Twenty US cities are vying a $5bn investment and 50,000 jobs, so are the movements of the CEO’s aircraft, N-271DV, the key to HQ2?
The tail number of Jeff Bezos’ $75m, 18-seat Gulfstream G650ER jet may provide the best clue yet of Amazon’s choice for a second US headquarters, otherwise known as HQ2.
Flights records show the Amazon CEO’s aircraft, N-271DV, was in Boston just before and after Amazon announced the HQ2 search and landed in Washington DC the day the 20 finalists were announced in January, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.
“While they aren’t necessarily an indicator of the company’s likelihood of choosing one of these cities for its second headquarters, Bezos’ familiarity and frequent travel to some of the cities could weigh in his decision on where HQ2 ends up,” the Journal reported.
However, the publication warned that the flight records it obtained may not reflect every flight the plane has taken, nor do the flights that have been tracked contain a passenger manifest.
The plane tracking site flightaware.com lists Bezos’s aircraft as “not available for tracking per request from the owner/operator”.
For the sake of Bezos’s convenience, Amazon might naturally chose Washington DC for HQ2 since it is where the multi-billionaire’s Washington Post is published and where he recently purchased the city’s largest house, with 25 bedrooms.
However, the beauty contest has also attracted criticism, especially over the generous tax incentives and other inducements some cities have offered.
Included in Amazon’s top 20 finalists are Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Mongomery County in Maryland and Nashville, Tennessee.
An Amazon spokesperson, however, has warned not to read too much into the movements of Bezos’s aircraft, telling the New York Observer “there is no connection between Bezos’ personal and business travel and the HQ2 search.”