Cluster Posted – News Service
Gulfstreams are a dime a dozen after the financial crisis (actually, they are more like $5 million to $25 million, depending on the model). The price of the average G2 or G4 on the secondary market has plunged by more than half since 2007 and hangars across the country are filled with unsold inventory.
- Bloomberg News
- Prince Alwaleed bin Talal signs for delivery of the Airbus A380, watched by Airbus officials, in November 2007.
But one kind of private jet has surged throughout the recession: jumbos.
An article in Aviation Week & Space Technology says “hunger for really big birds remains hearty,” with sales of private jumbo jets breaking records and easily topping last year’s totals.
European aerospace concern Airbus delivered 15 VIP jets with a total book value of $1.5 billion–and took orders for eight more, mostly to operators outside the U.S. The deliveries and orders include widebodies such as the A340, which can seat either 295 commercial passengers or one Saudi prince.
Boeing delivered 12 VIP jets last year and has four new orders.
The Chicago jet maker has a half-dozen Boeing 747-8s–with a list price of $317 million each–on backlog for private customers ordered by six customers. The company says a dozen Boeing 787s also are scheduled to be sold to super jet-setters.
Sales of private jumbo jets are so strong that Airbus and Boeing now have special sales forces devoted to potentates and the hyper-rich, the article said. According to data from the General Aviation Manufacturer’s Association, Gulfstream’s deliveries dropped 40% from 2008 through 2010, while jet deliveries from Boeing and Airbus jumped 50% in the same period.
Who needs such big planes? Donald Trump, for one. He is trading up from his Boeing 727 and buying Paul Allen’s 757 for a $100 million, according to UPI. The 757 can seat around 280 passengers, or The Donald.
Sales of business jumbo jets offers further proof of the increasing divide in wealth: between the hyper rich (billionionaires) and the mere millionaires. The net worths of the world’s billionaires surged 11% last year, compared with the 8% rise in U.S. millionaires for the most recent period (the first six months of 2010)
Even the billionaires who lost money in the recession are still spending. Once you get to 10 zeros, it is hard to spend down your fortune in one lifetime–even if you buy multiple jumbo jets.
What do you think is driving sales of private jumbo jets?