Athletes, technology innovators, CEOs, and celebrities all have places to be. Rather than flying commercial and having to worry about everything from adoring fans to flight delays, these moguls take to the skies in their own jets. But what models are they flying around in? Who’s stepping aboard a jet with extravagant customizations, versus flying a stock plane to and from their destinations? We’ve put together a list of some of the most famous names and their jets of choice!
Technology founders who fly in style
Back in 2002, the late Steve Jobs owned a Gulfstream V designed for 15 passengers. Although Jobs was a billionaire in his time, the former Apple CEO didn’t buy the private jet himself. Apple gifted it to him along with 10 million company shares in place of a salary increase. After Jobs passed away, product designer Jony Ive purchased the jet. Ive was the person who helped Jobs design the plane.
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, owns a Dassault Falcon 50 EX. He prefers flying in this plane instead of his Falcon 900 EX because it’s more suitable for travelling to Necker Island, his Caribbean resort. However, sometimes he ditches his private jet for a commercial flight. Branson owns Virgin Atlantic and sometimes rides with the airline’s passengers.
A military fighter jet is among some of Larry Ellison’s more eccentric purchases. However, the U.S. government has forbidden Ellison from flying over the country in his beloved Soviet MiG-29. It’s classified as a firearm!
Oprah Winfrey vowed decades ago that she’d one day fly in her own private jet. This decision was spurred on by a rude encounter she had with someone at an airport who claimed to be a fan. That was back in the 90’s. Nowadays, she gets all her traveling done in her jet worth approximately $42 million dollars.
Many celebrities could easily charter a private jet; however, some choose the normalcy of a commercial flight. Priyanka Chopra regularly shares an airplane with the rest of us. Although she doesn’t fly coach, she still experiences the typical delays and annoying passengers associated with commercial flights. The Bollywood star once said she enjoys people watching, which you can’t get at a private terminal.
UFC star Conor McGregor also flies in style with his private jet. This large purchase came on the heels of a 100 million-dollar check from his fight with Floyd Mayweather. From business trips to vacations, McGregor’s private jet appears to be his plane of choice.
Celebrities and billionaires often splurge their net worth on a private jet, sometimes even collecting an entire fleet!
The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.
Chartering the campaign trail isn’t a new concept. According to one charter company, private air travel has been standard for campaigning politicians going all the way back to 2002. It’s a way for politicians to get in front of key audiences faster, on an already expedited timeline. When swing states and key cities are several states apart, flying is often the only option.
As we approach the 2020 election year, flying will be an essential part of the campaign strategy for both sides of the ticket. Both Democrats and Republicans have shown they mean to make an impact this season, and both parties are already very familiar with the benefits of flight chartering.
Looking at past elections
During the 2016 campaign, several top-ticket candidates made cross-country trips in private jets. Among them were Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Scott Walker, and Dr. Ben Carson. As the field narrowed and visits to swing states became routine, finalists Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump all adopted a jet-set lifestyle.
Most campaign teams are smaller before the primary. This enables many politicians to travel by bus. When the timeline demands chartered flights, smaller jets are often the answer. Popular options include models from Gulfstream and Bombardier ― they’re generally chartered regionally.
After the primary elections narrow the ballot, campaign teams tend to expand drastically. Travel ramps up, as well. This facilitates the need for bigger, more capable jets. Boeing 737 jets are accessible and accommodating and often the first choice for teams on-the-go. Some teams even have a preference for their jet ― President Obama chartered a 757 in 2008; Mitt Romney an MD-83 in 2012.
The 2020 hopefuls are on a whole new level, and current President Donald Trump raised the bar. The President has made the rounds on Air Force One (a modified Boeing 747), however he’s also the owner of a lavish Boeing 757, a Cessna Citation X, and two Sikorsky S-76 helicopters. Democratic hopefuls for the ticket will need to match these logistical capabilities to keep pace on the campaign trail.
Do they really need to fly?
Inevitably during campaign season, someone will bring up the cost of flying as a jab against their opponent. But the fact is, both parties need to fly to be successful in their campaigns.
Take Mitt Romney in 2012, for example. His team traveled more than 170,000 miles in 311 days, using 256 chartered flights. That’s roughly 665 miles covered per flight and 546 miles trekked per day ― a monumental task by plane; an impossible one by bus
More than miles traveled, the abruptness of campaign logistics demands a flexible travel solution. For example, a tragedy happens 1,000 miles away and a candidate needs to be there tomorrow. Or, tack on four more stops to the campaign trail, add 500 more miles of travel each day. The quickness of flight resolves these addendums to the schedule.
Jet charters are as much a part of political campaigns as yard signs and bumper stickers. And it’s looking more likely that they’re just as much of a deciding factor in a candidate’s success.