While everyone is at home: how billionaires and princes relax on private jets in the midst of a pandemic
Most citizens, due to the coronavirus, have forgotten about traveling abroad. And it’s not so much a financial crisis as the inability to travel with closed borders. Many have lost their long-awaited all-inclusive vacation, some have given up on a long-planned hike to the mountains, and some had to postpone their honeymoon indefinitely, writes "Lenta.ru".
Nevertheless, this sad fate not befell everyone. In the midst of the pandemic, wealthy travelers left their home country en masse on private jets, despite bans and restrictions. According to Reuters, the frequency of superjet flights between Russia and Europe almost doubled in May compared to April. As the representative of Jet Partners, Margarita Lomakina, said, wealthy tourists preferred to wait out the pandemic in Spanish resorts - in Marbella, Girona, Malaga and Zaragoza.
And if earlier economy class passengers who overpay for overweight and are late for their flight looked at the owners of private planes with slight annoyance, then during the coronavirus envy of them increased significantly. What actually happens inside millionaire-owned aircraft, and how are they different from ordinary passenger airliners?
Although not the most expensive, the latest invention of Gulfstream Corporation is the G700, which is declared as the largest business jet in the world. According to the manufacturer, a private jet has the widest, longest and highest cabin, capable of accommodating 19 passengers in a seated position and 10 in a recumbent position. Inside there is a dining room with six seats, which can serve not only as a dining place, but also as a conference room for negotiations.
In addition, the G700 is equipped with a circadian lighting system that supports human biological rhythms and simulates dusk and dawn, soft, spacious armchairs that can be converted into a full bed, and a bedroom with wardrobe and shower.
Also for $ 75 million - that's the price tag for the new Gulfstream - the manufacturer has equipped the plane with two Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines, Phase-of-Flight technology that helps pilots in flight and shortens the time it takes to launch, and the Predictive system. Landing, which allows you to see deviations from the runway in advance and correct the trajectory.
According to sources in the aviation industry, the G700 is sold out until 2023, and the first aircraft will only reach customers in 2022. The names of the future owners of the largest superjets have not been disclosed.
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As ruler of the oil-rich Sultanate of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah is considered one of the wealthiest monarchs in the world. And his private jet, of course, must match the status of the owner. According to Forbes, the leader of the state purchased the Boeing 747-430 aircraft for $ 100 million, and then paid an additional 120 million for the work of designers and engineers, so that the interior of the airliner would not be inferior in luxury to the villas and residences of the Sultan.
While most manufacturers seek to lighten the aircraft, the owner of a private Boeing favors luxury. According to various sources, the interior of the Sultan's liner is almost entirely made of gold, from armrests to sinks, furniture is made of precious wood, floors are covered with silk carpets, decor items are inlaid with precious stones, and the interior is decorated with crystal vases. Because of all this, the plane is deservedly known as a "flying palace".
It is not Bolkiah's only means of air travel. It is known for certain that the monarch owns two more, no less expensive airliners - the wide-body Airbus A340 and Boeing 767.
Even before becoming president of the United States and one of the most talked about personalities in the world, Donald Trump was an ordinary tycoon who could afford all the trappings of a luxurious life. Among them was the expensive Boeing 757 private jet, bought by Trump from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2011.
To show the world who owns the aircraft, Trump named it after himself and witnessed it in gold letters on the fuselage. Of course, this is not the only hint of the owner's wealth: the aircraft cabin is decorated with 999 gold inlays, and the word Trump is engraved on almost every piece of interior.
Travelers fortunate enough to be on a custom jet can take advantage of two bedrooms with walk-in showers, home cinema, and a personal flight attendant. A regular Boeing 757 can accommodate up to 134 passengers, but the white leather seats of the US President's upgraded version can accommodate only 34 people.
The new version of Airbus ACJ319neo is based on the A319neo passenger airliner and is equipped with the latest engines and fuel tanks, which have improved flight range and fuel consumption. Now a business jet can deliver passengers to a distance of 12,5 thousand kilometers and gain a maximum altitude of 12,5 thousand meters.
It is noteworthy that during a test flight, the ACJ319neo set the record for the longest non-stop flight among the A320 family of liners, successfully completing a 16-hour flight.
But most of all aviation enthusiasts are attracted not even by the technical characteristics, but by the interior arrangement of the aircraft, developed in conjunction with the Italian hypercar manufacturer Pagani and called Infinito. Its main gem is the multimedia projection of the sky onto the ceiling, which not only allows you to see what is happening overboard in real time, but also visually expands the space. Throughout the route, guests of ACJ319neo can keep in touch and follow the news thanks to satellite Internet.
According to the manufacturer, thanks to technology that maintains low pressure in the cabin during takeoff and landing, passengers are provided with comfort throughout the flight.
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Boeing 787-8 BBJ
The first passenger Boeing Dreamliner was launched in 2011, and a few years later, in 2014, the manufacturer, in collaboration with Kestrel Aviation and Greenpoint Technologies corporations, created a business version of the aircraft known as the Boeing 787-8 BBJ.
Its original cost was $ 224,6 million, and subsequent improvements, which cost an additional $ 100 million, made the plane even more luxurious. For this amount, the designers turned the aircraft into a comfortable flying mansion, which can accommodate up to 40 passengers.
For example, the bedroom has a large double bed, a huge bathtub with marble sinks, a double shower, heated floors, a private dressing room, a gym, a refrigerator and a safe.
In addition to personal quarters, guests have at their disposal a spacious lounge area with a 55-inch monitor and gaming devices built into each chair, a VIP area, as well as a business lounge and a salon with premium economy class armchairs for staff.
The Boeing 787-8 BBJ is capable of non-stop flights up to 18 thousand kilometers (approximately 17,5 hours of flight).
Boeing 747-8 VIP
In 2007, Boeing announced that it had received an order for a 747-8 VIP private jet. The lucky owner turned out to be the Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau, who was later convicted of bribery and went on the run to avoid jail.
His personal Boeing jet is approximately 444 square meters, and the deal was valued at $ 152 million. “The 747 VIP is an extremely attractive liner for wealthy and successful entrepreneurs, especially in Asia, where business is conducted over long distances. This model has everything you need - the ability to fly long distances, equipped with advanced technology and a spacious comfortable cabin, "- advertised the aircraft Boeing Business Jets President Stephen Hill.
For the interior decoration of the Boeing 747-8 VIP used the best materials, and during the flight the owner and his guests can have two lounges, an office, a conference room of impressive size, a spacious dining room and a cozy bedroom.
One of the most expensive private jets in the world, estimated at $ 350-500 million, is rumored to be owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov. The proof of this version is the name Bourhkan, which was given to the plane in honor of Usmanov's father, and the tail number M-IABU, where the last three letters stand for the owner's initials.
Although the billionaire purchased the plane intended for the Swiss airline in 2012, its interior is still a secret. The budget that the entrepreneur spent on improving the liner and creating his own design also remains a secret. Nevertheless, according to various sources, the cost of the work was more than two hundred million dollars.
Only the technical characteristics of the Airbus A340-300 are known for certain: its weight is 130 tons, it has four engines, the flight range is up to 13 thousand, the cruising speed is 890 kilometers per hour. Thus, the owner of a luxury Airbus can travel without landing or refueling to Australia, North and South America.
A380 VIP flying palace
What acquisitions can you afford with an extra $ 500 million in your pocket? For example, the luxury yacht Topaz, like a member of the ruling royal family of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, several dozen private islands with white sand and azure water, a hundred Lamborghini Veneno Roadster or the world's largest passenger aircraft, fully equipped for personal needs.
This is exactly what Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal Al Saud did when he ordered a new A380 VIP to Airbus in 2007. The aviation corporation did not hesitate to make the event public, which caused a storm of emotions both among envious people and among fans of the ruler.
Many media outlets reported that the prince paid an extra $ 200 million to turn his private jet into a luxury mansion. It was rumored that for this money, Alwaleed built a concert hall, a Turkish-style bathroom, a luxury garage for transporting expensive cars and a prayer room with programmed rugs that automatically turn towards Mecca.
Sources say the plane has five dormitories with king-size beds, a dining room, a meeting room, a lounge where each chair is a massage chair, and a throne.
In reality, all that is known is that Al-Walid ibn Talal Al Saud sold his luxurious airy mansion to an unknown person and did not disclose the details of the deal.
Air Force 1
The most expensive aircraft in the world is considered to be owned by the President of the United States Air Force One. In fact, this is a heavily modified Boeing 747-200B for the needs of the head of state, designated as VC-25A.
And although technically the Air Force One name only applies to an aircraft when the leader of a state is on board, the term is often used to refer to the VC-25. But if the first lady or vice president is traveling on the plane, and not the head of the United States himself, the liner is assigned the code designation Air Force One Foxtrot.
The VC-25 is capable of non-stop flights up to 13 kilometers and is often paired with a Marine One helicopter. Its passenger compartment has enough room for 70 people who do not have to worry about safety: the Boeing 747-200B is able to withstand an earthquake, a meteor attack and even a nuclear explosion. Among other things, it is equipped with technology for refueling in the sky, a hospital and a functioning theater.
Two kitchens function simultaneously on board, allowing the staff to prepare a maximum of 100 meals for passengers. VIPs have at their disposal several bedrooms, offices, conference rooms, 20 televisions and a constant internet connection so that travelers on the VC-25 are always aware of the news and stay connected.
The Air Force One, including trim, is estimated at $ 660 million, with a top speed of 1015 kilometers per hour and a cruising speed of 925 kilometers per hour.
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