Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have purchased a Boeing 767-200 airplane, claims the Wall Street Journal. While the plane is a used model previously operated by Australian Qantas Airways, it is considerably larger than the Gulfstream business jets that were the millionaire's toy of choice during the dotcom boom days.
The airplane had served from 1987 until 2004 and has since been mothballed at a storage facility in an Arizona desert.
A typical 767 holds 180 passengers, but after the engineers are done renovating Brin's and Page's model, it will only seat 50 travellers. It will have a sitting area, two staterooms and a shower, as well as a dining area. The back is expected to feature first class-style seats for guests and employees.
The Wall Street Journal (paid registration) reports that: Mr. Page acknowledges that the purchase might seem ostentatious. But "we tend to have an engineering approach, to be fact-based," he says. "We looked at this and we just did the economics and we said, 'you know, it makes a lot of sense.' "
The aircraft is estimated to have cost no more than $15m, much less than a new Gulfstream. Flying the plane would come to about $13,000 per hour, compared to $7,850 for a Gulfstream, the newspaper stated. But if filled to capacity, the costs boil down to $400 per passenger per hour for the Gulfstream and $260 per passenger per hour for the Boeing 767.
A Qantas Boeing 767-200 taking off in 2002
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