Close this search box.

Bill Gates Owns Multiple Jets He Calls His ‘Guilty Pleasure’

Excerpt: In the growth phase of the 1990s, Microsoft was gaining prominence. Gates, although wealthy, stuck to a strict policy mandating that Microsoft staff, including himself, fly economy for work-related travel. This rule was a reflection of Gates’ preference for a low-key image and his intent to set an example in his company.

During his less recognizable years, Gates could fly on commercial planes without drawing significant attention. It was not uncommon to find him deeply engrossed in a book or sleeping beneath a blanket on these flights.

In 1997, Gates joined the elite ranks of billionaires and purchased a business jet, a Bombardier Challenger 604, with a price tag of approximately $21 million. Gates chose to use his personal funds to acquire the aircraft, rather than relying on Microsoft to foot the bill, even though the jet would primarily serve business purposes. This business jet provided Gates the flexibility and convenience he required for his extensive global travels, aligning him with other business magnates who had recognized the value of private jets.

Gates now owns an impressive fleet of at least four business jets. Valued at close to $200 million, his collection includes the elite Gulfstream G650. Beyond ownership, he also runs a private aviation management company and has channeled substantial investments into the largest business jet service provider globally. …

Gates’s use of private jets has drawn scrutiny in conjunction with his vocal climate activism. Euro News reported he took 392 flights on private jets last year. In a February 2023 interview with BBC, when asked about the perceived contradiction, Gates defended his position, highlighting his considerable investment in Climeworks for carbon capture and his broader financial contributions to climate change solutions. Acknowledging his jets as a “guilty pleasure,” he insists that his proactive measures in environmental philanthropy more than offset his personal carbon footprint, positioning him as part of the solution in the ongoing battle against climate change.