Elon Musk’s private jet appears to make frivolous flights, per Washington Post

Flight data obtained by shows that Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has a private jet that logged about 150,000 miles in 2018. While many billionaires have private jets, Musk’s jet stands out in the number of trips it made and miles it logged, the  reports.

Perhaps most egregious, the plane logged a number of 20-mile trips, repositioning from the south side of Los Angeles to the north side.

“Tesla said Musk never used the plane to fly between different spots in Los Angeles,” the  reports. Instead, the jet would make the 20-mile repositioning flights to meet the CEO at a closer airport.

Flying is an extremely carbon-intensive activity, made worse when only a few people are transported rather than many are on a commercial jet. According to the , the 150,000 miles that Musk’s jet flew represents roughly 250 flights. Although it’s not always clear that Musk was aboard every flight, the CEO’s private jet made 100 more flights than the private jet of Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon (and owner of ).

Beyond Musk’s carbon budget, the private flights also impose on Tesla financially, as the company covers much of Musk’s jet expenses. Apple reportedly spent $93,000 on private flights for CEO Tim Cook in 2017, whereas Tesla seems to have spent about $700,000 that same year on flying Musk around in a Gulfstream G650ER. The company has scheduled a financial call on Wednesday of this week. Tesla told the  that it does not pay for personal trips made by Musk.

The  received logs of flights made by Musk’s jet from an anonymous “industry official” and confirmed them through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the Federal Aviation Administration. Musk’s plane, like the private jets of many billionaires, is not tracked by public flight-trackers upon request of the plane owner.

Ars has reached out to Tesla for confirmation of the ‘s report, and we’ll update if we hear back. In a response to the , Tesla spokesperson Dave Arnold said, “Until we can teleport, there’s unfortunately no alternative that would allow him to do his job as effectively.”

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