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Taylor swift sells $67 million private jet amid flight tracking controversy

Taylor Swift Sells $67 Million Private Jet Amid Flight Tracking Controversy

Taylor Swift has scaled back her fleet by selling the Dassault Falcon 900 she acquired in 2009, amid some flight tracking drama. As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the billionaire star musician parted ways with the smaller Dassault Falcon 900 private jet last month, leaving her with only one private jet, a Dassault Falcon 7X.

Swift’s previously owned Dassault 900 jet, which was initially registered to SATA LLC (sharing an address with Taylor Swift Productions in Nashville), is now under the registration of a Missouri-based company. While the terms of this deal remain a mystery, a brand new Dassault 900 commands a staggering USD$44 million (AU$67 million) to sell.

The Dassault 900, big enough for 12 passengers, was Swift’s go-to ride until its last flight on Jan. 30. Meanwhile, her Dassault 7X, with room for 16, is still up and running (per Business Insider).

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Although the exact motives behind selling the Dassault 900 are unclear, Swift’s move coincides with growing public awareness of the carbon footprint associated with private jet travel, particularly for celebrities. After a 2022 analysis by Yard, a sustainability-marketing agency, identified Swift as the “biggest celebrity (carbon dioxide) polluter” of the year, with emissions surpassing those of an average person by 1,185 times, her travel plans have drawn increased attention from fans and environmentalists alike, especially considering her recent high-profile concert tour.

The situation surrounding Taylor Swift’s jet usage recently took a new turn when her attorneys considered legal action against a Florida student who tracked her flights using publicly available data and posted them on social media. According to the Washington Post, Swift’s attorneys allege that Jack Sweeney, who runs the @celebrityjets Instagram account and the now inactive @Taylorswiftjets account, is engaging in behavior they consider “stalking and harassing.”

Jack Sweeney, a University of Central Florida junior who gained attention for tracking and sharing Elon Musk’s jet in 2022, uses the publicly available flight information from the Federal Aviation Administration to track private planes owned by billionaires, politicians, and other well-known personalities. He posts their takeoff and landing times, along with estimates of their carbon emissions. In a statement to the BBC, Sweeney said he likes listening to Swift’s music and “nowhere do I intend for harm.”

The infamous celebrity flight-tracker, Jack Sweeney
The notable celebrity flight-tracker, Jack Sweeney | Image: Zuma Press Inc.

“I actually think Swift has some good songs,” he told the BBC. “I believe in transparency and public information.” Sweeney further added that he received a cease-and-desist letter after media outlets began examining Swift’s carbon footprint. While the controversy surrounding Taylor Swift’s jet usage continues, upcoming travel plans related to her personal life have also drawn attention. After a concert in Tokyo, she is scheduled to fly to Las Vegas to attend Super Bowl LVIII on February 11, where her partner, the Kansas City Chiefs tight end and nine-time Pro Bowler, Travis Kelce, will be playing against the San Francisco 49ers.

During a conversation with the Associated Press, Gregory Keoleian, co-director of the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan, estimated that a single trip from Tokyo to Vegas using Swift’s Dassault Falcon 900LX jet could release over 200,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. Celebrities flying in private jets has long been pointed out as an environmental issue, and while that might sometimes be true, it isn’t the sole contributor to carbon emissions.

Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas – remain the primary drivers of global climate change, responsible for a staggering 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90% of all carbon dioxide emissions. Although celebrities aren’t exempt from scrutiny regarding their environmental impact, their voices can hold significant power in raising awareness and advocating for change on wider issues.