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Not All Millionaires Can Afford to Own a Private Plane–Here Are The Surprising Reasons Why

There’s a certain image of the millionaire that’s the media portrays. From the luxury cars to the giant mansions, the wealthy own some pretty impressive and expensive properties. However, there’s a certain purchase that sets apart the extremely wealthy from the rest: a private plane.

Not For Mere Millionaires

Bill Gates, one of the richest people in the world, owns a $45 million private jet, a Bombardier BD 700 Global Express

According to Meridian Aviation‘s Chris Battaglia, having a private plane at one’s disposal is something that not all millionaires can afford. Going into specifics, he says that enjoying that luxury typically becomes available when a person’s wealth reaches at least $50 million to $100 million.

He breaks down the many expenses that a millionaire or billionaire needs to pay to keep a private plane at their disposal. First, they need to purchase the plane itself, which alone could cost $3 million to as much as $90 million depending on the size.

Battaglia seems to know what he’s talking about as the company he works for works to provide a variety of aircraft services to these wealthy individuals as well as businesses. He’s reportedly spent 13 years working in the aviation industry.

Long List Of Fees

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A private jet reportedly needs at least two pilots to operate it

Aside from the aircraft itself, a private plane owner would have to spring a couple hundred thousands on other expenses to run it. First, they’d have to pay for a pilot to operate the aircraft and salaries of these professionals typically reaches $250,000 annually.

There’s also the fact that one would also need to hire more than one pilot, which could bring the expenses up to $750,000. Another problem is the fact that there is currently a shortage of pilots working in the private jet industry. According to sources, a lot of these professionals are choosing to work for commercial airlines.

Another huge expense is plane fuel. For example, filling a 50,000-pound tank could cost as much as $53,000. Then there are the hangar and maintenance fees, which could add up quickly. Battaglia says that private plane owners can dish out up to $200,000 annually just for hangar fees. Meanwhile, a repair like replacing a windshield could easily set back a person $60,000.

Main Purpose

Having one’s own plane allows them to skip the time constraints of commercial travel

Although private planes are usually associated with luxury, its main purpose to the majority of its owners is more for practicality reasons. Most millionaire or billionaires who travel via private plane do so for business.

They reportedly see the plane as a way to save time and money traveling from place to place. So despite the eye-popping fees that come with owning, operating and maintaining their aircraft, the wealthy might find these expenses worth it considering the possible returns they’ll get to enjoy in the long run.

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