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Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Jet-Setter Dogfight for Wings

Jet-Setter Dogfight for Wings

The rich and famous are jostling and dealing for better spots in one of the most exclusive waiting lines around — for getting keys to a new Gulfstream jet that, with a top speed of 704 mph, is the fastest private plane the world.

The must-have $65 million jets, the envy of the ruling class, are still nearly a year away from delivery, but that hasn’t stopped a lot of wheeling and dealing behind the scenes by billionaires such as Warren Buffet, Ralph Lauren and Oprah Winfrey to make sure they’ll be among the first to board the new rides.

The waiting list for taking delivery of the Gulfstream G650 has just 200 slots. Among those high on the list are Hollywood mogul David Geffen, Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and blue-chip companies such as Visa, Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson.

Multibillionaires are jockeying to be among the first owners of the new Gulfstream G650. The Gulfstream factory in Savannah, Ga., will build just 50 new jets a year over the next four years. Many billionaires must wait until a new list opens in five years.

“There was an extremely high demand for the G650 — and there still is,” said Gulfstream’s Heidi Fedak, one of the executives helping soothe ruffled feathers among her powerful clientele.

Aware that billionaires don’t like to be kept waiting, some lucky people on the waiting list are selling their spots for as much as $6 million.

Source: New York Post