A recent Vanity Fair article noted that private jets have become “the singular fetish object of the modern billionaire.”
The election of Donald Trump has inspired the world’s wealthiest to further indulge their airborne fantasies. Private jet broker Jimmy Varsano told the New York Times Magazine in 2018 that he got “so many phone calls after Trump’s election that he started looking for a new London storefront twice the size.”
There are about 7,000 “truly elite” private aircraft in operation across the globe today, according to New York Times’ writer Gideon Lewis-Kraus, largely flown by “a commingled class of plutocrats, kleptocrats, oligarchs, financiers, technologists, real-estate and natural-resource barons and blue-chip celebrities.”
Nonetheless, private-jet broker Varsano rejects the “view that it’s all about flying off on a skiing trip with Champagne and girls.” For many private jet owners, Varsano says, owning an aircraft is a “practical necessity” — a “business tool” or a “time machine.”
So, if you have the budget for a private jet, which should you buy? If money is your barometer for performance and luxury, here are your best options, according to an exclusive Impact Wealth Magazine investigation.
Cost: Over $600 Million
Also known as the “Flying Palace,” it was conceived and ordered by Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who installed a concert hall, a Turkish bath, a luxury car garage and a prayer room with a computer controlled mats that automatically rotate to face Mecca.
Airbus Corporate Jet A340-500
Cost: $100 Million (for just the interior design)
YouTuber Sam Chui said it was “EXTREMELY difficult to convince the owner to allow” him to film the plane’s interior; he was only given 10 minutes to make the video. The plane is owned by the owner of Citadel Completions and features a 12-person dining room with Versace dining ware.
Cost: $350 to $500 Million
Owned by one of Russian’s richest billionaires, Alisher Usmanov, it’s the biggest private jet in Russia. Very little is known about the interior of the jet, as no images have ever been released.
Boeing 747-8 VIP
Cost: $367 Million
The jet announced to be the replacement for Air Force One includes a state room, three large lounges, an office and a huge dining room with a table that seats 14 people.
Boeing 787-8 BBJ
Cost: $324.6 Billion
A 2,400 foot luxury flying home. The master suite is designed to be an oasis of silence, with a California king-sized bed, a huge bathroom with marble sinks, a double sized walk in shower and heated marble floors. The jet has an open main lounge with 2 daybeds, a 55 inch flat screen TV and seats with their own monitors. There’s also a VIP lounge and a guest lounge with 18 first class reclining seats.
Cost: $200 Million
“The B747-SP fuselage is so wide; it feels like I am inside a ‘Flying Palace’,” says Sam Chui.
Cost: $101.5 Million
“Together, the Italian hypercar Atelier Pagani Automobili and ACJ have created something unique: Infinito,” according to the ACJ319NEO website. The cabin for the ACJ319neo, claims Airbus, is “the quintessence of the Pagani philosophy in a state-of-the-art aircraft: a distinctive style, seamlessly combined with unrivalled material technology.”
“A key feature of the Infinito cabin is its sky ceiling, which can bring a live view of the sky above the aircraft into the cabin – or display other images. This creates even more of a feeling of airiness and space, truly living up to the name Infinito, which means infinity in Italian.”
Cost: $100 Million
Donald Trump bought this 757 in 2011 before trading it in for Air Force One. Prior to that, the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen owned the jet. It’s powered by two Rolls-Royce RB211 turbofan engines and can carry as many as 239 passengers. Trump had almost all the fixtures plated in 24-karat gold.
Bombardier Global 7500
Cost: $73 Million
“For the longest trips where extra crew may be necessary, there’s even a dedicated suite that you can configure with bunk beds,” according to Business Jet Traveler magazine. “Beyond the kitchen, forward lavatory, and crew rest area is the club suite, equipped with four of Bombardier’s newly-designed Nuage seats, and two deployable side tables. Next is the conference suite, offering seating for six and a dining table that can be set up to span the width of the cabin. In the entertainment suite, passengers can kick back and watch a movie in an atmosphere that feels as cozy as a living room, and the divan is berthable. Finally, the aftmost suite offers a dedicated bed, work area, and en suite lavatory with an optional shower. There’s also a wardrobe and unrestricted access to the baggage compartment.”
Cost: $71.5 Million
“The spacious interior is a refined getaway above the clouds where supreme comfort meets high design and innovation,” according to the Gulfstream G650ER landing page. “With up to four living areas to work, dine, entertain and relax, the Gulfstream Cabin Experience offered by the G650ER caters to every need.”
Embraer Lineage 1000E
Cost: $53 Million
“The Lineage 1000E seamlessly blends a history of reliability and efficiency with comfort and elegance,” according to the Lineage website. “Detailed with exquisite materials and high-tech features, its five luxurious cabin zones offer space for fine dining, entertainment, work or peaceful rest, so you arrive refreshed and ready — like you just left home. And with the ability to navigate restrictive airports in popular destinations, the Lineage 1000E gives you boundless options. Factor in a smooth fly-by-wire flight experience, an enormous baggage compartment and the lowest operating cost among ultra-large jets, and the sky’s the limit.”
Cost: $44 Million
“The tall and wide G500 cabin offers great flexibility, including the option of a forward or an aft galley and an aft stateroom lit by four panoramic oval windows,” according to the Gulfstream website. “You can stroll down a generous aisle or recline in all-new seats. Tables seat three across for meals or meetings.”
Air Force One
Cost: $660 Million
Obviously, you’ll need to run for President for a shot at this mammoth and insanely expensive aircraft, but technically it’s right up there as the most expensive in the world. “Inside the aircraft, the commander in chief and others on board enjoy 4,000 square feet of floor space throughout three levels,” according to Architectural Digest. “There is an extensive suite for the POTUS that includes a personal office, lavatory, and conference room. Fully self-sufficient, the airplane includes a medical suite that can be used as an operating room (there is a doctor permanently on board).”