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Private jet registration codes of the rich and famous


Many of the world’s biggest stars and business tycoons own luxury private jets, including the likes of Bill Gates, Taylor Swift and Michael Jordan. As well as boasting state-of-art entertainment systems and lavish décor, many celebrities choose to customise their own tail plates. Here’s a look at some of the most interesting personalised jets and number plates owned by the rich and famous.

What are tail numbers?

Just like a car, planes are required to have registration numbers so they can be identified. Aircraft registration numbers are made up of a one- or two-letter country code – the United Kingdom’s is “G”, for example, while Ireland’s is “EI" – followed by a unique series of up to five letters and numbers. These are typically displayed on the tail of the aircraft and referred to as tail numbers. When it comes to private jet registration, though, things tend to get more interesting.

Since the USA makes its aircraft registry information public, it’s easy to look up the tail number of a US-registered jet and find out who it belongs to. For privacy purposes, some high-profile clients therefore choose to register their jets in offshore locations like Aruba or the Cayman Islands. Others like to show off their private aircraft by buying a ‘vanity tail number’ which has a special meaning.

Private jet registrations of the rich and famous

A lady in a black dress walks along a red carpet to board a private jet
A lady in a black dress walks along a red carpet to board a private jet

Take a look at how these rich and famous private jet owners have personalised their aircraft registration codes.

Bill Gates (N887WM)

Business mogul and philanthropist Bill Gates spent a tiny fraction of his estimated £70 billion fortune on a customised Bombardier Global Express jet. Seating 19 people and powered by twin Rolls-Royce BR710 engines, the Bombardier cost over £30 million and boasts a sumptuous wood and leather veneer interior, luxurious bathroom and entertainment system. Gates has personalised his registration code with the letters “WM”, which could be a reference to his parents’ names, William and Mary.

Michael Jordan (N236MJ)

Basketball legend Michael Jordan personalised his private Gulfstream G550 with his initials and nickname, “MJ”. The registration also includes the number 23 – the number on the back of Jordan’s jersey – as well as the number 6, referring to his tally of NBA championship wins. As the owner of the Charlotte Hornets basketball team and Air Jordan sneaker brand, MJ is worth an estimated £1.2 billion and known for his extravagant tastes. The exterior of his Gulfstream is covered in the ‘elephant print’ design that graces his sports footwear line and the interior includes a luxury bathroom, bedroom and bar.

Taylor Swift (N898TS)

Pop superstar Taylor Swift has two private jets and her Dassault Falcon 900 tri-jet is full of personal touches. Swift’s favourite number, 13, is painted near the cabin door, while her initials and part of her birth year (1989, which is also the title of her award-winning album) feature in the jet’s tail code. The registration also includes an 8, which is the number of chart-topping singles Swift had at the time of buying her jet. The impressive Dassault Falcon has a range of nearly 4,600 miles and can carry 12 passengers, so Taylor’s entourage of celebrity friends can follow her wherever she goes.

A woman is escorted from her car by a private jet pilot
A woman is escorted from her car by a private jet pilot

Jim Carrey (N162JC)

Award-winning Hollywood actor and comedian Jim Carrey has his own Gulfstream V, which is reportedly worth nearly £45 million. The jet can seat 16 passengers, travels at almost the speed of sound and is known for its cutting-edge safety features. The tail number of Carrey’s jet references his date of birth, January 1962, and his initials, JC.

Alan Sugar (G-SUGA)

British business icon Lord Alan Sugar, who claims to spend around 300 hours a year flying around the world, travels in his own Embraer Legacy 650 which features his name on the tail plate. Worth an estimated £1.15 billion, Lord Sugar is the face of the UK version of The Apprentice and founder of British electronics company Amstrad. He also has his own pilot’s licence and owns a second Embraer jet. Sugar’s current aircraft has three cabin areas, high-speed broadband, an entertainment system and a huge bathroom.

John Travolta (N707JT)

John Travolta is well-known for his love of flying. The Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction actor owns seven planes and has a pilot’s licence. Travolta even has an airplane hangar attached to his mansion in Florida. His collection includes a Boeing 707B, which features his initials “JT” in the tail plate, as well as three Gulfstreams and a Bombardier Challenger 601.

It’s not just celebrities and business tycoons who have personalised plane codes – plenty of well-known brands also customise their private jet registrations. McDonald’s has the plate N1955M, which references the year the company was founded, optician chain Specsavers has a King Air 350 jet with the registration M-SPEK and Nike owns a Gulfstream V G650 featuring the code N1KE.

You might not have your own personalised tail number, but you can still fly in style and comfort with a private jet charter. ACS has access to a range of over 100 aircraft and you can rent a private jet to worldwide destinations, whether you’re travelling for business or leisure. Contact us for a tailored private jet charter quote.

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