The Jumbo Jets Boeing and Airbus Turn Into Posh Private Planes
J Thoendell stashed this in Tech
Commercial jet manufacturers have been replacing the rows of economy seats in their aircraft with sofas and entertainment centers since the late 1990s. A recent influx of billionaires from Russia, the Middle East, and China has led to a new focus on this part of the business. Since opening the private jet branch in 1997, Airbus has sold over 170 aircraft. Boeing got started in 1996, and has delivered on 195 of 217 total orders received.
The main reason to go with an Airbus A380 or a Boeing 747 over a puny Gulfstream or Bombardier? According a “Billionaires Study” commissioned by Airbus, the wealthiest among us like to travel with family members and business associates. (This, apparently, is particularly true for Middle Eastern oil magnates.)
That’s not to say outfitting a jumbo jet for personal use is always a rational economic decision. For some, the bigger and more luxurious the plane, the better. That’s why Airbus and Boeing don’t just sell their planes, they offer a wide variety of customization options to give customers exactly what they want.
So how much does a personalized widebody plane cost? The manufacturers don’t exactly publish price lists, but we’ve seen figures between $80 million for a Boeing 737, $280 million for a Boeing 747-8, and up to $300 million for an A380.