Flat White

A second-hand private jet? How dare!

6 August 2022

4:00 AM

6 August 2022

4:00 AM

Another day, another shortage. Could anything be worse than living through the dreaded toilet paper wars or the more recent lettuce crisis?

Thank goodness some logic has been applied to these deficits. After all, it’s quite understandable that lettuce has become the new toilet paper, so to speak. The rationale being that you can do more than wipe your derriere with it, although at $11.99 per head, it does become rather expensive.

Shortages aren’t contained to a food or loo roll apocalypse; they have extended into the broader epitome of Australian life.

Take sport, for instance. There’s been a dearth of good tennis on the telly. The Australian Open got no airtime at our house this year because of a conspicuously absent world number one defending champion, ensuring the tournament was as fair as Wimbledon without the Russians.

Times are certainly harrowing when the shortage of sport extends to rugby league players such as Manly’s match against the Roosters last week. One can only hope that when the cricket season comes around, the only shortage we will see is Pat Cummins bowling up a few balls short of a length.

Yet, perhaps Australian society hasn’t reached the dire straits that the colonisers in 1790 faced when food had to be shipped in from South Africa (hold the biltong puh-lease), nor the post second world war stage where tea and butter could only be bought with coupons – but it is not too far off.

It’s not the paucity of 300 medicines for diabetes, hormone replacement therapy, depression, nausea, stroke, and contraception – nor the anticipated shortage of anti-venom for the Funnel-web spider, or even the lack of authentic Dijon mustard no longer flying in from the land of disgruntled submarine makers. It’s travel. I’m not talking about the impending shortage of coal-generated electricity to charge the virtue-signalling Teslas. No. I mean plane travel.

Consider this.

You’ve lusted after your very own plane for as long as you can remember, scrimping and saving, and finally you’ve saved up the $125 million needed for the Gulf Stream III. You put on your best Top Gun jacket and your aviators and head up to the Gulf Stream showroom to make your purchase. But quelle horreur! Imagine your surprise when the sales manager blithely says that you’ll have to wait three years for delivery. Three years! By that time you’ll probably need more carbon credits than Keith Richards could rack up in a lifetime of planting carbon-absorbing opium poppies. You stand there, mouth wide open, as the sales manager seizes his moment.

‘Perhaps Sir or Madam (he’s schooled in gender politics to a point) may want to consider a second-hand plane?’

‘A second-hand plane?!’ you cry. ‘Is the Pope a vaxist?’

This shortage of jets has been confirmed by Manuel Gusterer, CEO of OysterJet, who told AP Newswire that the pandemic has made it nigh impossible to get planes. Even second-hand planes are not available (not that this worries you).

But who are these people who are getting their caviar-stained fingers on these gas guzzlers? Did everyone have a house filled with bulging money boxes that they emptied just before your moment of glory? Surely the previous purchasers are the climate sceptics of the world who turn a well-glazed, Bollinger-induced red eye at apparently polluting up to 14 times more than a commercial flight and up to 50 times more than rail travel?

On further investigation, it seems that those who have membership to the multi-million dollar mile high club are none other than those who want us to limit our showers to two minutes.

So, we’ll turn off our heating and put another blanket on the bed so Kylie Jenner can take a three-minute flight across town.

Seems fair.

Perhaps we should cut our Netflix subscription as well (although it seems like many of us have) so Mr one-ring-to-rule-them-all can fly around in any one of his or his foundation’s private planes whether it be the lavish $US66 million Bombardier 8000 or one two $70m Gulfstream 650ER private jets, or maybe one of the two Challenger 350s via NetJets, or the other smaller aircraft lazing around the hangar.

But enough of the pox saviour, back to the plane purchaser.

Imagine the devastation in finding out that if you’d been just a bit thriftier (perhaps not bought that lettuce) and saved up just a bit earlier you may be circling over Whale Beach now ready to ascend for a sustainable seafood lunch at Jonah’s. Wing X declared that first-time buyers of the private plane soared in number with 2021 being a record-breaking year for the climate crew who made over 3.3 million take-offs worldwide.

You are not alone, even Kerry Stokes had to wait for his $85 million Gulfstream G650 private jet.

In Australia, there are over two hundred private jets owned by local individuals and businesses and with the way our domestic carriers are doing business, one would expect this number to double unless something is done soon in regards to cancelled flights, lost luggage, delays and Qantas executives’ pay rises.

CelebJets was created by American tech expert Jack Sweeney. Sweeney’s rise to fame came when he was able to track the US$70 million Gulfstream G650 ER of Elon Musk (who offered him barely enough for the weekly shopping bill – just $5000 – to take down the information). Rather than agree, Sweeney has now extended ElonJet to CelebJets.

Sweeney initially used information available from the FAA to track scheduled flight paths, departures, and landings but in May he added carbon emissions and fuel use as well.

So there we have it, a social credit system for the rich and famous giving us such tasty bits of information like the weekly flights and their emissions by planes owned by Steven Spielberg and Floyd Mayweather. Hold the presses.

Another pair in the news because of their transport footprint is the Climate Change evangelists, Harry and Meghan, who were reported to have racked up 21 private jet flights in two years. Preaching from the Selden rule book of do as I say not as I do, they join a long list of potential climate sceptics. Out of the cupboard you two. The game is up.

Or could it just be that the Mandelas of Montecito, and others of their ilk, have put on display another shortage now prolific in our society – common sense. Not only is this common sense deficit so extensive in our elected and non-elected leaders, it is at pandemic levels. Are these climate alarmists being paid for their ridiculous rantings or are they just too many sandwiches short of a picnic or as we say in Australia, a kangaroo short of a paddock?

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