- Ron DeSantis frequently flies on private jets, including one owned by the Florida government.
- The Cessna Citation Latitude costs $2.1 million to operate for 450 flying hours.
- It can fly non-stop from Los Angeles to New York.
A report by the New York Times on Saturday revealed Ron DeSantis’s lavish travel habits — which often include private air travel.
DeSantis, who just announced he’s running for president, has flown on several private jets owned by his political supporters. The jets include a Bombardier twin-jet and a Gulfstream jet, according to NYT’s report.
DeSantis’ use of private jets is controversial. The majority of his career has been spent in public service and he reported a net worth of $319,000 last year, per NYT. As that’s not enough to afford frequent flights on private jets, DeSantis depends on supporters to fund these travels.
DeSantis, who’s the governor of Florida, acknowledged his frequent use of private jets, but insists that it’s “all legal, ethical, no issues there,” reported NYT.
Since the report, more details about DeSantis’s flight data began to emerge. Jack Sweeney, a college student who tracks Elon Musk’s private jet’s flight data on his Twitter account, told Insider’s Sam Tabahriti that he has started to track DeSantis’s air travel too.
The plane in question is a Cessna Citation Latitude, a business jet manufactured by Rhode Island-based Textron Aviation. Records from the Federal Aviation Administration show that the plane is owned by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. As the jet is government-owned, DeSantis may not be the only one who flies on the plane, Sweeney said in a Twitter post on Sunday.
Take a look inside the Cessna Citation Latitude, similar to the one used by DeSantis. The jet shown in the photos is designed with standard configurations, so there may be differences in interiors.
DeSantis did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
The jet was first manufactured in 2014. Some 360 units of the jet have been built as of March, making it one of the most popular business jets.
The one owned by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and used by DeSantis, has the registration number N943L. It was manufactured in 2019, per FAA records.
“Business travelers were the first to appreciate its versatility and comfortable cabin which makes the jet ideal for business productivity and leisure alike,” Rob Scholl, Textron’s senior vice president of sales said in a 2020 press release.
According to a 2023 price listing of business jets, the Citation Latitude costs $19.8 million. Pre-owned units of the plane aren’t that much cheaper — one unit, which was manufactured in 2017, is listed for sale online for $16.8 million.
“Its low direct operating costs have made it the cornerstone of many fleets,” Scholl said. A Cessna brochure shows that operating the jet for a six-and-a-half-hour trip from Geneva to Dubai costs $13,183.
Over the course of a year, operating the jet for 450 flying hours costs around $2.1 million, according to the National Business Aviation Association’s cost calculator. As far as private jets go, chartering a Citation Latitude is affordable. It costs between $4,150 and $5,000 to charter per hour, according to aircraft rental company Air Charter Advisors.
For comparison, the Gulfstream G650, one of the most expensive private jets on the market, costs $11,400 to charter per hour, per one estimate.
The jet has a maximum cruising speed of 826 kilometers per hour, or around 513 miles per hour. It’s powered by Pratt & Whitney PW306D1 engines.
According to the luxury aviation publication Sherpa Report, the Citation Latitude can fly from LA to New York in five hours, around 30 minutes faster than the average commercial flight.
In comparison, a large business jet like the Gulfstream G650 has a wingspan of almost 100 feet.
The Citation Latitude measures 62 feet and three inches in length, and 20 feet and 11 inches in height. This means that it has a spacious cabin for a medium-sized jet, with a capacity for nine passengers and 1,000 pounds of baggage.
“The requirements for business travel have evolved to more than comfort and convenience,” Cindy Halsey, Cessna’s vice president of interior design, said in a 2011 press release, when the jet’s launch was first announced.
On board, Cessna’s Clarity cabin management system enables passengers to use online media, interactive maps, and satellite radio. Cabin settings can also be controlled using mobile phones.
Much of the jet’s interior can be customizable. The jet can be configured to include eight seats, which are designed with shoulder belts instead of lap belts. The cabin is fitted with wide foldable tables so passengers can dine and work on board.
“What’s appealing is that it’s got the amenities of larger aircraft but the flexibility to fly into short fields with trans-continental range,” John Sieckowski, the president of Aircraft Management Group, which was one of the first operators of the jet, said in 2015 press release.
Additionally, the bathroom has a brightly lit vanity that’s designed with a washbasin and storage compartments.