las Vegas for the Super Bowl on Sunday. An average of 6,000 people monitored Swift’s nine-hour flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles on Saturday at one point, Petchenik said. In the last hour of the flight, Gizmodo confirmed that there were 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 the Swift flight took off.
If there really was a second plane for Swift in Tokyo, that would take its carbon footprint to a whole new level. one thing is lend your private plane to your friends or use it to go see your boyfriend, but it’s another thing to have a second plane flying in case the first one breaks down and then send it empty.