Forget house flipping: billionaires flip their super jets

The age of house flipping may have faded. But the super rich have found a new path to instant profits: flipping their megajets.

Demand for the biggest, most expensive Gulfstream jet — the G650 — is so strong that owners have started flipping them to other buyers. In some deals, the sellers are pulling in profits of between $5 million and $7 million per flip.

Billionaire Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One tycoon, recently flipped his G650 to an Asian businessman for $72 million — at least $6 million more than his purchase price, according to people familiar with the deal. The transaction, first reported by BizjetBlogger, came just weeks after Ecclestone received the plane from Gulfstream. (Ecclestone couldn’t be reached for comment, but BizjetBlogger said the plane was too large for some of Ecclestone’s favorite airports).

Jet brokers and consultants said at least two other buyers have flipped their G650s recently for more than $70 million. At least two other deals are in the works, they said. One of these is an American billionaire negotiating with a buyer in Asia. The other deals involved billionaires in Russia, Latin America and the Middle East.

The flips highlight the strong demand for large-cabin planes — the biggest, most expensive private jets — at a time when the rest of the private jet market is still languishing. Business jet deliveries are still down more than 30 percent from their peak in 2008, and prices for some planes have fallen by more than half, brokers say.

But large-cabin planes are a hot commodity among billionaires and global companies. With their long range and ample cabins, they can carry more passengers over longer distances and in greater comfort. The G650, with a base price of $64.5 million, is the king of the large-cabin private jets, with a range of well over 7,000 miles and a maximum speed of Mach 0.925.

The G650 also is very scarce. Only around 30 to 35 have been delivered since its launch last year, according to brokers.

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Demand for the G650 is very strong

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