Did you know that there is a fifth class on aircraft, above economy, super-economy, business and first? Actually, for some celebrities there is only one class – private, and that’s the whole plane! Some celebrities are pilots and own several aircraft, some very large, but these ostentatious persons can afford such luxuries, courtesy of their net worth.
Following is a selection of celebrities who are indeed wealthy, the ‘top ten’ in terms of the cost of their choice of how to travel, when practical naturally. Of course there are companies which specialise in catering to this market, including Embraer Executive Jets, but to some the aircraft offered just aren’t big enough, so take a look at some of those chosen by a few well-know persons with the net worth to afford custom-fitted flying palaces.
Actor John Travolta is a keen pilot, so much so that he owns seven aircraft, from a Boeing 707 down in size to a Gulfstream, well three actually – just to go shopping, perhaps – after all, his house doubles as an aircraft terminal!
When not engaged in Star Wars, actor Harrison Ford likes more conventional flying machines – he has eight, ranging from a World War 11 vintage PT-22, actually badly damaged when Ford made a forced landing following mechanical problems in March 2015, to a Cessna Sovereign 680 valued at $18 million. Oh – Harrison also has an extensive collection of cars and motorcycles: you can’t keep a good man still!
Maybe it’s a long way from “Top Gun”, but actor Tom Cruise still likes to get around, if somewhat more sedately, in his Gulfstream G4 valued at $36 million. Then, rumour has it that Tom will reprise his role as ace fighter pilot ‘Maverick’ in “Top Gun2”, apparently scheduled to begin filming in 2016. Perhaps he has just been keeping his hand in on these slower machines.
If there are any sports-people who really need to fly around, it must be golfers – and who epitomises that world more than Tiger Woods? The world’s highest ever earning golfer gets around in his Gulfstream 550- and ‘getting around’ is something the Tiger is famous, or perhaps notorious for. Then, if you can afford $53 million for an aircraft, and $110 million in a divorce settlement, what’s the problem?
Comedian/actor Jim Carrey can obviously afford to smile, at least, as he is the proud owner of a Gulfstream V, which cost him a cool $59 million. He can even entertain 16 friends in spacious luxury as they wing around the world.
Of course, some high-flying businessmen really do need to have their own aircraft on call, maybe none more so than Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. With a fortune currently estimated at $10 billion, and business and political interests in Russia, as well as the UK and USA, the ability to move quickly around the world is paramount; and his choice of how he does that is a Boeing 767, which cost a mere $83 million which he – perhaps aptly – has nicknamed ‘The Bandit’.
Has anyone not heard of Donald Trump? At the moment in late 2015, the self-made real estate billionaire is telling the world why he should be the next President of the United States, and generally using his fortune of around $5 billion to spread the message, supported by jetting around the country is his Boeing 757. Why? It can only be for the power he believes the position brings, because if he can afford the $95 million price tag on his aircraft, he certainly doesn’t need the president’s Air Force One, especially as his aircraft has his name emblazoned on it in VERY large letters.
Businessman Mark Cuban goes just one step higher with his aircraft, a Boeing 767-200 costing $144 million, which he generously uses to fly his Dallas Mavericks NBA team around the country, even adapting it to comfortably accommodate so many tall players. However, as befits a billionaire with a fortune close to $4 billion, he does have a smaller Gulfstream V for totally private use.
Possibly one of the most recognised aircraft in the world is Air Force One, the Boeing 747 costing $390 million which is not actually ‘private’ but is for the sole use of the President of the United States. It is designed to be both a home and an office for the President, when he is away from the White House – an aircraft with this designation has been used since 1943. There is also an Air Force Two, but this is normally for the Vice-President, not as a duplicate or decoy for Presidential use.
The most expensive private aircraft known is also a Boeing 747 belonging to Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Alsaud, and costing a mammoth $487 million. It is not only luxuriously equipped as the price tag suggests, including with a Turkish bath, but even has space to transport the Prince’s Rolls-Royce car. There’s nothing like travelling in style, regardless of the mode of transport, but then, with a net worth estimated at close to $30 billion, you have to spend your fortune on something, don’t you?