Billionaire Louis Vuitton Boss Bernard Arnault Sells Private Jet so You Won't Track Him

LVMH billionaire Bernard Arnault sold off his private jet to prevent tracking 14 photos
Photo: Jeremy Barande / Wikimedia
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We, regular, non-famous folk love to occasionally criticize or judge celebrities for their eccentricities, but this is different. Multi-millionaires and billionaires from all walks of life are being called out for their irresponsible and unnecessary private jet use, by highlighting the impact it has on the environment.
Some have called these very rich and clearly indifferent people “climate criminals,” since the amount of emissions they put out in the atmosphere in a single month tops the yearly production of an entire country. Some have called them spoiled, senseless people who put their brand, image or convenience even above common sense. Some have called them things we couldn’t possibly put in writing without blushing (and getting banned).

The point is that rich people love to fly, even over distances they could easily and perhaps more efficiently cover by car. They also love their privacy, so the last thing they want or openly invite is more bots reading their private jets’ transponder signals and then posting their trips to Twitter. Just ask Bernard Arnault.

Bernard Arnault is the second-richest man in the world, with an estimated net worth of $144 billion. He is a businessman and art collector who also owns LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE, LVMH for short, aka the world’s largest luxury goods company. As such, he travels a lot both for business and personal reasons, and many of those travels he did onboard his private F-GVMA Bombardier Global 7500, registered until September 1 as the LVMH corporate jet.

Kylie Jenner's Jet
Photo: YouTube / Kylie Jenner
Much like Kylie Jenner, Drake, Taylor Swift, and Elon Musk (to name just a few), Arnault’s private jet too started getting attention on social media, and not of the good kind. Using the aircraft’s transponder signals, bots could read its routes and post them to Twitter in real time, including data like the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere and an estimate for the amount of fuel burned. It was fact-shaming, but in the public square of Twitter.

Arnault has now taken his private jet use underground. But the billionaire version of it.

As of September 1, the jet is no longer registered in France, as the account Bernard’s Airplane was the first to notice within days of the fact. This is just one of the several accounts that constantly tracked the private jet, with the goal of exposing Arnault’s unnecessary and very damaging practices. It worked, too, since French politicians are now discussing the possibility of taxing this type of flights.

Good luck to Twitter activists and politicians, because Arnault has just confirmed that he sold the plane so tracking would become impossible. “[We] had a plane, and we sold it,” he explains on an LVMH-owned podcast, as reported by Bloomberg. “The result now is that no one can see where I go because I rent planes when I use private planes.”

His son, Antoine Arnault, who is an LVMH board member and was also present on the podcast, added that having these details in public posed a serious privacy issue, though not in terms of their personal safety. Unlike Elon Musk, who feared being attacked by “crazies” when his jet landed, the Arnaults are more business-focused, or so they make it sound. “It’s not very good that our competitors can know where we are at any moment,” he explained. “That can give ideas, it can also give leads, clues.”

Kylie Jenner's Jet
Photo: YouTube / Kylie Jenner
The ethical implications of posting this kind of data on social media, even if it’s public data, are still being debated, but there is no debate on the need for the world’s richest people to scale down their travels. No one’s saying that we as a race or them. in particular, should return to the old days of traveling by ship or train, and spend weeks on end on the road, but maybe making an effort to cut down on unnecessary flights wouldn’t kill them. But a dead planet certainly will.

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Editor's note: Photos in the gallery show Kylie Jenner's Bombardier Global 7500 private jet, known as Kylie Air.

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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