Not too long time ago as in March 2012, those, who were lucky, saw the 747-8 Intercontinental, which happens to be the Boeing’s biggest jet, take off from Paine Field with its glowing white livery veiled in mystery. Interestingly, this version of the airbus, which could carry 460 passengers, was not made for a commercial purpose. The lucky and eminent new owner of the exquisite 747-V.I.P is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.
But what makes this airbus so special? Well, and just remember one more essential detail that the A380 double-decker is the most expensive private jet ever created.
Almost five years after the order had been placed, the luxurious private jet was finally ready for delivery. The private jet has been hyped to be the world’s most expensive personal jet with a final price well in excess of $500 million.
Ok, so it is big expensive and what? Well, it is worth underlining that the original design included very rare and untypical demands such as a garage for two Rolls-Royces, a stable for horses and camels, not to mention a pen for hawks. You think that it is the end of surprising solutions which were included? Nothing more erroneous as the most remarkable feature of this world’s largest passenger airliner is a prayer room that has been designed to automatically rotate, so as to keep the room always faced towards the holy city of Mecca. Now we know what makes it the most expensive private jet in the world which is truly one of a kind.
It seems that the jet might be considered a kind of a leader when it comes to setting standards for doing business in style and just showboating. It is not surprising that through private jets like these, their owners have one more place where they can expose their opulence while carrying on with the business meetings. Now that’s the ultimate sign of being superrich.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud’s private jet A380 is unique in itself. The aircraft is divided into three floors. To show off the omnipresent richness on the board, the upgrades include a transparent circular cell and the lift which moves about between floors. In addition, the world's most luxurious private jet can glory in five bountiful private quarters featuring king-size beds, handmade rugs and state of the art entertainment system. It is not surprising that each room has a bathroom with a shower as it is of course a necessity.
To make the things even spicier, the private jet is the first one to take pride in a spiral staircase. What's more, the whirling metal construction has been set in the roomy hallway linked to the boardroom and inscribed with Arabic. We should not forget about the concert hall, the well being room and the boardroom are the large which can simply flummox guests or visitors.
Steve Varsano, an airplane broker, commented on the market for corporate jets underlining : “They (Russians, Gulf Arabs and other wealthy foreigners- edit.) have to buy longer-range airplanes. These frontiers markets have turned into powerful aircraft acquisition markets”.
Indeed, the market was traditionally been dominated by American buyers, but the things have changed as these days international customers amount to more than half of jet sales. It seems that some celebrities, corporate tycoons and rich entrepreneurs they are playing on the nerves of the financial crisis as have upgraded from a mere private jet to bigger planes, with leather seats, plush bedrooms and opulent boardrooms. But the thing is that also billionaires from emerging markets are also looking for long-range planes as these jets are expected to shorten their trips and make a business life more comfortable. Steve Varsano made the new trend look so simply highlighting: “If you’re flying from Mongolia to Nigeria, it’s either a three-day journey flying commercial or a nine-hour flight on your jet.”
Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturer, is very much interested in new clients from Asia and for them it has desgined an interior concept of the corporate version of its A320 called Phoenix. The project includes red shades, oriental patterns and a large round table, which inevitably symbolizes the Asian family life, making it even more luxurious. Not surprisingly, this trend of exposing wealth has without doubt helped the industry in spite of the crisis. The findings of the survey by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, right from 2007 through 2011, sales in the largest jets weighing more than 50,000 pounds, grew by as much as 23 percent to 200, recording just a small dip in 2009. By contrast, shipments of the smallest planes slumped by staggering 58 percent to 106 in the same period, while sales of medium-size jets dropped by approximately 43 percent to 375.
Habib Fekih, the president of Airbus Corporate Jets, underlined: “The people we deal with were not too much affected by the crisis”. This has generated a lot of wealth in emerging markets, especially in places like India. And one thing is sure; luxury comes at a cost. If you do not wanna spend too much you can think about buying a Bombardier 5000 for only $31 million. If you are ready to spend much more you can consider buying the twin-aisle A350 for around $245 million or the new A380 double-decker without any upgrades for staggering $389 million sic!