Indian Billionaires and Their Private Jets
So what if you’ve got a Roll-Royce? It’s of no good if you don’t own a jet. At least if you want to join the billionaire club. Recently, billionaire Donald Trump upgraded his private air transport, by buying a Boeing 757 model. The real estate mogul bought it for $100 million (approx Rs 449 crore) from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. And while he’ll be flying the Americas, Indian billionaires have got their own jet story on the run(way).
Mukesh Ambani owns a Boeing Business Jet 2, which is essentially a mix between a (flying) hotel and a boardroom. Now that has a high swank factor. The 1,004 sqft plane has a full-fledged executive office and a private bedroom suite and is worth $73 million (approx Rs 327 crore). Ambani also owns a Falcon 900EX jet and an Airbus 319 which has been custom-fitted with an office, a cabin with game consoles (for the kids?), music systems, satellite television and wireless communications.
Atul Punj, chairman of the $2 billion Punj Lloyd Group, owns a Gulfstream IV which has an aerodynamically and structurally improved wing with 30 per cent fewer parts. The aircraft can hold up two beds, has a shower and a luxury living room space.
Anil Ambani, with his garage full of cars can also boast about his hanger crowded with a Global Express jet, a Falcon 2000, and Falcon 7X. Anil's Global Express is an ultra-long range business jet developed by Bombardier Aerospace. The Bombardier can fly over 5,950 nautical miles. It boats a 14.73 m-long cabin and is equipped with noise and vibration control system, which makes it easier to hold meetings on board. It also has customised interior layouts including an office and a stateroom. Bill Clinton and Steven Spielberg are among the few who own such jets.
Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who owns Kingfisher Airlines, owns a super fine A319 ACJ. He has spent $40 million (approx Rs 179 crore) on retro-fitting and fireproof upholstery. The private jet, which can fly to London or the United States with a single refueling halt, has plush interiors and a capacity to seat 24 people. Mallya uses this aircraft as an office-cum-home. Apart from the A319, he also owns a GulfStream, a Hawker and a Boeing 727. The French and Brazilian heads of state also used this model.
NRI steel baron Lakshmi Mittal, with an estimated wealth of £17 billion, uses his Gulfstream G550 to move around three countries in a day. Mittal's Gulfstream G550 is considered the Rolls-Royce of private jets. It can reach speeds of 675 miles per hour, and has space for eight passengers. It also comes with a military-style "heads-up" display technology that allows pilots to take their eyes off the control panel.
Gautam Singhania has been synonymous with his passion for fast cars, luxe yachts, and nightclubs, and of course jets. As chairman of the Raymond Group, he owns a Challenger business jet and a helicopter. International aircraft interior designer Eric Roth is the master mind of the beige and brown interiors of Singhania’s private jet, and rumour has it that an 18th century Jamawar shawl was the inspiration. The Challenger's features include an advanced Collins ProLine IV EFIS avionics system with colour displays, and enhanced fuel tankage.
Real estate baron KP Singh of the DLF Group owns a Gulfstream IV. The Gulfstream IV is a considerably enhanced, superior, longer range and advanced version of the earlier Gulfstream II and III models. It offers luxury transport for up to 14 passengers.The most noticeable improvement on the GIV is the Rolls-Royce Tay turbofans, which reduces fuel consumption and noise pollution, significantly.
Image Courtesy: Reuters