The pandemic has affected a lot of industries. Most of them, it affected in not a positive way. But, the private aviation sector is one that skyrocketed because of it. 

As the global health crisis required social distancing, commercial flights were banned for a while. But, while their airplanes remained grounded, private jets flew and soared. Even before the pandemic, it is already regarded as the more comfortable form of travel. But, each plane contained only a few people, so it became more appealing in a time when crowded places are to be avoided. 

However, it is no secret that chartering or owning a private jet is expensive. Though, that is not much of a problem for celebrities. Either their fame gives them wealth, or their status as billionaires make them famous. They can afford it, no problem.

Stratos Jet thought it would be interesting to see which celebrities spend the most in private aviation. Its study revealed that they spend more to fly them on top of the $40 M and up stars spent buying the private jets. The company used publicly available data and its own pricing tools to create the “Private Jet Rich List.” 

So the numbers are in, and here are the top 20 celebs who spend the most on private air travel annually. Spoiler alert: the last on the list shells out more than half a million dollars a year!

First Place Goes To Donald Trump

The former President of the United States, Donald Trump, tops the list. Of course, if you hold that position, it cannot be avoided. The report says Donald Trump spends $9,250,000 on private flights every year. 

As the US president, he had access to Air Force One. These are state-of-the-art jets that can even refuel in mid-air. Still, the fleet is scheduled to be upgraded, which is estimated to cost $5.3 M. 

Now that he is no longer the POTUS, Trump still flies in style. He has two planes in his possession. One of them is his refurbished Boeing-757 he bought from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen for $100 M. While it is not as safe as the Air Force One, it is more luxurious. You can easily recognize this with the 23-carat gold leaf Trump logo on its side. Aside from that, all the seatbelts are plated with 24-carat gold, and so are the bathtub’s fixtures.

Aside from that, Trump also owns a Cessna Citation X. Speeding up to almost the speed of sound; it is said to be one of the fastest jets in the world.

According to Stratos Jets, if you include those on the count, Trump actually spends $20,000,000 each year. That’s a lot of money!

More Politicians At The Top

After Trump follows seven other world leaders. Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, sits in second place. Flying on his Ilyushin IL-96-300PU, he is estimated to spend an estimated $5.3 million each year. Third in place is Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, who annually spends $4.6 M on her Airbus A340-313X VIP. The President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev spends not much less. He shells out $4.46 M on his Airbus A330-243 Prestige. Likewise, Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah annually spends $4.26 M on his Airbus A340-212. Sixth on the list is Prince Al-Waleed of Saudi Arabia. The report says the royalty spends $3.86 M a year on his Boeing 747-400.

The next spot belongs to politician turned Chelsea FC owner, Roman Abramovich. He owns several aircraft. But, his most prized possession would be the Boeing 767-33AER. The private jet, also known as “The Bandit,” has a catalog value of over $180 million. It features a banquet hall that can accomodate 30 people, a kitchen, and an office. It also has an anti-ballistic defense system. How amazing is that? Its features definitely justify its price. On top of that, after refinements and upgrades, the private jet is estimated to be worth $300 M. Overall, the report says Abramovich spends $3.58 M per year on private aviation.

The last politician on the list is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson. He is said to spend roughly $2.7 million on his Airbus A330 each year.

Albert the II is the lowest ranking world leader. He is in 13th place with yearly spending of $1,140,000 on his Dassault Falcon 7X.

Private Aviation's Top Spenders

A-Listers On The List

The rest of the list is star-studded with A-listers. Leading them is John Travolta, who is one of the best celebrity pilots. This is not surprising, considering he has five private jets parked on his front lawn. He is said to spend $2.25 yearly on his Bombardier 707 alone. Meanwhile, two-time Instagram Rich list first placer Kylie Jenner spends $1.45 M on her Bombardier Global 7500. 

On the top of the second half of the list is the couple Jay Z and Beyonce. If you are not aware, Beyonce gifted Jay Z a Challenger 850 Learjet for Father’s Day in 2012. Since then, the couple spends around $1.4 million on their private jet each year. 

Mark Cuban, who is in the Guinness’ Book of World Records for the biggest e-commerce purchase, sits at number 12. On that transaction, he bought his Gulfstream V for $40 M. 

Next on the list are Jim Carrey, Taylor Swift, Celine Dion, Tom Cruise, Oprah Winfrey, and David Beckham. Each of them has their own private jet. Their expenditure ranges from $870,000 to $1 M. 

Kim Kardashian, who only charters private jets, is at the tail of the list. Annually, she spends $730,000 on private flights.

Private Aviation's Top Spenders

Stratos Jets explains what causes them to spend this much. According to them, multiple factors could lead to a high annual cost. For starters, operating the jet itself can cost anywhere between $650 to $29,000 per hour. Then, other things like maintenance, engine reserves, fuel, and auxiliary power units demand more cash to be brought out. Furthermore, they have to spend more on miscellaneous expenses, including crew travel, catering and cabin supplies, and landing and parking fees.

“It’s interesting to see just how much celebrities and world leaders spend on their air travel,” said the President of Stratos Jet Charters. He adds that chartering a jet is already luxurious enough, but there is something to owning your own aircraft.