Billionaires are no strangers to the high life – especially in the case of private jets. Although owning at least one is a staple asset for many of the world’s wealthiest, not all jets are created equal, and some are inevitably more impressive than others – and of course come with different price tags. So, which billionaires own the most extravagant rides?
12. Jay-Z, 52: Bombardier Challenger 850 – US$40 million
Net worth: US$1.3 billion
Queen Bey and her billionaire hubby Jay-Z treat themselves to only the best, and mode of transport is no exception. The family jet – a Father’s Day gift from wifey – cost a whopping US$40 million and can hold up to 19 passengers at a time. It’s fitted with a living room, kitchen, bedroom and two bathrooms (according to Cheatsheet). A monogram for Jay-Z’s name is on its exterior, and the big, bling flying machine measures at 48.4 feet (15 metres) long with speeds of up to 520mph.
11. Bill Gates, 66: Bombardier 8000 – US$66 million
Net worth: US$123 billion
Surprisingly, Microsoft’s founder ranks lower down this list but still impresses with his US$66 million ride. That being said, like many billionaires, he owns more than one.
Perhaps his most lavish one though is the Bombardier 8000. The 2019 make thrives off Canadian aviation standards, seating up to 17 people at a time. According to the company website, the jet is the fastest ever in business aviation and ensures maximum smoothness and comfort, travelling up to Mach 0.94.
10. Elon Musk, 51; Jeff Bezos, 58; Sergey Brin, 48 and Larry Page, 49, … all own a Gulfstream G650 ER – US$70 million each
Net worths: Elon Musk – US$225 billion, Jeff Bezos – US$133 billion, Sergey Brin – US$93 billion, Larry Page – US$96.7 billion
Apparently tech billionaires love this Gulfstream edition.
As the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, it’s only expected that the richest man in the world travels in style. The Twitter stakeholder’s Gulfstream G650ER doesn’t travel into space like his rocket projects do but can fly 7,500 nautical miles (more than 8,600 miles) without refuelling.
It’s powered by two BR725 Rolls-Royces engines. There’s plenty of space for entertaining, eating, and sleeping within its sleekly designed interior. Amazon chairman Jeff Bezos and Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page all also own the same model themselves – and it costs about US$70 million a pop.
9. Mukesh Ambani, 65: Boeing Business Jet 2 – US$73 million
Net worth: US$95.6 billion
As the second-richest man in Asia (after Gautam Adani), Ambani’s US$73 million private jet is equipped with everything you need for on-the-go meetings, with its 92-square-metre interiors, for starters. The custom-built Boeing jet comes with a fully equipped master suite, and a spacious executive lounge. He’s got the most expensive home in the world (well, after Buckingham Palace), so it only makes sense that he splurges out on his private jet-setting trips too.
8. Richard Branson, 71: Dassault Falcon 50EX; Oprah Winfrey, 68: Gulfstream G650 – US$75 million each
Net worths: Richard Branson – US$4 billion, Oprah Winfrey – US$2.5 billion
How else would Mr Branson travel to his private island retreats? Oh yeah – he’s got a commercial airline too. Apparently that’s not enough though as he’s also got his Dassault Falcon 50EX which he uses for routes that Virgin Atlantic can’t fly. He told BJT Online, “I need a small plane just to get out of the British Virgin Islands. And I use that for shorter distances.” The super midsize jet can fly up to 10 people at a time and comes with two cabin zones.
Meanwhile, Oprah Winfrey’s success as a media mogul has earned her billions, and the ability to splash out on her Gulfstream G650. The American talk show host’s jet has a range of about 8,000 nautical miles and a top speed of 541mph.
7. Donald Trump, 76: Boeing 757, aka Trump Force One – US$100 million
Net worth: US$3 billion
The former president of the United States is often the subject of controversy but that’s not stopped him from dropping US$100 million on his aircraft. Dubbed Trump Force One, it’s currently undergoing some maintenance, according to The Palm Beach Post, but is still one of the most famous jets around. The custom built “crown jewel in the Trump Fleet”, per its website, is powered by Rolls-Royce engines and can fly up to eight hours non-stop within a 3,000 mile range. Inside, there are 24-karat gold-plated accents and Italian leather seats embroidered with the Trump family crest. There’s even a cinema.
6. Kim Kardashian, 41: Gulfstream G650ER, aka Kim Air – US$150 million
Net worth: US$1.8 billion
She joined the billionaire’s club thanks to the success of her shapewear brand Skims, but is there anything Kim K hasn’t splashed out on? Her US$150 million Gulfstream G650ER is the same model as Musk and co, with an added few millions more in furnishings and renovations making hers even more expensive than the aforementioned tech billionaires.
It’s got a lighter colour scheme and cashmere-clad interiors – meanwhile, the exterior is rendered in monochrome-grey to match her car and home.
5. Roman Abramovich, 55: Boeing 767, aka The Bandit – US$170 million
Net worth: US$9.1 billion
The former owner of Chelsea Football Club bought a lavish Boeing 767 (nicknamed The Bandit) valued at US$170 million, equipped with an anti-missile system that resembles technologies of Air Force One. Totally extravagant, it’s got enough room for over 30 people, and has three guest bedrooms, a master and two guest bathrooms, a dining room, living room, library, pantry, crew and staff rest areas. There’s even a gold-gilded banquet hall. It’s since been put on the market for a whopping US$100 million.
He’s also got a US$350 million Boeing 787 Dreamliner which was seized by US customs in early June, according to reports in the New York Post.
4. Sultan of Brunei, 75: Boeing 747-430, aka The Flying Palace – US$230 million+
Net worth: US$30 billion
Nicknamed “The Flying Palace”, the Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan and Yang di-Pertuan of Brunei since 1967, spent over US$230 million on his private plane. The lavish aircraft is decked in luxurious materials with gold plating in abundance, reportedly spending US$120 million alone on refurbishments.
3. Joseph Lau, 70: Boeing 747-8 VIP – US$367 million
Net worth: US$13.5 billion
The Hong Kong real estate tycoon custom ordered his 445-square-metre private plane, which has two floors joined by a spiral staircase. Inside, there’s a gym, bar, huge office, and guest rooms, while its speeds can reportedly reach up to 1,195 kmh.
2. Alisher Usmanov, 68: Airbus A340-300 – US$400 million
Net worth: US$15.7 billion
Estimated at US$400 million, the Uzbek-Russian businessman’s ostentatious aircraft is reportedly named Bourkhan, after his father. As Russia’s biggest private jet, it trumps even President Vladimir Putin’s ride, and it’s fitted with a dining room, several guestrooms, bedrooms and more. It has a speed of 915km/h and a range of over 13,000.
1. Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, 67: Airbus A380 Custom – US$400 million +
Net worth: US$16.6 billion
Another “flying palace” for a royal, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal’s supersized aircraft comes with all the trimmings: from its private cinema and jacuzzi to the well-equipped gym and conference area. With its mammoth price tag, the 6,000 sq ft jumbo jet is certainly fit for a king – or in this case, Saudi prince.