While running for the most powerful job in the world, US presidential candidates need to very be flexible with traveling – often needing to visit several cities in the same day, sometimes in locations far away from major airports. Due to this, many candidates choose to charter planes, since private jet charter provides the flexibility, freedom and time-saving aspects the candidates crave.
In the early stages of the campaign, candidates tend to use private planes sporadically, starting off with small Learjets before hiring larger ones as they raise more money.
Here’s a look at the private jet use of some of the current candidates, as well as a look at what they’ll be flying if they win this year’s election:
Also known as “Trump Force One”, Donald Trump’s own private aircraft is almost as well-known as he is. The Boeing 757-200, powered by Rolls Royce engines, has been re-outfitted to be as extravagant as its owner. Seating just 43 people, the aircraft has many amenities such as a movie theatre, dining area, 24-carat gold seatbelts, and bedroom with an ensuite bathroom.
While Trump owns his aircraft, to charter a Boeing 757 would cost you around $14,500 per hour to fly. In addition to Trump Force One, Trump also owns a Citation X and three helicopters.
While Hillary Clinton doesn’t own a private jet like Trump, she has been a regular user of business aviation since the early 1990s. As Secretary of State, Clinton traveled over an impressive 950,000 miles and to over 98 countries – the most of any Secretary of State at the time.
During her recent campaign, Clinton has been known to fly on commercial flights, but has been hopping on private jets to keep up with a busy schedule. Clinton was recently seen boarding a Dassault Falcon 900, which can seat up to 13 people and costs about $7000 per hour to fly.
While Marco Rubio has been flying commercial during the beginning of the campaign, like other candidates, he’s switched to chartering private jets in order to keep up with tight schedules and events in multiple locations.
The Republican candidate seems to prefer flying by a Cessna Citation XL, the world’s best-selling private jet. A Citation XL seats up to 8 people costs around $4000 per hour to fly.
Bernie Sanders has become infamous for flying coach on commercial flights, with many of his fellow passengers sharing photos of him on their planes. However, just like other candidates, as schedules get tighter and he has more events to attend, Sanders has also chartered a jet or two.
Over the holiday season, Sanders used a Gulfstream G200 to fly from Burlington, Vermont as well as Las Vegas to Moline, Illinois. A G200 sits up to 8 people and costs around $6500 per hour to fly.
Air Force One
Whichever of these candidates that are successful and win the Presidential election in November, will be trading their charters for the most famous BBJ in the world: Air Force One.
Air Force One (which isn’t just a single plane, but actually a radio call sign), is a Boeing 747-200 that has 4000 square feet of space on three levels. The inside includes an office, a conference room, bedroom and medical suite.
President Obama has recently approved a new-and-improved Air Force One, which is intended to be a Boeing 747-800. Once modified, the aircraft will be capable of mid-air refuelling, hardened against the electromagnetic pulse of a nuclear explosion, and is also rumored to be equipped with defences to deflect heat-seeking missiles.
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