A 17-minute flight? The super-rich who have ‘absolute disregard for the planet’

Kylie Jenner has faced a torrent of criticism for her decision to take her private jet on a flight that lasted just 17 minutes. But the practice of taking brief journeys on luxury aircraft appears to be common among the rich and famous despite mounting concerns over the climate crisis.

Jenner, the 24-year-old socialite and businesswoman, has faced online opprobrium after she posted an Instagram picture of herself and her partner, rapper Travis Scott, on the runway of an airport between two private jets with the caption “you wanna take mine or yours?”

According to an automated Twitter account that tracks celebrity flights based on transponders and tail fin marking, Jenner’s flight on 12 July lasted just 17 minutes, taking her from Van Nuys in Los Angeles to the nearby town of Camarillo. The model had earlier taken a 27-minute trip in her jet, a $72m Bombardier BD 700, to Van Nuys from Thermal, California.

Map of Kylie Jenner’s flight on July 12, two legs between Thermal and Camarillo, California.

She was subsequently attacked by Twitter users for her “absolute disregard for the planet” and for being a “full time climate criminal”. It’s estimated that her 17-minute jaunt would’ve resulted in a ton of carbon dioxide emissions, which, while in itself not a huge amount, is about a quarter of the total annual carbon footprint of the average person globally.

But Jenner – who took an even shorter flight, lasting just nine minutes, between the same two locations in June – is far from the only celebrity to make short hops using private aircraft rather than driving or using public transport.

A review of the Celebrity Jets tracking account shows that just in the past month, the rapper Drake took an 18-minute flight from Hamilton, Ontario to Toronto; Kenny Chesney, the country music singer, was in the air for just 20 minutes between Akron, Ohio and Pittsburgh and the actor Mark Wahlberg took a 23-minute flight from Dublin to County Clare in Ireland, among other short trips.

Many of these brief flights are to “park” an aircraft at a convenient or less expensive location, or are part of a longer, two-part journey, but many appear to have an unclear rationale, such as the decision of Floyd Mayweather, the boxer, to fly 14 minutes from Las Vegas to nearby Henderson, then to fly 10 minutes back on Sunday.

Table showing a selection of short flights by celebrity-owned planes.

“I’m not surprised people are upset, they are right to be mad at this,” said Jack Sweeney, creator of the Celebrity Jets account, which uses data from a company that tracks aircraft transponders.

Sweeney, a student at the University of Central Florida, has a similar account that just tracks the private jet of Elon Musk, the multi-billionaire head of Tesla. In May, Musk took a 28-minute flight in his jet between Houston and Austin, Texas, but Sweeney believes he should be judged differently for this.

“With Elon he’s just trying to be as quick as possible and efficient for work, but someone like Kim Kardashian (who has taken long and short private jet flights) is posting ‘Kim Air’ and flexing and all that,” he said.

Private jets are responsible for around…

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