Google Plane Boarding Soon

    November 4, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

The search engine company has some big plans for its 767-200 passenger jet; two staterooms and plenty of leg room for 50 passengers will be among its features.

Google’s founders were famously advised pre-IPO to make a jet one of their first purchases as billionaires, and they have done so. Should they have gone with a Gulfstream instead? Would you? Fly over to WebProWorld and tell us more.

Despite being billionaires, the founders of Google show some fiscal responsibility that will make their investors happy. The $15 million purchase of a used 767 runs about a third of what a choice Gulfstream 550 business jet costs, the Wall Street Journal reported. Though it isn’t definitely known, the

Journal has collected some evidence on the plane’s previous life:

Evidence suggests that the 767 in question flew for over a decade in Qantas Airways’ fleet with the airline’s red-and-white kangaroo logo on its tail. Boeing delivered it to Qantas in 1987. The Australian airline took it out of service and stored it in the desert outside Tucson, Ariz., in 2004. Federal Aviation Administration records show that the Qantas 767 was bought in March by a limited-liability company registered in Delaware.
The contact number for that company listed in FAA records is an extension at Google’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. On a recent day, calls to that number were answered by a voicemail system announcing that "Eric Schmidt is not available. To leave a message, wait for the tone." Mr. Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, didn’t return a message left on the machine. He and Mr. Brin, through a spokesman, declined to comment for this article.

Larry Page, who was interviewed for the report, wouldn’t confirm the jet’s origins either. He did confirm the financial aspects of the purchase being key: "We looked at this and we just did the economics and we said, ‘you know, it makes a lot of sense.’" Page also provided some details on the jet’s retrofitting:

Mr. Page says his plane will hold about 50 passengers when its refurbishment is complete. A top Gulfstream business jet typically carries 15 or fewer. He declines to give other details. People in the aviation industry familiar with the planned interior say it will have a sitting area, two staterooms with adjoining lavatories and a shower. Farther aft will be a large sitting-and-dining area. At the rear will be 12 to 16 first-class seats for guests or employees and a large galley.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.