According to the French daily newspaper Le Figaro, the owner of the first private Airbus A380 is Roman Abramovich. Airbus had announced earlier this year at the Paris Air Show that they received an order for an A380 from an undisclosed private owner. The media had been speculating ever since that the future owner of the biggest private jet ever would be Bill Gates or one of the influential figures from the Middle East or the Sultan of Brunei.
But last Wednesday (06SEP2007) Le Figaro has supposedly ended the speculation based on an unnamed source, by announcing that the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who owns the British football team Chelsea, is the mysterious private citizen who ordered an Airbus A380 superjumbo, the world’s largest commercial airliner. Another part of the story is the fact that Airbus did not confirm the report, and a spokesperson for Mr. Abramovich denied it: “Mr Abramovich has not purchased, nor does he currently intend to purchase, an Airbus A380 aircraft or any other large aircraft,” he said.
Abramovich’s fortune is estimated at 18.7 billion dollars. The A380, which has a 600 square meter internal surface area and can seat between 555 and 800 passengers, officially sells for around 300 million dollars. Mr. Abramovich would most likely replace those seats with a gym, a restaurant or a jacuzzi and would probably fly the plane to Nice and other locations where he owns expensive real estate or can board one of his three private yachts.
Abramovich currently uses a Boeing 767 as his private plane as AirlineWorld has reported earlier. Le Figaro said his A380 is to be delivered in 2011.