They are the epitome of exclusivity.
There is no grander statement than owning a private mode of transcontinental air travel. In fact, no statement is even necessary. If you own your own plane, you’re already in the elite. It’s then just a matter of being the elite of the elite, of which the following are definitely the royal family (in some cases quite literally).
Private jets offer discretion, exclusivity and obviously, privacy. They can be anything you want them to be. A flying palace, a party jet - cue Tony Stark reference (BYO pole dancers) - an extension of business or simply your mode of spontaneous and unhindered global travel.
I’m not talking about your Gulfstreams and your Bombardiers. While they are undoubtedly impressive aircraft in their own right, they are widely used and comparatively quite simple to get a hold of should you find yourself with the right funds. Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Oprah Winfrey and Tiger Woods are among those privileged to have one parked at their nearest airport or on their front lawn.
However the following aircraft are those one step above the rest and their ridiculously rich owners lucky enough to enjoy them. We found it too hard to rank them, so we let the ascending price tags speak for themselves.
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300
Price Tag: $84,000,000 (est.)
Owner(s): Roman Abramovich
Surprise surprise, the man who owns arguably the most expensive yacht in the world (read here) also owns one of the most expensive private planes in the world. The Russian billionaire tycoon who owns Chelsea Football Club among other things, has personalized this Boeing 767 to meet his outlandish needs.
Nicknamed ‘The Bandit’ it features the usual conference rooms, master bedrooms and luxury bathrooms. While the majority of its chestnut interior is kept under wraps we do know it is of course complemented by a gold trim throughout the entire aircraft.
What is well known is that it has the same missile defence system as Air Force One.
We’ll let that sink in for a moment. Air Force One. The safest and most secure plane in the world.
Why? We’re not exactly sure and to be honest almost too many delicate questions arise from a fact like this. However the likely hood of anyone targeting Abramovich’s 767 powerhouse (we assume) is far less, so does that mean it effectively one-ups the flying White House as the safest? Potentially.
Aircraft: Boeing 757
Price Tag: $95, 300,000
Owner(s): Donald Trump
Admittedly, while most don’t aspire to become Donald Trump himself, we wouldn’t mind his jet. Reportedly used by all members of the Trump family, it has everything you would expect of a billionaire want-to-be president. Multiple private cabins, huge television screens and the family crest detailed on just about everything.
Despite buying it second hand from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, it somehow still boasts a 100 million dollar price tag. Its state-of-the-art technology (including two Rolls Royce engines) and 24 carat gold-plated seat belts and bathroom faucets might almost make it seem worth it.
However there are a couple of planes remaining that can still trump Donald’s private jet game.
Aircraft: 747-8 VIP
Price Tag: $367,000,000 (pre-detailing)
Okay so on the outside they aren't that impressive, and it definitely doesn't cry billionaire playboy. But instead of the 0.00001% having to buy used or pre-owned large-scale aircraft (how unfortunate), big league manufacturers including Boeing and Airbus caught onto the idea and realized they could make a little extra money on the side.
Marked ‘VIP’ these planes are straight off the shelf next to your average British Airways globetrotter, only they’re different. Inside it’s pretty much the ‘best of’ an entire 5 star hotel. Spacious lounges, a master stateroom in the nose of the plane that is 100 times better than most hotel rooms on the planet and everything is completely customizable. Check out the photos to see for yourself, words can’t do it justice. It's even on order as the next Air Force One.
Don’t like something? Change it. Choose from dozens of preset decors or simply gut the whole thing and do it yourself. Mind you, the asking price is without any aftermarket interior design, so watch your wallet as you could very easily go over budget.
Chances are if you can afford this, the word budget isn’t even in your vocabulary. And we don’t assume crying babies and limited leg room are either.
Boeing and Airbus will not disclose the names of buyers, but once you have one, it would be pretty hard to hide.
Aircraft: Airbus A380 VIP
Price Tag: $487,000,000
Owner(s): HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud
One buyer who is definitely not hiding the latest addition to his fleet is Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud. Commonly a 500+ seater commercial airliner, this particular plane couldn’t be farther from it.
Inside the Prince built a huge, marble-finished Turkish style bath, computer controlled prayer mats that remain constantly aligned towards Mecca and a parking spot for his Rolls Royce.
You read that right, he actually has a lift for his car to drive onto his plane.
While it is said that particular modification not including the car cost $150 million alone, if you thought that was ludicrous there exists a throne in the main lounge.
An actual throne.
That’ll do us, too much money in one article.