As the CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX has made his affinity for cars and spaceships known. He might love his private plane most of all, though.
Last year, Musk rode his jet more than pretty much any other billionaire in the world, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. He took a total of 171 flights, beating out Mark Zuckerberg’s 115, Sergey Brin and Larry Page’s 85 and Larry Ellison’s 82. (Aircraft data don’t reveal who is on a jet at any given time, but it does seem like Musk is often in the same place as his plane.)
The mercurial business magnate was all over the globe in 2022: visiting Ellison in Hawaii, partying in Berlin and meeting the Pope in Rome. Frequently, he was traveling between his different businesses, with sometimes daily trips from Tesla’s Austin headquarters to SpaceX’s LA-area office. And once he acquired Twitter in October, his visits to the social-media site’s Bay Area home increased exponentially.
In total, Musk’s private plane circled Earth a total of 12.4 times, an incomprehensible span even to those of us with frequent-flyer status. While that in itself is notable, most surprising might be the length of some of Musk’s trips. Several flights lasted 15 minutes or less, including one from the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, to LAX just six miles away. And in December, Musk made the two and a half hour trip from Austin to Sacramento, just to turn right back around 24 minutes later.
Musk’s reliance on his private jet is a bit at odds with his public focus on sustainability—he is the founder of an electric-vehicle company, after all. Last year, his personal plane emitted 2,112 metric tons of greenhouse gases. That’s more than 140 times the average America’s carbon footprint, Bloomberg noted, and a Tesla Model 3 would need to replace an average premium internal-combustion car for 7 million miles to make up for the environmental impact.
With 2023 already proving to be a big year for Musk (not to mention a volatile one—he became the first person to lose $200 billion, then once again became the richest person in the world less than two months later), it seems like it’ll be another big one for his jet, too.