With the ability to fly in and out of more than 5,000 public use airports in the United States — more than 100 times that of the airlines — and the privacy they allow, it’s no wonder why A-list celebrities and rock stars prefer to fly private aircraft. Unfortunately, that won’t stop the paparazzi from catching up with you as you land, as One Direction was recently reminded.
The pop sensation was spotted at Glasgow Airport recently only hours before the sold-out show at the SSE Hydro Arena. Harry Styles was the first to disembark the Embraer Legacy 500 private jet, which as a modest average price tag of £13 million (about $19.87 million USD). Only moments earlier he’d posted a nigh-aerial shot of the Scottish city, which accured nearly 450,000 likes in one hour. Today, about one day later, it has about 715,000 likes on Instagram.
Liam Payne followed soon after him, hiding his face, and a short time later, Niall Horan appeared. Louis Tomlinson was nowhere to be seen, though. Five silver people carriers met the group and their small entourage, and sped them away quickly as they made their way into Glasgow.
Now, it might seem strange to some for the news to cover something as simple as One Direction’s flight touching down, but that’s just the effect of the cult-like following the pop group’s attained.
According to Billboard, One Direction has sold more than 6.49 million U.S. albums. All four of their studio albums have debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, making them the only group ever in Billboard’s 59-year history to see their first four albums hit that spot right out of the gate.
Their songs have also been downloaded 23.7 million times in the U.S., with “What Makes You Beautiful” being their biggest seller at 4.75 million downloads sold.
In 2014, One Direction grossed $290 million on tour, and packed 3.4 million concert-goers into stadiums to see them.
At the North American box office, their 2013 documentary, One Direction: This Is Us, grossed $28 million, making it the fourth-highest grossing concert film of all time, according to Box Office Mojo.
In other words, it’s no surprise that media and paparazzi waited and watched as the group touched down in Scotland, despite the luxury afford by a private jet.