It’s the news that launched a million “The Patriots have always owned Jets” jokes. The defending Super Bowl champions revealed on Instagram this week that the franchise purchased its own “airkrafts,” obviously a very clever nod to owner Robert Kraft.
The details of the purchase have not been revealed, but ESPN determined that the Pats are now the proud owners of two Boeing 767 wide-body twinjets that will handle the team’s travel needs during the upcoming season (one 767 will serve as a backup aircraft, or the Jimmy Garoppolo Edition, if you will).
Tom Brady and his teammates will have plenty of leg room, too, as the aircraft boast nothing but first-class seats for the champs. And yes, the livery reminds NFL fans everywhere of the Pats’ success.
New England’s purchase might be the first domino, or at least a test run, for other NFL owners. In April, American Airlines suspended service for six NFL franchises because the company claimed to have “fewer aircraft available for charter flying in 2017,” and so the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Pittsburgh Steelers were told they had to make other plans.
Only the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers kept their American deals for this season.
It was predicted at the time that Delta and United could also reconsider their deals with NFL teams, and as many as 20 more teams could have been without booked flight plans for this season. United flies the most NFL teams (at least 14), but seeing as American made this announcement less than a week after David Dao was “re-accommodated,” United had bigger issues to deal with. (Although, the Browns might have to eventually find a new charter service, thanks to Joe Thomas’ Twitter roast.)
Per ESPN, a season of chartered flights could cost as much as $4 million for a team, but that could change if Delta and United determine that they need to charge more. Depending on the total price tag for the Pats’ 767s, this could be the future for owners with deeper pockets.