The Global 7500 is the largest purpose-built private jet in existence and will cost buyers a whopping $75 million. I flew on a $50 million Bombardier Global 5000 private jet from Montreal to New Jersey and saw why those who can afford it are flocking to private aviation. Also being the world’s longest-ranged private aircraft, the jet can fly up to 14 hours across 7,700 nautical miles on routes like New York to Tel Aviv and Los Angeles to Sydney, per Bombardier.
While it can’t quite break the speed of sound, the jet flies at .925 Mach and can fly between New York and Los Angeles in as little as three and a half hours. The plane was recently popularized by Louis Vuitton CEO Bernard Arnault when he sold it to avoid jet-tracking Twitter accounts. The world’s 2nd-richest man, Louis Vuitton’s CEO, sold his private jet after people started tracking it on Twitter: ‘No one can see where I go’.
In March, VistaJet took on its 10th Global 7500 and has since received five more for a total of 15. Overall, the company has invested $4 billion in new planes, VistaJet US president Leona Qi told Insider.
The additions come as private aviation continues to boom post-pandemic, with Qi saying the company has seen a huge increase in demand, particularly to places like the Caribbean and Aspen. A travel planner for the ultrawealthy shares what goes into organizing $800,000 trips to exclusive locations.
“The U.S. remains the company’s strongest and fastest-growing region,” she said. “In the last quarter alone, 70% of US hours sold were attributable to new VistaJet Program Members.”
But the luxury isn’t cheap. A VistaJet Global 7500 flight will run customers between $12,000 and $20,000 per hour, though the company doesn’t publish its rates. It costs around $10,650 to rent the Global 7500 for an hour, according to Paramount Business Jet.According to aviation site Liberty Jet, the plane’s operating costs come out to around $2 million dollars when flown for 200 hours, and $3.1 million when flown for 400 hours.Fuel and engine overhaul make up the most expensive costs in operating the jet, per the aviation site.
The ultra-wealthy opt for the convenience of flying private because they don’t have to clear security or traverse crowded airports as the aircraft typically depart out of fixed-based operators. I flew out of a general aviation airport to see how the rich travel. I didn’t miss the hassle, lines, and frustration of commercial flying.
While the lack of screening could seem concerning to some people, the Transportation Security Administration does not have as strict of oversight for private jets because “the passengers choose to travel together.”
“They may be related to one another in some way, such as being employed by the same company or on the same sports team, and so the risk that one passenger would endanger the others appeared to be low,” the agency said in a 2002 final rule.
To see how the ultra-wealthy travel, I took a demo flight on VistaJet’s Global 7500 from Miami to New Jersey — here’s what it was like. I arrived at Signature Flight Support at 1 p.m. for a 1:30 p.m. departure. Media took a one-minute bus ride from curb to plane, and, as mentioned, I didn’t have to scan any luggage or walk through a metal detector.
Once on the aircraft, I was immediately blown away by the size. I could see myself easily spending 14 hours onboard. Qi took us on a tour of the jet, saying the aircraft has an extra living section not available on competitor planes, like the Gulfstream 650ER. I toured a $65 million Gulfstream G650ER private jet like the ones owned by billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos and saw how the ultra-rich travel.
This makes the aircraft the largest of any business jet on the market. The four spaces include a meeting space, which has two sets of seats facing each other… a six-person dining room, a theater room that can double as a conference room, and a master suite, complete with a double bed, lounger, and bookcase.
Qi explained the design is VistaJet-specific, saying the flooring has been the same since the company’s founding 18 years ago.
I loved the design of the interior. It was elegant, and easy on the eyes. I think the theater room and bedroom truly make the plane feel like home, which is one of the goals of VistaJet.In total, the plane can seat 14 people and sleep eight. There are five beds total, including three double beds — one each in the bedroom, theater/conference room, and dining area — and two singles made from converting the loungers in the front living space.
The single beds are similar to what is seen on other private jets, like a Gulfstream G280. To have eight people sleep, six travelers would have to be in couples or be family members. Otherwise, five people could sleep comfortably — one in each double bed and two in the singles. The seats and beds feature soft Egyptian cotton blankets and pillows, Qi told Insider.