Bill Gates Makes Bid to Buy World’s Largest Private Jet Operator, Signature

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is one of the world’s most famous environmentalists or the biggest hypocrite ever. He could even be both, depending on your perspective on things.
Bill Gates has entered bidding war for UK-based private jet operator Signature Aviation 9 photos
Photo: Instagram/Bill Gates
Celebrities fly private jets for pleasure even when they're urging the world to quit flying altogetherBill Gates is getting ready to board his private jetParis Hilton, the globetrotterParis Hilton, the globetrotterJennifer Lopez on board a private jetJennifer Lopez on board a private jetEmma Watson rarely flies privateKarl Lagerfeld, the epitome of excess
Gates is one of the most vocal public figures when it comes to the issue of climate change. In fact, next month, his latest book is coming out, including an analysis of the steps necessary to prevent a total catastrophe. It’s all right there in the name: “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need.”

Yet on Friday, Gate’s Cascade Investment Fund, which handles much of his $134 billion fortune, teamed up with UK-based equity firm Blackstone in a bid to take over Signature Aviation, The Guardian reports. Signature Aviation is the world’s largest private jet operator, handling an estimated 1.6 million private jet flights a year. According to recent numbers, each private jet flight puts out 40 times more emissions than a regular commercial flight.

As per the same media outlet, Cascade already owns 19 percent of Signature. U.S.-based equity firm Carlyle is also in the running, but given Cascade’s existent involvement, it’s considered a favorite in the £3 billion ($4.05 billion) bidding war.

For the past few years, Bill Gates has been repeatedly among the world’s largest polluters, given his many private jet trips, which sometimes total upwards of 200,000 miles (321,869 km) a year. This amount of air miles averages some 1,600 tons of carbon dioxide released into the air, as compared to the average person’s 5 tons generated in the same timeframe. Hence the need for the one-percenters of the world to stop flying private.

Back in 2014, Gates defended his use of a private jet, calling it both a guilty pleasure and a necessary evil because it allows him to get to places he wouldn’t have access otherwise to, for his charity work.
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Editor's note: Pictured in the gallery, the celebrities with the biggest carbon footprints from flying private.

About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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