Travolta Gives 707 To Museum

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John Travolta is hanging up his four-barred Qantas uniform and donating his personal Boeing 707 to an Australian museum, which will restore it. Travolta said he plans to personally deliver the Boeing to the Historic Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) in Illawarra, New South Wales, after some maintenance on the aircraft. Travolta discussed the possibility of sending the aircraft to the museum in 2009 when he was invited to fly the HARS Super Constellation. He decided to let the jet go this year and the museum was happy to take it off his hands. "I am truly excited by this project and am just so pleased that this beautiful aircraft, for which I obviously have very fond memories, will continue to fly well into the future," Travolta said in a statement.

Travolta bought the old airliner in 1998, a few years after he chartered it for a fast trip to Europe. It was originally delivered to Qantas in 1964, one of 13 shortened, long-range versions of the venerable design. It was outfitted with the executive interior in 1973 and had previously been owned by Frank Sinatra and billionaire Kirk Kirkorian. Travolta operated it himself for a few years before striking a deal with Qantas to paint it in historic livery and fly it as an ambassador for the airline in exchange for maintenance. Even a movie superstar couldn’t justify the maintenance costs on the thirsty jet. "Any plane this size is too pricey," Travolta told The Australian. "I did it for four years on my own and it was much easier to do a barter system and promote the airline.” Travolta still owns a GII, an Eclipse, a Yugoslavian Soko fighter and a couple of ultralights.

Comments (5)

"Travolta Gives 707 To Museum" Because it's too expensive to fly AND he gets a tax write-off.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | May 29, 2017 8:38 PM    Report this comment

Mark, you do understand that the tax write-off only reduces the cost. It's not like he's making money on it. Also, I'm not sure how much he gets to write off in the U.S. on a donation to an Australian museum.

Posted by: Thomas Boyle | May 30, 2017 7:18 AM    Report this comment

Thomas, D O N A T I O N S are also a write-off on your taxes (which can be sizeable in his case). Judging from his ownership model, he's very keen on financial trades.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | May 30, 2017 4:29 PM    Report this comment

Mark, a donation reduces your taxable income by the amount of the donation.

Let's suppose his tax rate is 50% (he lives in CA, so it would actually be a little more - we have one of the highest tax rates in the world on high incomes).

So, either a) he keeps the plane, reports income of $10 million (for example), pays $5 million in taxes, keeps $5 million of his income and has a plane worth, say, $1 million, for a total value of $6 million or b) he donates the plane, which reduces his taxable income to $9 million, so he pays $4.5 million in taxes, keeps $5.5 million of his actual income, but has no plane, for a total value of $5.5 million - which is less than the $6 million he has if he keeps the plane.

So, it reduces the cost, but he doesn't make money on it.

Posted by: Thomas Boyle | May 31, 2017 6:54 AM    Report this comment

I never said it was to make money. The write off (like his paint job) is to not loose too much money.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | May 31, 2017 5:05 PM    Report this comment

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