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Google Execs' Private Jet Adventures
Mark Maremont and Tom McGinty blogs.wsj.com Top Google executives seem to have a penchant for travel on their private jet fleet to exotic locales in the Pacific Ocean, such as Tahiti, Palau, Fiji and Kiritimati, also known as Christmas Island, according to Federal Aviation Administration records. The Google executives’ travel has come under scrutiny recently, after the U.S. Defense Department ended an unusual arrangement that allowed their private jets to fly using sharply discounted fuel purchased from the Pentagon, according to regulatory filings. Flight records show that a Boeing 767 owned by Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin took on 15,306 gallons of Pentagon fuel at $3.57 a gallon in August 2012, just before that plane took off on a 10 ½ hour flight for Viti Levu, part of Fiji. The local Fiji press reported that the billionaire tech executives, along with relatives and friends, were vacationing aboard a large yacht. Compared to the $3.57 the Google guys were paying, many corporate jet owners shelled out more than $4.75 a gallon for fuel around that time, according to data from the Corporate Aircraft Association. The 767 also flew to the Pacific nation of Tonga during this period, the FAA records show. The fleet of seven jets and two helicopters, including planes owned by Messrs. Page and Brin along with Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, obtained cut-price Pentagon fuel for six years as part of an arrangement to base the planes at Moffett Federal Airfield, a NASA base located just a few miles from Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. In return for basing the planes at Moffett, the Google executives agreed to perform some flights for NASA. Records indicate the vast majority of the fuel was used for non-NASA travel. Sen. Charles Grassley has called for a Pentagon inspector general audit of the arrangement, wondering if government fuel was being improperly used for the executives’ private travel. to read more click here: blogs.wsj.com
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