Few things are quite as showoff-opulent as private jets. That said, there are private jets and then there are the ultra-lavish flying luxury palaces which crack this list of the biggest private jets in the world.
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One thing to note about this list is how it’s able to crack our list of the biggest private jets. With a couple of exceptions, all of the planes on this list crack six digits, meaning it’s not just the rich, but the ultra-rich who are able to afford these jets.
Who makes that kind of money? The overwhelming answer is royalty and billionaires.
This points to another fact about these extra-exorbitant large private jets – they’re often used for official business. The royals who fly aboard the crafts do so on state visits, and the sports owners on this list use their planes as transport for their teams.
That’s made possible by the fact that the airplanes they rent are largely not “just” big private jets, but converted commercial airliners. Boeing and Airbus feature prominently on this list. When you’re one of the richest people on the planet, why not buy the biggest plane in the world?
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the airborne lifestyles of the ultra-rich and famous aboard some of the biggest private jets in the world.
1. Roman Abramovich: Boeing 767-33A/ER
Since the Fall of the USSR, Russian oligarchs have become a class unto themselves in Russia. The real check on Putin’s power isn’t the rubber stamp State Duma which does his bidding, but oligarchs like Roman Abramovich who help keep him in power.
For such a massively wealthy and influential figure, it should come as no surprise that Abramovich owns one of the biggest luxury jets in the world, which he uses to transport his Premiere League football team, Chelsea F.C.
There’s more than enough room aboard the plane he’s nicknamed “Bandit.” The $170 million plane is based on commercial jetliners (a trend on this list) and has room for 300 passengers. What’s more, however well Chelsea’s defenders do on the pitch, Abramovich’s plane has a built-in missile defense system.
2. Mark Cuban: Boeing 767-277
Let’s turn to another billionaire who has used his fabulous wealth to purchase a Boeing 767 variant. Cuban’s model set him back $144.1 million and serves as the team plane for the Dallas Mavericks.
Cuban’s private jet was also record-breaking. When he purchased this lavish jet back in 1999, he did so online, making it far and away the biggest online transaction to that point.
Cuban has modified the jet to give passengers extra leg room – a feature which is surely welcome on a team jet for NBA players. Commercial versions of the craft can fly routes as long as New York to Beijing.
3. Sultan of Brunei: Boeing 747-430
Brunei is one of the few absolute monarchies left, with its Sultan owner of one of the biggest luxury jets on the planet. It’s also one of the priciest, running $100 million before customization and now worth $100 million and is now said to be worth $220 million afterward.
Just what upgrades were installed to make it worth that much? Try 24-carat gold finishing and a sink featuring a solid-gold bathroom, luxurious seats, and an interior that’s as spacious as it is stunning.
Of course, it’s easy to make a private plane spacious when, like the Sultan’s 747, it’s a customized and converted form of a commercial jetliner that can normally seat 345 passengers.
4. Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal: 747-400
Now we move from one Middle Eastern Royal Family to another. This modified Boeing 747 was purchased by the Prince in 2003 and customized to the tune of a cool $200 million.
Some of those customizations are truly a thing of royalty, such as an onboard throne for the Prince as well as a lavish dining room. If royal duties become too much, you can take a nap in one of two luxury bedrooms.
A plane this size requires a sizable staff, and this one’s no exception. Even if it’s just the prince and a small entourage, the Prince’s plane has a staff of at least 11 flight attendants on hand at all times.
5. Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal: Airbus A380
We’re not quite done with the Prince, however, because he’s also the owner of yet another one of the world’s largest private jets. As with his Boeing 747, his Airbus A380 is a modified commercial jet.
Airbus has been known for its large planes, and this one is no exception. Even before the Prince bought one, the Airbus A380 was the largest aircraft commercially available, capable of holding up to 853 passengers.
The Prince’s version has the nickname “The Flying Palace,”– and for the price of $400 million and an extra $100 million for all manner of royal accoutrement and customization, it better be.
6. Oprah Winfrey: Bombardier Global Express XRS
From Middle Eastern Royals to true TV and Media Royalty, there’s no denying Oprah Winfrey is the all-time Queen of Daytime TV and one of the all-time great success stories. Unlike other billionaires, Oprah is a self-made woman – and owner of one of the most lavish jets on this list.
At $42 million, this is easily the least expensive entry on our list, but it’s anything but “cheap.” Indeed, Oprah’s Bombardier Global Express XRS makes our list for being one of the biggest and best celebrity private jets.
Among those luxuries are specially-designed fixtures for the bathroom and gallery areas as well as end-to-end luxuriant leather interiors, including nine soft leather seats and atmospheric lighting.
7. Alisher Usmanov: Airbus A340-300
As of this article, Usmanov holds the record for the most expensive private jet in the world with this $238 million extravagancy, which has been customized to reach the eye-popping value of $450 million.
What does such a sticker price buy? Usmanov’s plane features its own nightclub area. If you have one too many vodka martinis and need to sleep it off, you can do so in one of the lavish king-sized beds onboard.
The plane also features luxuriant leather seats and several sitting areas, perfect for getting comfortable during those long flights that can cover as much as 9,000 miles – more than the distance from Moscow to Melbourne.
8. Vijay Mallya: Airbus 319
A giant among giants, Indian billionaire Vijay Mallaya’s Airbus 319 is easily one of the biggest private jets on this list and, indeed, the planet. A standard Airbus 319 has a 13 foot-wide fuselage and Mallya’s model is specially designed to be even wider than that.
The tech specs are impressive as well. The plane boasts two Wing Pylon Mounted Turbofan engines which make possible a cruising speed of 514 miles per hour and has an operational range of 5,887 miles.
In terms of onboard luxury, this private jet features a full bar as well as a lavish dining area. The fact that it’s converted from an Airbus also means it’s roomier than most private jets, able to comfortably accommodate 30 passengers.
9. Mukesh Ambani: Boeing Business Jet 2
Another Indian billionaire, Mukesh Ambani is the richest man in India, so it’s no surprise his luxury jet cracks this list as well. Ambani’s own model is especially spacious, with 1,000 square feet of space as well as an executive lodge in case Ambani needs to do work while onboard.
Ambani isn’t alone in owning this plane. The Boeing Business Jet 2 is a popular option among the wealthy, with names such as Jeffrey Katzenberg and Stephen Spielberg taking to the skies in them.
Among the onboard luxuries paid for by its $73 million price tag are a full master suite, private bedroom and bathroom, and separate lavishly-decorated seating and dining areas for Ambani, friends, and colleagues.
10. Joseph Lau: Boeing 747-8 VIP
One of the wealthiest men in Hong Kong, it’s no surprise that Joseph Lau should be able to afford this version of a commercial Boeing 747, worth an estimated $367 million.
And that’s just the base price. Lau has spent a reported $153 million to customize this “Dreamliner.” The plane boasts a 445 square meter interior, making it so large that it requires a spiral staircase to join its two levels.
Among the amenities featured in this luxury private jet include an onboard gym, several guest rooms, and an office in which Lau can hold meetings. In addition, the interior décor features vaulted ceilings.
11. Beyoncé and Jay-Z: Bombardier Challenger 850
What did you give to your significant other for their birthday? It’s the thought that counts, but chances are none of us will be able to even think about giving a $40 million luxury jet the way Beyoncé did for Jay-Z for his birthday bash.
That $40 million price tag is before all the customized features Beyoncé had installed, some of the most notable being cream-colored leather furnishings, a kitchen, two bathrooms, and a luxuriant master bedroom for when the King and Queen of Modern Pop want a little alone time while traveling together.
Should they choose to invite some company onboard to share in the luxury, this modified Bombardier is more than up to the task. It is especially spacious and can comfortably accommodate 15 passengers.