Thomas Cook passengers: which billionaires are in the best position to lend their private jets?

With the enormous success of company founders and executives, it is no surprise that many of them own luxurious assets such as private planes. Owning a private plane entails a wide array of possibilities such as saving time, transporting huge items, and even attending to those who need help.

thomas cook collapse and billionaires to rescue

The recent collapse of the budget travel company Thomas Cook left nearly 600,000 passengers stranded. More than flight-related concerns, Thomas Cook customers also worry about the likelihood of their events and the fall of their expenses.

While the British government and the Civil Aviation Authority are launching a peacetime repatriation effort to rescue stranded passengers, there will certainly be inevitable problems and delays. Efforts to rescue Thomas Cook passengers would work better should they be accompanied other external efforts – like for example, should some of the world’s wealthiest philanthropists decide to chime in with the Operation Matterhorn. 

Here are some likely billionaire candidates who are in the best position to help with the rescue operations: 

Amancio Ortega

Amancio Ortega is a fashion executive and the founding chairman of Inditex (Industria de Diseño Textil, S.A.), a fashion group that comprises of global behemoths like Zara and Stradivarius. In October 2015, Inditex’s stock reached its peak, making Ortega’s net worth go up to more than 80 billion dollars. Shortly after, the company’s stock fell and brought Ortega back to being the world’s second richest man – an identity he initially obtained in June 2015.

Even with Ortega’s immense riches, he remains private and is rarely seen in public. However, it is a known fact that he owns The Global Express BD-700, a private jet manufactured and designed by Bombardier. The private jet is worth 45 million dollars.

The Global Express BD-700 has the capacity to fly continuously between intercontinental destinations and fly between any two points in the world with only one refueling stop. With a maximum speed of 950 kilometers per hour, this jet is designed to travel long distances and fly a flight crew of two plus one or two flight attendants. According to Born Rich, “any customized Global Express can seat from eight to 18 passengers and can be fitted with a galley, crew rest station, work stations, a conference/lounge/dining area, a stateroom with a fold-out bed, toilet, shower, and wardrobe.”

Carlos Slim

Carlos Slim is known as Mexico’s richest man. He and his family control Latin America’s biggest mobile telecom firm, America Movil. According to Bloomberg, Slim’s net worth is estimated to be at least 58.1 billion dollars, but Forbes says he could be worth as much as 62.3 billion dollars.

Despite his success and abundance, Slim chooses to live a simple lifestyle. He has lived in the same house for more than 40 years and remains calm despite criticisms. “When you live for others’ opinions, you are dead. I don’t want to live thinking about how I’ll be remembered,” Slim said.

He owns a Gulfstream G550 private jet which is worth approximately 25 million dollars, although some sources say it may have been replaced by the Cessna Citation XA-CAR.

James Richman

While very little is known about Richman’s private life, the Latvian-born financier is known for his philanthropic works and financial acumen. Born in a middle class family in Smarde, a small town in Latvia, he eventually rose the ranks of the finance with his private investments in Uber and Tesla as he manages the wealth of ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI). Having tasted both ends of the spectrum, the financier is known not only for investing in developing countries, but also in his philanthropies in the African and Asian continents. 

François-Henri Pinault

French businessman and CEO of Kering Pinault has recently made headlines with his multimillion-dollar donation to rebuild the historic cathedral, Notre Dame, alongside with fellow billionaire LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault. 

Despite owning luxurious possessions, many immensely successful billionaires remain humble and living simple lives.

These billionaires own private planes with commendable features, and could easily be in the good position to lend their private planes to stranded passengers following the recent Thomas Cook liquidation. 

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