A palace that flies

Business Jet Traveler » February 2008
You won’t confuse the prince’s airbus a380 cabin with airline coach class. It
Sunday, June 1, 2008 - 5:00am

Have you ever looked around a corporate jet and wished you had more room? Room perhaps to transport not only your closest advisers but also dozens of staff members, in a space the size of a large home? That's what private customers for Airbus' mammoth A380 will have.

The buyer of the first such "flying palace" is Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, previously the world's only private owner of a Boeing 747-400. His A380 will have some 6,000 square feet of usable space divided between two decks. The mega-jetliner has the range to fly virtually anywhere in the world nonstop, and can operate from nearly any airport that can handle a 747. The price tag for such capability is about $319 million for the "green" aircraft; completing it could cost another $200 million.

While a completion center has yet to be chosen for the prince's A380, which is scheduled to be delivered in 2010, it will reportedly include lavish living quarters, a business center to monitor the owner's extensive financial holdings, a theater and what is believed to be the first Jacuzzi certified for in-flight use. The VIP liner will transport fewer than 100 people in a space that could carry up to 800 in the A380's economy configuration.

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““CEOs go to their vacation homes just after companies report favorable news, and CEOs return to headquarters right before subsequent news is released. More good news is released when CEOs are back at work, and CEOs appear not to leave headquarters at all if a firm has adverse news to disclose. When CEOs are away from the office, stock prices behave quietly with sharply lower volatility. Volatility increases immediately when CEOs return to work.” —David Yermack, a New York University finance professor, whose recently released study shows a correlation between when CEOs take their private jets on vacation and movements in their companies’ stock price ”

-David Yermack