The average passenger can’t afford to fly first-class, let alone buy a ~$60 million private jet like the Gulfstream G550 or Bombardier Global. However, there is a market for these expensive jets, and there are a select few who can afford more than that. Those wealthy travelers are converting commercial airliners into flying palaces that can cost upwards of $400 million. Here is a brief glimpse into the world of “VVIP” private air travel. Warning: after seeing these images, returning to seat 29E by the lavatory, right behind someone’s howling child might not be the same.
2012 BOEING 747-8i
Brought to market by AMAC Aerospace, this 2012 Boeing 747-8I is configured for a VVIP along with support staff and executives.
Entranceway: Make a grand entrance and head to lounges and seating on upper decks, or the VIP lounge, dining and staterooms on the main deck.
Stateroom: Featuring a gargantuan footprint relative to smaller private jets, this stateroom accommodates a 60″x80″ bed, nightstand and cabinets, desk, TV and LED lighting, and large adjacent lavatory, shower and vanity (next).
Master Lavatory: Features a shower with heated floor, toilet, bidet, sink and vanity.
Majlis: This 14-passenger lounge (seen from forward and reverse angles) features an oval seating configuration with 52″ TVs at either end of the room. This lounge offers full entertainment capabilities, an ultraleather ceiling headliner and electronic window shades throughout.
Dining & Conference Room: With seating for 14, this hand-crafted table doubles as a dining or conference table surrounded by blue stone-topped credenzas.
GORGEOUS BOEING 747 INTERIORS
Greenpoint Technologies is the firm to call when designing the interior of your flying Boeing palace. The firm has completed, refurbished or otherwise modified over 50 Boeing aircraft for VVIPs and Heads of State. Below is a sampling of interiors they’ve designed and installed on 747s alone. Their craftsmanship is simply exquisite. If you can write the check, we highly recommend them.
EXTREMELY STYLISH AIRBUS A319
AMAC is a Swiss conglomerate with skilled completion craftsman focused on the VIP and VVIP markets out of France and Switzerland. They are currently marketing an Art Deco styled A319 for sale. New, an A319 costs ~$90 million plus interior completion. This plane entered service in 2013 and features a main lounge, dining area, master bedroom and bath, aft lav, private lounge/additional bedroom, full galley, aft seating area and a crew area near an art-adorned entranceway.
Forward Corridor: Just past the entranceway, this corridor looks down toward the main cabin. Curved storage compartments line the outboard and inboard wall, offering access to the master bedroom and bathrooms.
Master Bedroom: This spacious \~6′ x \~5′ bedroom features a leather headboard, ornamental art above the nightstand, floor lighting, electric window shades and a private lavatory.
Master Bathroom: Art Deco transition styling featuring full height shower with teak floor, lavatory and vanity.
Main Lounge: The stylist Art Deco vibe continues in this lounge, using carbon fiber, wood veneer, art-work, metal inlays, and leather-work. This lounge seats up to seven passengers.
Dining Area: Flowing in from the main cabin and continuing the Art Deco design theme, the dining area comfortably seats six passengers. Artwork and other features can be found on the aft bulkhead.
Private Lounge: For discrete meetings out of earshot, or an additional sleeping area. The electric center table can descend and enable space for a separate cushion from a divan to form a large bed.
2014 BOEING BBJ
Boeing Business Jets, or BBJs, list new at a shade under $60 million, but that price excludes any interior design, which typically costs an extra $20 – $25 million. Here is a lovely completed 2014 BBJ that is being brokered by Opus Aeronautics.
2010 AIRBUS AC318 ELITE
The Airbus A318 may be the smallest member of the A320 family of planes, but this particular luxury liner is partial to creature comfort. A new A318 would cost ~$77 million without the interior work. This AC318 accommodates 19 VIPs plus a full crew. It has two cabins plus a stateroom, three bathrooms and a full galley. It is being brokered by Global Jet Elite in Monaco.
And now, for a dose of polite commercial airplane bathroom humor to bring you back to reality.
This creatively-written tail of woe, penned en-flight by an understandably aggrieved passenger pushed beyond his or her limit, was received by United Airlines-predecessor Continental Airlines in April 2005 and has been verified as authentic.