Flying High: the most expensive jets money can buy
Having never fully recovered since the subprime crisis, the business jet market has recently seen an uptick backed by one of the best US markets in a century. Continuing to be the world's private aviation stronghold, America's recovery has lifted bizjet prices worldwide. BEAM researched the most expensive private jets money can now buy.
#1 Boeing Business Jets
Price: $240 million - $500 million
Notable owners: Donald Trump, Roman Abramovich, Larry Page/Sergey Brin
An iconic brand amongst ultra high net worth individuals, Boeing Business Jets are a status symbol in the mega rich world, equating to what purchasing a Rolex would be for mere mortals. Its history, however, started just 20 years ago when Boeing opened its business jet division. Thanks to its versatile fleet, the manufacturer creates luxurious jets based on models developed for civil aviation.
Often featuring custom designs, BBJs vary in prices based on the complexity of their interior design. Some design projects alone cost upwards of $15 million to develop without even the cost of construction. The most expensive private jet developed by Boeing that is available for private charter is the Dreamliner operated by China's DeerJet at a minium of $500,000 per flight.
Due to high production costs, some billionaires prefer to acquire a commercial Boeing and retrofit it into a private jet. This is the case, for example, for Trump Force One, the Boeing 757-200 owned by the US President that had been converted by Microsoft founder, Paul Allen into a private jet from a low-cost airliner during his ownership of the aircraft.
#2 Airbus ACJ
Price: $80 million - $100 million
Notable owners: Sheldon Adelson, Mikhail Prokhorov, Dmitry Rybolovlev, Alisher Usmanov
Produced by Boeing's arch rival Airbus, the Airbus Corporate Jet is a slightly more affordable version of a Head of State aircraft. Before being customised into a private jet by the manufacturer, the jet in fact costs $92.3 million according to Airbus. Its new Elegance model was introduced as recently as 2014, featuring two bathrooms and a 79ft long cabin.
Inside, the cabin is subdivided into 3 key areas, to make production more efficient, which can be customised by buyers. These are made up of conference tables, cinema lounges and relaxation zones. Through this process, Airbus got the price tag down to $80 million. At a top speed of 560 mph, the ACJ can fly for nearly 7,000 miles. Thanks to its lower price tag, the ACJ has gained many customers amongst Russia's billionaires.
#3 Embraer Lineage 1000E
Price: $50 million - $55 million
Less known to the general public, Brazil-based Embraer has gained a strong foothold in the regional aircraft space in its 48 years of existence, posting a revenue of $5.8 billion in 2017. Its Lineage 1000 line, adapted from its 190 regional jet destined for the commercial market, is a relatively new comer to the space with less than 30 aircrafts in operation.
Providing a narrower cabin than the BBJ or ACJ, the Lineage 1000 is competing against smaller aircrafts manufactured by Gulfstream and Dassault in price. Stretching over 36 meters in length, the aircraft can be customised into various zones with traditional business jet seating as well as the possibility to add in cinema lounges.
#4 Global 7000
Price: $70 million - $75 million
Millionaires used to fly on private jets often realise that acquiring a BBJ or ACJ may be out of their league, at least for the time being. Their dreams then often fall on Bombardier's Global 7000. The flagship of the Canadian's manufacturer business jet division, the Global 7000 is one of the ultimate, 'standard configuration' private jets.
Whilst featuring an interior configuration often compared with smaller, midsize and heavy jets, everything is bigger than the aircraft's competitors. The ceiling is higher, allowing taller millionaires to walk around in peace, the cabin is wider allowing for more comfortable seats and the cabin is longer, making it possible to add more custom features such as beds, showers and media rooms. The aircraft is set to start being delivered to first buyers soon.
#5 Gulfstream G650ER
Price: $66 million
Bombardier's main competitor, US-based Gulfstream didn't take long to come up with a competing offering to the soon to be delivered Global 7000. Their own flagship, the Gulfstream G650 is built to fly for up to 7,500 nautical miles at mach 0.925, reaching an altitude of up to 51,000ft. Its cabin can even be controlled through the passenger's iPhone for systems such as chairs, lights and tables.
Priced to compete with the Global 7000 and Lineage 1000, the G650 is another status symbol for millionaires. Its range means that the aircraft can fly non-stop from Sydney to Dallas over the Pacific or reach Cape Town from London in record time.