It’s not general aviation by any stretch of the imagination, but it is interesting: An inside look at the jets that the world’s leaders travel in — in style.It’s no secret that the world’s most powerful leaders travel in highly specialized aircraft. The details of the planes themselves, however, are often a matter of mystery. Leveraging intel from its 20 worldwide offices, aviation specialist Air Charter Service assembled a global comparative analysis of the aircraft used by influential world leaders, featuring graphics that illustrate the specifications of the planes in detail.
The global analysis shows that while not all leaders have an ostentatious taste in aircraft, the majority prioritize comfort and luxury.
According to the in-depth comparative study, Russian President Vladimir Putin has the largest fleet at his disposal: 68 airplanes and 64 helicopters.
President of the United States Donald Trump has the oldest planes in the study: Two heavily modified Boeing 747-200B models that have been in use for over 25 years.
Xi Jinping, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, has the most modest air fleet of the leaders referenced in the analysis. The leader does not own a personal aircraft. Instead, he uses two Boeing 747-400s that belong to Air China and are heavily altered before and after his flights.
In Europe, Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel has a fleet that includes two Airbus A319-133X CJs each valued at more than 150 million dollars.
British Prime Minister Theresa May holds the record for the aircraft with the highest capacity among the world leaders in this analysis, with an Airbus A330 that can carry 160 passengers.
Some of the most extravagant fleets can be found in the Persian Gulf. Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, holds the record for the most expensive air fleet, exceeding $1.5 billion, as well as the largest air delegation during official trips. His delegation often exceeds 1,000 people, including family members, government representatives and aircraft crew.
The study shows that business executives can own personal aircraft that rival those of the richest monarchies of the Persian Gulf. Alisher Usmanov, one of the wealthiest people in Russia, holds the record for owning the biggest business jet in the Russian Federation with his Airbus A340-300. Roman Abramovich, another Russian billionaire, has a large fleet that includes a Boeing 767-33AER.