Although he may own six or more homes, have an income of around £20 million a year, Tony Blair says: “This notion that I want to be a billionaire with a yacht; I don’t. I am never going to be part of the super-rich. I have no interest in that at all.” What will former prime minister say now, when all media reported that he rents £30 million ($48 million) private jet for globe-trotting at a cost of £7,000 an hour ($11,000)?
While in government, Mr Blair, 60, considered the plans for a presidential-style ‘Blair Force One’ jet were too expensive. But, now when it comes to his travelling the top-of-the-range Bombardier Global Express private jet is the normal and necessary. The 581mph Bombardier Global Express which can seat up to 19 people, is owned by a mystery businessman who rents it out. The private bespoke aircraft features stateroom, lounge, kitchen and bed. As Bombardier puts it: “This jet was purpose-built to fulfil the desires of the most sophisticated and demanding business travellers without compromise.”
The one-time Labour leader was spotted last month arriving at a regional airport in upstate New York as well as jetting into Bangkok and Sardinia on board the plane. The former prime minister is also thought to have used the aircraft, which can fly for 13 hours non-stop and has a range of 7,000 miles, to fly from London to Bangkok earlier this month to give a speech at a conference on reconciliation. If the plane had been hired at its maximum advertised hourly rate, a journey from London to Bangkok would cost about £85,000. A spokesman for his office said: “Taxpayers do not foot any part of the bill.”