Engines and wingspans, cockpits and more. These are the things that make great planes. Forget trains and automobiles; we all know that if you want to travel in the ultimate style and luxury, you need to go with a nice aircraft, and the leaders of the world definitely know that this is the case. They cough up huge amounts of money (sometimes to the chagrin of the people they are governing) to ride in the swankiest modes of transport available. Here we have the 20 most expensive presidential planes in the world. The price tags are astronomical, but these are some airliners that we need to see to believe.
From in-house spas and dining rooms, to the latest technological and aviation equipment, to interior design that rivals the most pristine and lavish royal palaces, these planes are pieces of luxury in the skies. And while we would love to take a ride in them, the best most of us can do is to read about them. If you can get over the super-expensive price of these planes, you can appreciate their awesome specifications and the power and muscle they’ve got. Yes, being a president has got to be a tough job, so why not reward yourself with a private plane that rivals the Parthenon or the Colosseum?
20 Falcon 900 Ex Easy – Ghana
We may not think about Ghana too much, but its Presidential jet sure is something to talk about. It is worth $37 million and was the talk of the global stage when it debuted about five years ago. Even amid criticism that it was too lavish, the President bought the plane, which was one of only two trijets in the Falcon aircraft series (the other is the sister-jet, the Falcon 7X.) Built for long-range trips, it features enough fuel power to go for 8,340 kilometers non-stop and is outfitted with improved avionics and TFE731-60 engines. Its cruising speed is 950 kilometers per hour and it can max out at 0.87 Mach speed.
19 Ilyushin IL-96-300 – Russia
For a cool $50 million, Vladimir Putin can jet-set around the world in his Ilyushin IL-96-300. It’s got four Aviadvigatel PS-90 two-shaft turbofan engines and is lauded as the first wide body airliner in the Soviet Union. The highest quality navigation and satellite systems keep the Russian President safe and sound, while 262 seats accommodate other leaders in the global arena. At the start of 2015, the Ministry of Defense in Russia ordered the newest variation of the aircraft, which would be a superstar in air defending. It can hold 65 tons of fuel and travel up to 3,500 kilometers. Only one has been made.
18 Airbus A319 - Brazil
Most recently featured at the Dubai Airshow, the Airbus A319 is a global power-player in the aircraft arena. It costs upwards of $81 million and is a personal favorite of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Encompassing the full package of luxury and comfort, the Airbus A319 strives to keep passengers comfy and catered, with luscious seating, ambient lighting, and a single point-of-contact for checking passengers out. To keep itself competitive among other airliners, the Airbus A319 makes it a point to be fuel-efficient and cuts down on emissions. Its nautical mile range can max out at 3,750 miles, and it can seat a grand total of 160 passengers.
17 Boeing 737 - Taiwan
Ma Ying-Jeou spent quite a wad of cash on his private aircraft, a Boeing 737. It will run you $90 million if you want to sit back and cruise at high altitude in this baby. The plane can include blended winglets for a more advanced flying experience, as well as landing apparatuses and technology that ease the bumpy meet-up with the runway platform. With the newer generation of 737s, the world’s elite can fly higher, faster, and stronger as well as consume 22% less fuel, compared to previous versions. It’s aerodynamic, quiet, and is decked out in tasteful interior design, LED lighting, and serviced passenger stations for a cozy ride.
16 Airbus A319CJ - Italy
If you want the same Airbus A319CJ that Italian bigwig Giorgio Napolitano cruises around in, you would need to shell out $90 million. After all, we are talking about one hulking machine here! The Airbus A319CJ is built to transition effortlessly into from a cargo aircraft to a luxurious airliner. Available in V2000 or CFM56s, this plane is a pilot’s dream. It features six screens as well as sidestick controllers and fly-by-wire flight controls. Anything to keep the Napolitano safe, right? It takes up to half a year to prep this machine for flight, and it weighs in at a whopping 3.8 tonnes.
15 Airbus A340-200 –Egypt
Forget walking like an Egyptian; we want to fly like one! The Airbus A340-200 is $166 million worth of high-flying prestige, and it does not fail to impress. It’s a long-range, four-engine plane equipped with enough power to go 9,000 nautical miles. With its turbofan engines, it is the aircraft of choice for the elite of some of the world’s most reputable airlines, including Lufthansa, Iberia, South African, and Swiss International. And while the base cost is about $87 million, it takes a whole lot more money to make it lavish enough for the head honcho of Egypt. Featuring a cockpit made of glass, LCD screens, and in-flight entertainment, this is the coolest way to fly.
14 Doomsday Plane – US
It seems pretty fitting the US President Barack Obama would have an aircraft deemed the Doomsday Plane. After all, the country is recovering from a Great Recession and people are in a tizzy about everything ranging from immigration and politics to unemployment and healthcare. Believe it or not, the $220 million Doomsday Plane is one of four such aircrafts. Yet, the rest of the details are under wraps. We do know that it’s actually a 747 that has essentially been “pimped,” meaning it can now get through a nuclear explosion, asteroid collision, or a number of other terrorist attacks (hence the name Doomsday.) The aircraft is protected by a radiation-proof shell, and is technologically savvy, with 67 antennae and satellite dishes.
13 Airbus A330-200 - France
Touted as being “cost-effective and flexible,” French President Francois Hollande is riding pretty in the Airbus A330-200, which flashes a price tag of a mere $240 million. This plane is capable of both short-term and long-term trips, making it a smart choice for the Frenchman. Plus, it can seat 247 passengers, making it ideal for those long meetings between world leaders as they soar high in the air. Of course, it wouldn’t be a presidential plane without some upgrades, such as LED lights, a modern interior, extra-plush seating, and some bunks for the crew. As far as stats are concerned, the Airbus A330-200 features a twin-engine and 222-inch fuselage cross-section wide body. At takeoff, it weighs in at 242 metric tonnes!
12 Airbus A340-500 - Tunisia
Whether the Tunisian President was completely satisfied with his $238 million Airbus A340-500 or not, the government of Tunisia ended up selling it after President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali called it quits. Despite the hefty price tag, it was not used all that much, even though it boasted four engines and enough swag to put all of the aircraft on this list on edge. A little over 250 passengers can ride aboard the Airbus A340-500, and it’s got a 208-foot wingspan to boot. A maximum range of 8,650 nautical miles and a cruising altitude of 41,450 feet means that you can fly high in the sky worry-free.
11 Airbus A340-313 – Germany
Also known as the Konrad Adenauer (named after the famed German statesman), the $238 million Airbus A340-313 is gorgeous and holds nothing back. Gleaming in its black, red, and gold glory (on a white background), it is a true German beauty. Not only that, but it has good deeds to its merit; it was used to help Libyan citizens evacuate to safety back in 2011. Power and precision meet head-on as the Airbus A340-313 cruises along non-stop for up to 8,400 miles. It can hold up to 143 passengers and featured rooms just for sleeping, as well as a VIP cabin that has got to be super cool.
10 Boeing 777-300ER – Bangladesh
You may not equate Bangladesh with a lavish lifestyle, but when it comes to the Boeing 777-300ER, you have got $260 million worth of excellence. This twin jet broke aviation headlines back in 2014 and features seating for both business and economy classes. A top-rated plane, it joined the elitist Biman Bangladesh Airlines fleet in 2011. This piece of machinery is in it for the long haul, weighing less and emitting 22% less carbon dioxide than its predecessors. It features a General Electric twin engine and has solidified itself as one of the top-performing commercial planes out there. It also flies nonstop to several European destinations.
9 Airbus A340-600 – Jordan
Here is nearly 76 meters of pure flight joy. If you’ve got $275 million, you can have the aircraft that transported the leader of Jordan to and fro. The Airbus A340-600 prides itself on providing cozy in-house seating for those who choose economy class. It uses less fuel than other planes and is equipped with the most modern aviation technology (you gotta be safe if you’re transporting political leaders.) While not the most expensive plane out there, it is one of the safest, and is also a force to be reckoned with according to cargo statistics as well. Its maximum range is 7,900 nautical miles and its engines are lightweight, but powerful: Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines. Four of them!
8 Boeing 747-400 - Japan
Traditional Japanese values may place an emphasis on the natural and simple, but the Boeing 747-400 is a $300 million reminder that this Asian country is also on the up-and-up. Part of the Japan Airlines JAL Aircraft Collection, this plane is a wunderkind, cruising out at 916 kilometers per hour and going head-on for 12,300 kilometers. In true Japanese efficiency, the Boeing 747-400 is wonderfully aerodynamic, with built-in winglets and a wingspan maxing out at nearly 70 meters. It has got four huge engines as well as automatic systemization and a fully-equipped cockpit that is manned by a two-man crew.
7 Boeing 747SP - Yemen
The President of Yemen coughed up $300 million for the Boeing 747SP, but unfortunately, it suffered some serious damage in the summer of 2015. Caught in a firestorm at the Aden International Airport in Yemen, the aircraft was down for the count, causing President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to fly in a different plane. The news came as no surprise to the public, who has been watching the civil outrage and conflict in the region for years now. Still, with only 13 of the original 45 models left, we need to take extra precautions to protect these 45,000-pound jumbo jets.
6 Boeing 747-200B - US
If every passenger on the Boeing 747-200B pitched in a million dollars each, they would be able to purchase the aircraft. But who would want to share it? This $325 million plane is the next generation to the Boeing 747-100 and is heavier, yet stronger, reaching a range of 6,857 nautical miles. Four turbofan engines help it reach speeds upwards of 602 miles per hour while reaching a maximum altitude of 45,100 feet. Truly a splendor in the sky, the Boeing 747-200B was used by the President of the United States for high-flying business matters. The impressiveness does not stop at the specifications though; on the inside, the plane is just as striking.
5 Air Force One - US
The Air Force One is similar to the Doomsday Plane, although we actually know a bit more about this one. It is a revamped Boeing VC-25 and has a price tag of $325 million. President Barack Obama has held countless meetings on the Air Force One, and it is a staple to the United States Presidency. Obama spends loads of time on this aircraft, and why not? It’s got a lavish interior, room for his desks and conference rooms, and enough technology to make the Apple store jealous. The Air Force One is capable of flying 7,800 miles and can hold a hair more than 100 passengers.
4 Boeing 767 - Zimbabwe
Granted, Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe received a lot of flak for his $400 million purchase, but the Boeing 767 is a force to be reckoned with. A president has got to cover his bases, and this piece of aircraft is no joke. In fact, police officers and security figures need to get the laypeople out of the way in order to clear an area for President Mugabe to make a landing in his pimped-out plane. This one is a beauty: it sports stripes representing the national flag of Zimbabwe and the red, yellow, green, and black are quite striking. And what kind of president would Mugabe really be if he didn’t have the stairs to the plane decked out in red carpet?
3 Airbus A380 – Saudi Arabia
Ready to be absolutely enthralled by a piece of modern-day machinery? Then say hello to the $500 million custom-designed Airbus A380. Purchased by the prince of Saudi Arabia, it is almost like a five-star hotel that flies. It can hold up to 800 passengers (who would need all those people?!) and is just another addition to the prince’s collection of private planes. This is number four for him. If we had this plane, we would never have to leave it. It has got a full-service spa, multiple flat-screen televisions, a sauna, and a dining room that seats about twenty of the luckiest guests in the world. There is even the "Magic Carpet" room, which is the delight of all who see it.
2 Boeing 747 – Saudi Arabia
If you’re King Abdullah, no flimsy, dinky private jet will do. You need to shell out $520 million for the most crazy-awesome Boeing 747 money can buy. This is it, folks. The headliner for Saudi Arabia gets around in the highest style with this elaborate aircraft. Complete with a real fountain (yes!), a whole $150 million alone were spent on the interior of the plane. Hey, King Abdullah did have to compete with the other head honchos of Saudi Arabian history. Other leaders have gotten around in some pretty lavish planes. This could perhaps be the most luxurious aircraft to date, and has earned the nickname the "flying palace."
1 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner - Mexico
The name of this plane kind of says it all, doesn’t it? It is $600 million worth of high-flying dreams. And if you’re Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, then your dream has come true. The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner is his baby, and is currently the most expensive plane in the world. Not only is the price tag outstanding, but so are the Dreamliner’s looks. Its design is sleek and sophisticated and it looks like a giant eel soaring through the air. It can reach speeds upwards of 1,000 miles per hour and could even fly from the West Coast of North America all the way to the East Coast of Asia.