Meet the man who makes his living as a private jet broker and sells luxury planes to billionaires.
Steve Varsano is the founder of The jet business, a London showroom for private jets, marked by the fuselage of an Airbus in the reception area. During his career, he has sold around 500 private jets, the most expensive of which cost around £82 million ($100 million).
The New Jersey native, 67, shows behind the scenes of his profession on Tic Tacwith a video – showing a day in his life with a 6am start, 9pm finish and back-to-back business meetings and calls – racking up over 16 million views, hinting that the platform’s users are intrigued by this industry highly lucrative.
But speaking to MailOnline Travel, Steve reveals how the private jet industry is often misunderstood. The biggest myth? He says people think everyone flies “to party…go on golf outings, and it’s just a rich person’s toy, but that’s absolutely not the case.”
The reality, he says, is that they are mostly “busy with companies visiting branches, factories, looking at real estate or attending board meetings.” He adds that “75 percent of all planes are manned by middle management.”
Steve Varsano is a private jet broker and the founder of The Jet Business, a London private jet showroom (above)
On top of that, most private jets, he reveals, are not “the luxurious, gigantic Boeings” that people expect them to be. He explains: “Most people are on a small jet that you can’t stand up in and most of these small planes don’t even have a bathroom… if they have one (have a bathroom ), (it’s) not a bathroom that you really have. that you want to use unless you’re really in an emergency.
To buy a private jet on the cheapest end of the spectrum, you need a budget of around £2.5 million ($3 million), which will get you the smallest new plane, accommodating four people, Steve reveals, adding: “A minivan would be a little bigger inside.
At the “super” high end, he says, you have the Falcon 8X (£49m/$60m), the Bombardier Global 7500 (£61m/$75m) and the Gulf Stream G700 (£65m/$80m).
The three images above show the interior of The Jet Business, which features the fuselage of an Airbus and a video wall allowing customers to make video presentations of different private jets.
Steve shows the behind-the-scenes of his profession on TikTok, with a video – showing a day in his life with a 6am start, 9pm finish and back-to-back work meetings and calls – racking up over 16 million views.
But the ultimate is Boeing or Airbus private jets. These can go up to £163 million ($200 million), depending on the model, reveals Steve.
Steve, who got his pilot’s license at 17 and worked in private equity before starting The Jet Business, won’t reveal how much money he makes each year, although he admits: “We make good money our life”. He adds that he earns enough to live a lifestyle similar to that of his clients. He says: “A lot of customers become friends and a lot of friends become customers. We are lucky to be able to work and live in this kind of environment.
In fact, the biggest perk of the job is the people he works with, Steve reveals. He says: “These are the most successful business leaders in the world, the most intelligent, the most cunning, the most worldly, in every industry and in many different countries around the world. Being able to meet the elite of the world… that’s what I really enjoy.
These two images show one of the jets that Steve’s company can present to its customers – the Bombardier Global XRS
The two images above show a Gulfstream G650ER that The Jet Business can negotiate a deal on.
Steve says that in addition to business executives, he has also worked with celebrities and governments in the past. However, he notes that most celebrities don’t buy private jets as often as one might think, explaining: “The real high end of celebrities, a lot of them are chartered (jets) or are flown by people.”
When a new customer arrives on the scene, his team does a quick background check to see who he is, to determine if he already owns a plane and to “make sure he’s not on a bad list government”. They enter Steve’s showroom, where they can tour the plane they are considering purchasing via a giant video wall.
However, Steve says he sometimes dissuades potential customers from buying jets. He admits: “Owning a plane is expensive, it takes a lot of time and there are just endless bills that come from owning a plane. So if it is not used, it is not smart to own one.
It’s a demanding industry, but it’s not something that bothers him. He says: “I work non-stop, 24 hours a day, whenever I need to. Even when I’m on vacation, I still meet potential clients. He adds: “I love what I do, so working all the time doesn’t bother me. It’s a normal day for me.
The exterior of Jet Business. “I work non-stop, 24 hours a day, whenever I need to,” says Steve