What Clive Palmer’s private jet did next
THE private plane that was once the pride and joy of Clive Palmer's fleet is now a rent-a-jet that makes frequent trips to the Spanish party capital of Ibiza.
The 14-seat Global Express jet was seized and put on the market as part of the Palmer Aviation liquidation, when Mr Palmer's business empire was in trouble in 2016.
After about two years on the market, the private plane was eventually sold to an undisclosed buyer.
But The Courier-Mail has tracked down the luxury craft, once prominently used by the eccentric businessman during election campaigns, now in the fleet of a German-based rent-a-jet company.
Flight records show it spends most of its time in Nuremberg, while has made frequent trips in November and December to Munich, and Ibiza.
It has undergone a major renovation, both inside and out, with its distinct "Palmer United Party" yellow replaced with a more sedate white with silver trimmings, while the upholstery on the inside has been completely redone.
Wood panelling on the inside has been replaced with reflected chrome and beige carpet replaced a dark grey, combined with white walls and lounge seats for a more modern look.
While its final sale price is unknown, it was last on the market for $6.95 million, well under the $40 million it was purportedly once worth.
AvCair jet charter owner Michael Cooke said an internal refurbishment would likely have cost about $1 million alone, while the external paint job up to $300,000.
Mr Cooke said it was likely a private owner would have snapped it up, before handing it to the company to operate.
For those looking for a jetsetting experience, similar planes cost about $12-13,000 an hour to rent.
He said it was the kind of plane that would be hired by celebrities, casino high-rollers and "wannabe" corporate high-flyers not able to take the plunge to buy their own jet.
"The Europe market is a lot more buoyant a charter market than in our region," Mr Cooke said.
"You have a high mass of destinations in close proximity and that makes a huge difference."
When Mr Palmer's company Queensland Nickel collapsed in 2016, Palmer Aviation also went into liquidation.
Since then Mr Palmer's fortunes have been revived with a royalty dispute with China-owned Citic Pacific finally resolved.
He has since bought a Hawker Beechcraft 4000, which was registered under his company Mineralogy's name in the Cayman Islands on January 7 last year.
Mr Palmer was contacted for comment.