Patriots think their new “airkraft” will help team stay healthier

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The Patriots responded to the increasing difficulty of air travel by buying their own planes. But their motivations go beyond convenience or expense.

Via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, Patriots team president Jonathan Kraft said during a pregame interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub that he thought the pair of 767s — which they jokingly refer to as “airkraft” — would help the team stay healthy as well.

“Football is a different animal than the other sports in terms of what needs to start to happen on an airplane as you’re leaving a game,” Kraft said. “I do think it will allow us better recovery with the players, the way we’ve set it up and allow the coaches to be more productive, too.”

The planes have been retrofitted with all first-class seats, and Kraft said having their own wide-bodied planes gives them the kind of flexibility which was becoming harder to find commercially.

And as is fitting with a team so profoundly built on attention to detail, Kraft said buying the second plane was as a matter of being prepared.

“Every hour of the season, from Week 1 to whenever your season is done, is scripted out. Bill [Belichick] can tell you what’s going on, and hours matters. If you have a technical difficulty with your plane and you’re flying with any of the commercial carriers, they’ll have another plane there pretty quick. If you’re flying your own plane and you have one, you have to wait until it’s fixed,” he said. “We’ll fly with technicians and engineers, but having a backup plane in case that happens, and ready to scramble at any moment, was critical. For us, it was the way to do it in a fashion that would ensure the football team would not only have the right type of plane to fly on, but the right type of service so we could maximize time.”

The Patriots were the first team to buy their own planes, and have thus pioneered the era of “Next plane up.”

22 responses to “Patriots think their new “airkraft” will help team stay healthier

  1. “The Patriots were the first team to buy their own planes, and have thus pioneered the era of “Next plane up.””

    Ok that made me laugh.

  2. “We’ll fly with technicians and engineers, but having a backup plane in case that happens”
    =====

    Engineers and techs?

    Geez. Call them what they are Bill; “cameramen”

  3. Having complete control over the nutrition can only be a good thing ..

    I also wouldn’t be surprised if they have a medical area outfitted as well, ready to keep the players monitored, hydrated and looked after as needed …

  4. And this is why the Pats have been 1st class since Kraft bought them. You dont think a few free agents will give a few bucks to sign with a team that cares?

  5. aarons444 says:
    August 11, 2017 at 12:28 pm
    “We’ll fly with technicians and engineers, but having a backup plane in case that happens”
    =====

    Engineers and techs?

    Geez. Call them what they are Bill; “cameramen”
    ____________________

    You really are not very good at this. The quote was from Kraft not Belichick. When you try to present your self as a higher class of troll those things matter.

  6. Particularly important in the quest for 19-0 this season since the Pats have road games (including Denver and Mexico City) in 5 of 6 weeks from November 11 to Christmas eve.

  7. wimpyburgers says:
    August 11, 2017 at 1:16 pm
    What a waste of money for a aircraft used by the team less than a dozen times a year.

    0 22 Rate This

    —–

    You clearly have zero business acumen. While renting these out to other parties and the long term costs of chartered flights, $100 more teams start doing this.

    Another trailblazing move by the Pats, that other teams will be jealous of and claim it is “cheating”.

    lmao

  8. Wimpyburgers, I would suggest that the plane will have other customers in college and pro athletics or other organizations that want to decent en masse, on their opponents.

    Admit it: It would be cool just to have a seat on the Patriot’s Team Plane.

  9. Speaking of free agents, now Kraft can literally use a Patriots luxury jet to woo them during a visit. Other teams will stick with the Intern & Uber approach.

  10. Sounds like a great idea. I hope to one day hear Coach Belichek say, “We’re on to (wherever)… in our own plane.”

  11. weepingjebus says:
    August 11, 2017 at 2:34 pm
    Speaking of free agents, now Kraft can literally use a Patriots luxury jet to woo them during a visit. Other teams will stick with the Intern & Uber approach.
    ———
    Depends on the player. BB took Rodney Harrison to the Ground Round for his free agent visit. His message to Harrison was “If you want flash and sizzle, sign somewhere else. Here in NE it’s all about football.” The rest is history.

    I love this story. It’s one of my favorite BB stories.

  12. “Speaking of free agents, now Kraft can literally use a Patriots luxury jet to woo them during a visit. ”

    Its not like Kraft didn’t already have private jets that would be used for that sort of purpose. You don’t fly an airliner to court one person, you fly a smaller private jet.

  13. Aircraft charter is my business. There are very few planes in this configuration and they will have no trouble keeping it in the air year round. If it only breaks even it will be a win for Kraft.

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