In 2017 it is a simple matter to board private planes and jet off to the far corners of the world with barely a thought. It is easy to forget that it was only in 1914 that the first commercial plane had it’s inaugural flight and it wasn’t until the 1950’s that air travel became a common and popular means of travel.
Early in the days of commercial air travel this mode of travel was thought only accessible to the wealthy and, granted, it wasn’t until the 1970’s that pricing made flights for the average traveler a reasonable option. Throughout the years private jet charter was thought to be well above the means of anyone except the super wealthy. However, as businesses began to understand the incredible savings offered, both in terms of time and flexibility, of private planes they began to change their image.
Certainly, although business travelers still make up the majority of private jet charters, celebrities and the rich and famous along with wealthy business owners do still hold the title for the most luxurious private planes in the world. Here are a few of the most spectacular.
Bombardier BD-700 Global Express
Bill Gates is the second wealthiest man in the world. Certainly, as a businessman and philanthropist on an enormous global scale, it makes perfect sense that he have a private jet to make his frequent trips all over the globe as efficient as possible.
What isn’t as well known is that the often frugal billionaire calls it his “guilty pleasure”, perhaps not so much because he has a private jet but because of how massive this plane is. Estimated to be a cost of around $40 million, this jet seats up to 19 people and is considered one of the largest private planes in the world.
Bombardier Challenger 850
Many dads expect some new BBQ tools or a lawn tractor for Father’s Day. When you are half of the wealthy couple of Jay Z and Beyonce, Fathers Day offers you a $40 million private jet. As busy entertainers a private jet is a given, but this is one of the most luxurious in the world.
The flashy interior features a tan leather living room, a kitchen, bedroom, and two bathrooms and seats up to 15 people. Plenty large enough to transport their ever-growing family along with a full entourage. A pretty good Fathers Day indeed.
The man who brought us Top Gun an Mission Impossible would nearly be required to own his own private jet. Tom Cruise is well known as a bit of an adrenaline junkie and has held his pilots license since 1994, along with five of his very own jets, the jewel of his hangar being his Gulfstream IV.
This luxury jet seats up to 19 passengers but for such a high-energy person surely some of the appeal comes from the jets two Rolls Royce engines and can reach a speed of 0.80 mach speed. With a range of nearly 5000 miles it is easy for the mega-star to quickly reach movie sets around the world in the blink of an eye.
Likewise, Hans Solo and Indiana Jones continuing adventures deserve private jet travel. Harrison Ford, a long time pilot, has said that “Flying is like music, it elevates the spirit and its and exhilarating freedom.” The owner of eight of his own planes, Harrison determined long ago that it was much more fun to fly his own planes than to be delivered about while someone else had all the fun.
His CJ3, while not the largest or most expensive jet, is the perfect plane for a pilot looking for luxury combined with the flexibility to determine destinations on a whim. The plane seats nine easily, with a maximum number of 12, but is easily capable of making a transcontinental flight.
Mark Cuban, the billionaire businessman, Shark Tank investor, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks. This super savvy business owner understands the one thing that money generally can’t buy; time. He admits that owning a private jet, especially the $144 million Boeing 767, is brutally expensive. And yet he knows time is the one asset that is “in-own able” and having such a high-end tool saves him hundreds of hours a year.
The jet in question has completed transatlantic flights but has since been re-fitted with custom seats to fit his unusually tall passengers. This deluxe aircraft may very well give the team an advantage on away games as they arrive in unprecedented comfort.
Finally, for perhaps the most eclectic, luxurious jet of all. The Manhattan is a new jet designed to take passengers back to the roaring 20’s with an Art Deco design all it’s own. The designers have pulled out all the stops with rich mahogany woodwork, vibrantly hued fabrics, and brass trimmings. Based on a love of New York and with a metallic mural of the Empire State Building, the jet features beautiful scones and lambskin divans from the era.
The Cloud Club lounge is reminiscent of the Chrysler buildings exterior and offers retracting bar stools and a panoramic loft window for excellent viewing. There are five different zones and the master suite even has a marble shower. Best yet, this roomy 750 square feet of luxury Art Deco could be yours for the bargain price of $80million.
Not everyone is a celebrity, the elite business person, or the owner of an NBA team, however everyone can admire the absolute beauty afforded by these remarkable private planes.
For those of you that live more in the real world, know that the world of private jet charter has become more affordable and accessible than ever. This could be the year you celebrate a momentous anniversary. Perhaps you have saved up to treat your family to a private flight to the vacation of their dreams. Make 2017 the year these dreams can come true.