Seeking to put their climate money where their mouths are, the secondary market for private jets hit new lows Thursday as woke billionaires continued to eschew private aviation, insisting instead on flying commercial.
“How can I justify burning thousands of pounds of jet fuel per hour just to fly me and my friends,” said wealthy Lithuanian jet-setter Kvailys Balandis, “when there are thousands of unused seats on commercial airliners I could travel in for a tiny fraction of that? Those seats will be flying whether I’m in them or not, the responsible thing to do is to fly, not just commercial, but coach. I’m convinced that private jets make Mother Gaia sad.”
Not every wealthy climate advocate is ready to give up the comfort and convenience of private aviation just yet.
Biden “climate ambassador” John Kerry recently appeared flagrantly out of touch when he replied that a private jet is, “the only choice for somebody like me” after jetting in to pick up a climate award in Iceland. This brought attention to the a-list lifestyle led by Kerry and his second wife, ketchup heiress Theresa Heinz. Together they have owned fabulous homes in places like Boston’s Back Bay and the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. They have enjoyed a fleet of cars, luxury yachts (including the 72 foot “Isabel” Kerry docked in Rhode Island to avoid Massachusetts taxes), and a private Gulfstream jet.
But for every private jet holdout like Kerry, there are ten more vowing to never fly private again.
Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg is famous for leading a children’s strike against school to bring attention to the perils contained in climate computer simulations. In 2019, Greta refused to fly across the Atlantic to attend a UN climate conference, hitching a ride on an elite carbon-fiber racing yacht instead. Embarrassingly, it was later revealed that the yacht belonged to the ruling Grimaldi family of Monaco, and that Greta’s crew flew across the Atlantic after delivering her, and later to bring the yacht home. Further, the Grimaldi’s are not known as paragons of the low carbon lifestyle, but rather as hosts to many of the megayachts and private jets of the global elite.
Prince Albert of Monaco is the proud owner of a royal Dassault Falcon 7X jet. A three engine 7X will set you back $45 million, but you can pick one up used for as little as $19 million. The jets are engineered for fuel efficiency, burning only 4,000 pounds of fuel during their first hour of flight, then settling in for to burn of only 2,250 pounds per hour for the remainder of the trip.
Nonetheless Prince Albert and family are expected to scrap the royal jet, and even avoid commercial air travel within Europe, opting instead to board trains at the principality’s historic Monaco rail station.
Greta’s yacht trip was skippered by Pierre Casiraghi of Monaco and his wife Beatrice Borromeo. When not aboard their multi-million dollar petrochemical racing yacht, the royal pair are known to fly private. They hopped a private jet to attend step-cousin Prince Ernst August, Jr.’s wedding in Hanover, Germany. With changing stations, the train ride from Monte Carlo to Hanover could have taken over 14 hours. Yet what is 14 hours compared to the climate doom the computer models foretell?
Actor Harrison Ford frequently enjoys lecturing the world on climate change. Ford, however, not only owns a small fleet of private aircraft, but enjoys flying them himself. Ford told reporters that he has enjoyed flying up the coast of California, “to get a cheeseburger.” Activists are hopeful that the private jet burying ground can still find room for Ford’s planes while his resolve remains firm.
Other private jet-flying climate celebrities include Leonardo DiCaprio, Opra Winfrey, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elizabeth Warren and Kim Kardashian. Prince Harry drew flack for flying private with Meghan Markel to a Google climate conference.
All that seems to be drawing to a close as the climate elite resolve to lead by example and kick their private jet addictions once and for all.
With the private jet graveyard filled to overflowing, the problem remains as to how to go about recycling all those out of commission luxury jets.