The world’s second-richest man has sold his luxury private jet to avoid being followed by Twitter accounts devoted to naming and shaming high-flying, climate-polluting billionaires.
Bernard Arnault, the CEO of the luxury goods empire Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), confirmed on October 17 on the French radio station Radio Classique that he had sold the company’s private jet.
The move was motivated, Arnault said, by a series of Twitter accounts that sprung up in recent months — most notably “I Fly Bernard” and “Bernard’s Airplane” — berating the billionaire about his private jet use and highlighting his disproportionately high carbon footprint.
‘[LMVH] had a plane and we sold it,” Arnault told Radio Classique, which is owned by the luxury goods empire, earlier this month.
“As a result, no one can see where I’m going because I rent planes when I use private planes.”
Arnault’s jet was no longer registered in France from September 1.
The trend of private flight tracking has taken off in the past year, with climate activists tracking the movements of wealthy individuals — usually celebrities and CEOs of large corporations — to show the extent to which they pollute the atmosphere.
MailOnline has contacted LVMH for comment.
Bernard Arnault, Chief Executive Officer of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, is pictured at a shareholders’ meeting of the company in Paris, France
Arnault is ranked the world’s second richest man behind Elon Musk (Arnault is pictured on the cover of Forbes magazine)
The sale of the private jet was motivated, Arnault said, by a series of Twitter accounts that sprung up in recent months — most notably “I Fly Bernard” (pictured) and “Bernard’s Airplane” — berating the billionaire over his use of private jets.
The Twitter account Bernard’s Plane (pictured) is just one of many French accounts dedicated to tracking the flight paths of the French billionaires
Arnault’s vast wealth of $151.3 billion even surpasses that of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who ranks third on the list of the world’s richest men with a paltry $139.8 billion at the time of writing, according to Forbes’ Real Time Billionaires tracker.
The French luxury goods magnate is second only to Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who takes the top spot with $218.5 billion.
Arnault’s second son Antoine, who holds a senior position in the communications department of Louis Vuitton and is also a member of the board of directors of LMVH, defended his father’s use of private jets to the French media, arguing that traveling on a private jet is a professional necessity for men of his stature.
“This plane is a tool.” Antoine told the broadcast of France 5 C à Vous.
“Our industry is hyper-competitive,” Louis Vuitton’s communications director said, adding that a private jet is an important resource to help top executives beat the competition when it comes to closing a deal, buying assets or exploring a business. new product.
He also pointed out that posting escape routes through Twitter accounts could help competitors undermine LMVH’s operations.
“It’s not very good that our competitors can know where we are at any time,” Antione said in a recent interview. South China Morning Mail.
‘That can give ideas, it can also give leads, directions.’
Other wealthy businessmen have pointed out that publicly sharing their flight tracking data can pose significant security risks.
Elon Musk recently said: protocol: ‘I don’t like the idea of getting shot by a madman,’ as Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta and Facebook, recently switched planes after an account started sharing details of his private air travel, Insider reported.
Many wealthy businessmen, including Elon Musk (L) and Mark Zuckerberg (R) have pointed out the security risks of publicly sharing their private flight data
Arnault’s vast wealth of $151.3 billion even surpasses that of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who ranks third on the list of the world’s richest men with a paltry $139.8 billion at the time of writing, according to Forbes’ Real Time Billionaires tracker (Arnault pictured Feb 2022)
Climate activists, meanwhile, have defended their policy of making private jet flight data public, arguing that it is in the public’s best interest to know to what extent a select few have an excessive impact on the environment.
I Fly Bernard, one of several Twitter accounts that publish the flight information of French billionaires, started posting when the French offices of Oxfam and Greenpeace published research showing that 63 French billionaires are responsible for more CO2 emissions than 50 percent of the 63 million in France. -strong population.
Flight-tracking Twitter accounts have had particular success in France after some politicians began proposing a ban or tax on travel on private planes this summer.
Environment Minister Christophe Bechu said earlier this month that the government is now advocates an increase in taxes on private jets next year by aligning taxes on aviation fuels with those on fuels used by cars.
Bechu made the disclosure to radio station franceinfo after some lawmakers from President Emmanuel Macron’s bloc introduced an amendment to the 2023 tax law.
The idea of imposing stricter laws on private jet emissions in France was floated when wildfires raged across the country this summer amid severe heat waves that scientists said were likely linked to climate change.