When The Notorious B.I.G. came up with the idiom "more money, more problems," he may not have been talking about private jet ownership. Still, the verse arguably applies to that perhaps situation more than any other scenario. According to estimates, purchasing a luxurious private jet will set people back anywhere from $2 million to $75 million on the low end.
While the eye-watering prices for some of the most expensive private jets are expensive enough, that doesn't even consider the cost of maintenance. The annual overhead cost of owning a private jet can range from $500,000 to $1 million annually. However, those maintenance and hangar costs for the very best private jets from the best manufacturers and even jumbo jets converted to private planes can go even higher.
Indeed, it's true that only the richest people worldwide can afford to own their own private jet. That being said, when examining the most affluent and lavish, it's natural to wonder how high some of the most influential people in the world are willing to spend.
While many online estimates for the most expensive private jets in the world can prove inaccurate to some degree — as private sales of jets are typically kept under wraps — there have been a few documented cases of remarkably expensive private jets and even jumbo jetliners converted for private use. Here are the five most expensive private jets from least to most expensive.
The "cheapest" luxury airliner to make the list of the most expensive private jets on the market is the Airbus ACJ319NEO. Estimates online put the cost of the jet anywhere from $73 million to a little over $100 million for this opulent airliner. Like many other modern private jets, the interior of the Airbus ACJ319NEO is incredibly customizable, with bedrooms, conference rooms, and offices that can potentially be configured to a buyer's specifications.
The cabin, while not as immense as other aircraft on this list, is quite spacious, with around 315 square feet in space, which is larger than the size of some studio apartments. Able to seat up to eight passengers for a 15-hour non-stop flight, though impressive in its own right, the Airbus ACJ319NEO is just a light introduction to the world of valuable private jets. Surprisingly, the plane is dwarfed in size and features compared to the most expensive private jets in the world.
While some sources online cite the sale of Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal's luxury Airbus A380 at $600 million, these estimates are likely inaccurate, as, according to reporting from Forbes, Al Waleed actually purchased the "Flying Palace" from Airbus on sale for $130 million. Surprisingly, this was significantly cheaper than the price tag for a new Airbus A380 in 2007. Additionally, it seemed that the prince didn't actually want the jet in the end, as he attempted to sell it several times before finally unloading it in 2013 to an undisclosed buyer for an unknown price.
When examining the scenario from afar, it looks like Al Waleed bin Talal may have even possibly purchased the Airbus A380 as an investment vehicle to sell it to someone else later for a profit after retrofitting the interiors, though it's unlikely we will ever know whether a profit was made from the sale.
While the total value for the plane after Al Waleed's enhancements remains vague to this day, even with the most extravagant upgrades, even the estimates still don't hold a candle to some of the internet's more outrageous offerings.
Boeing 747-8 BBJ
The Boeing 747-8 BBJ is part of the Boeing Business Jet fleet, which is the company's premiere line built for comfort. The interiors are extemely lavish without having to be retrofitted — with separate areas, private rooms, and other state-of-the-art technology to make the flight as comfortable as possible. According to Avweb, one jet was created for Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, with additional money being sunk into the project to refit the interiors for private use, costing around $275 million dollars.
Interestingly enough, the crown prince passed away before he was even able to fly in the plane, and the Boeing 747-8 would eventually be scrapped back to Boeing with a paltry 42 hours of total flight time — talk about a bad investment.
Today, Boeing has a new fleet of BBJ aircraft, the BBJ 787 Family, with even more modern technology and more lavish and impressive interiors. According to some estimates, planes in that family cost around $225-$239 million from Boeing, but can usually be purchased for a lower price, pointing to the fact that it might be better to wait for the next model when it comes to private jets.
When it comes to luxury private jets, not many models can touch the Airbus ACJ350. The aircraft comes in two variants, the A350-900 and the slightly longer A350-1000, both of which are incredibly expensive. While special VIP add-ons to the interiors can raise the price even more astronomically, the base cost for the planes is estimated around $300 million.
In addition to being able to host 25 people comfortably for a staggering 20-hour maximum flight time, the interior of the plane has over 1,000 square feet between spacious private cabins and bedrooms equipped with king-sized beds. It also possesses eight different temperature zones, just in case the passengers are looking to change up the seasons in the sky.
The ACJ350 is the latest in the long line of customizable luxury airliners provided by Airbus and stands as one of the most expensive, and also one of the most advanced, private jets on the market.
The Boeing BBJ77-9 is part of the BBJ77X family of jets. It is the most costly private jet in the world, coming in at a staggering estimated cost of around $426 million, though, this can fluctuate depending on the additions to the interiors. This model of jet is the latest and greatest private business-line jet from Boeing, with more than 1,100 square feet in the cabin, spacious living areas, private rooms, and more. This particular jetliner uses the latest breakthrough technology from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, has lower fuel consumption, and is quieter than previous luxury jet models.
According to Insider reporting, described as a "flying mansion," the first Boeing BBJ777-9 was sold for $426 million in May 2023 to an unnamed person. In addition to a private VIP cabin, the plane also has advanced-looking conference rooms and other areas of interest, like a full-service bar. As expected from a nearly half-billion-dollar plane, each one is highly customizable to buyer's whims, with leading aviation and design firms creating concepts for the luxurious airliner.