I was watching a presentation on new corporate jets, their costs, and their prestige when I realized this is the real status symbol for the very rich and famous. Back in the day when I was young, I was jealous when celebrities and executives flew First Class, but now they go “wheels up” in their private jets. One CEO/billionaire actually has a new version of what us old-timers call a Boeing 747, basically for his own use. In 2012 there were 12,051 private jets registered in the USA whereas the rest of the work had 7,997. In 2017 the worldwide number grew to 23,668 business jets. In case you were wondering in 2017 there was a total of 7,309 commercial aircraft in the U.S.A. and 23,600 worldwide with about 2,500 in storage.
The U.S. Defense Department loves that the U.S. has a robust aircraft industry thus lowering its cost of owning and maintaining the U.S. Air Force/Military’s fleet of over 13,000 total aircraft – not including helicopters. In short, there are a lot of jets around the world and in the Hamptons, too. Here is a short list of ten Hamptons private jet owners.
I start with Ron Perelman who is worth in the neighborhood of $10B. He summers at his famous estate, known as “The Creeks,” with 57 acres in Wainscott. He flies to the Hamptons in his Gulfstream G650, a jet that sells for about $65M. He also has a 257 ft. private yacht named “C2” that cost him $120M! I know of him as part owner of the Blue Parrot in East Hampton with Jon Bon Jovi.
Jon Bon Jovi also squires about in a private jet. He actually used to have his own Boeing 707 with his last name painted the length of the plane.
Then there is “Madge” or Madonna who has a beautiful horse farm in Bridgehampton. It is reported she rejected a private jet for her 2019 tour because the marble bathroom was too cold!
Jay-Z and Beyoncé are a Hamptons couple with a net worth over a billion dollars. They recently bought a brand new $40M “Bombardier Challenger 850” that seats 18.
Taking it to yet another level is business mogul David Geffen, who besides having an oceanside home in East Hampton Village and a 454 ft. yacht named the “Rising Sun” that cost $400M, also owns a nice $65M Gulfstream G650. To think I once had a beer with him backstage (he was drinking water) at a Linda Ronstadt/Jackson Browne concert in D.C. in the 1970’s.
David Koch, the billionaire political activist whose summer home is in the Southampton Village estate section near Cooper’s Beach, also is a “wheels up” type of guy. He actually survived a 1991 USAir passenger jet crash in L.A. at the airport. Koch Industries is a $110B conglomerate with a fleet of company jets.
Movie making icon Steven Spielberg, who has a beautiful estate near Georgica Beach in East Hampton Village, owns a $40M Bombardier Global Express. People in the know say that the jet is popular with celebrities, with both Oprah and Celine Dion owning one too.
Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, with an estimated wealth of $54B, has a $30M summer home, “Ballysheer,” in Southampton near the iconic National Golf Links of America historic golf course. He squires about the air in his $42M Dassault Falcon 900B.
Then there is Ralph Lauren, whose oceanside Montauk summer home garages some of his exotic sports cars worth millions. Ralph has those wonderful shops all over the world and also in East Hampton and Southampton. He also has a private jet. His is a $65M Gulfstream G650. I am curious to what the inside looks like, is it saddle leather and faded linen or is it pure silk?
Calvin Klein on the other hand has that wonderful home on Meadow Lane in Southampton Village on the ocean. He spent $75M to buy and renovate it to his standards. Calvin also private jets in style as he “wheels up” in a $40M Gulfstream Aerospace G-IV.
So when you drive down past the East Hampton Airport you just might see a few of these private jets parked there. I guess when you fly in your own private jet, you never lose your luggage.