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Three Celebrities Who've Attempted Their Own Airlines

January 17, 2014 at 9:54 AM | by | Comments (0)

What has French actor Gerard Depardieu been up to? According to the Wall Street Journal, he's diversifying his interests and increasingly moving away from acting to pursue real estate concerns, wine sales, hospitality, and most recently, airline management.

Depardieu has formed Cyran R, a company dedicated to storing his private jet and leasing it out for charter services from its base at Lesquin airport, "outside of the French city of Lille, just across the Belgian border from Estaimpuis, where the actor currently lives." Despite all this information, no one seems to have details on exactly what type of plane Gerard is flying.

Naturally, he's not the first celebrity to consider turning his private jet into a business all its own. Here's a few other famous people who dabbled in the airline business:

Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe


It was in 2010 that Mötley Crüe bought up a Hawker 700, a Lear 35 and a Gulfstream to form "Vince Neil Aviation." All three jets were available for charter, based at Las Vegas-McCarran International, and came complete with painted flames on their fuselages and zebra-stripe interiors.

Nothing's been heard of Vince Neil Aviation since that announcement four years ago, however, but if you see the above plane on a tarmac near you, let us know!

Hugh Hefner


In 1969, Hugh Hefner took delivery of a DC-9 and had it painted black. It was officially known as "Hare Force One," but gained the nickname, "Big Bunny." It wasn't exactly a jet up for charter, nor did Hugh harbor plans for turning it into an airline, but he did lend it out on occasion. Of such instances, he said:

It was a great toy and it was a great gift to give. I lent it to Elvis Presley to fly to concerts and I lent it to Yul Brynner. When the Vietnam War was ending, he had arranged to adopt a Vietnamese orphan. A lot of them had been brought to San Francisco and their adoptive families were across America. He called me and asked me if it was possible to ferry them to the families who wanted to adopt them. I said yes. The Big Bunny transported about 40 babies. There were babies everywhere on the plane, all being taken care of by the Bunny mothers.

Hef gave up the jet in 1976 after settling in Los Angeles.

Bruce Dickinson of 'Iron Maiden'


Bruce Dickinson is an exception to the "celebrities who just want to own jets" cases of private planes. Dickinson, while touring the world with Iron Maiden, advanced in pilot training to become the captain of the band's own 757. Chartered from Icelandic airline Astraeus, "Ed Force One" has been up in the air since 2008. Astraeus actually also operated the short-lived low-cost carrier Iceland Air, and once it went out of business thanks to Astraeus declaring bankruptcy, Dickinson announced he was working on plans to revive the operator. That was late 2011, and there's been no news since.

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