A Look At The New England Patriots’ Boeing 767

Recently I wrote about how the Arizona Cardinals picked up a Boeing 777, which used to fly for Delta. As I mentioned at the time, the Cardinals are the second NFL team to operate their own plane, as the New England Patriots have had a Boeing 767 for several years now. There’s now an interesting new video about that plane.

New England Patriots show off private plane

I guess the Patriots were feeling a bit jealous about the media attention that the Cardinals were getting for their plane, so they just put out a fascinating 10 minute video about the team’s Boeing 767, which avgeeks will no doubt enjoy.

The Patriots have a video series called “Do Your Job,” giving a behind the scenes look at various things that make the team run. The latest episode is all about the Patriots’ “AirKraft” (named after the Kraft family, which owns the team):

Basics of the New England Patriots’ Boeing 767-300

Here’s a summary of the basics of the Patriots’ aircraft, some of which is mentioned in the video, and some of which isn’t:

  • The Patriots first picked up two Boeing 767-300s in 2017, and they reportedly cost $10 million total (there are some bargains to be had when buying used aircraft)
  • In 2020, the Patriots dumped their “spare” Boeing 767 (registration code N225NE), as it’s now operated by Eastern
  • The Patriots’ remaining Boeing 767-300 has the registration code N36NE, and it’s a 31 year old plane that was produced in 1991
  • The plane flew with American Airlines until 2016, and then in 2017 it started transporting the New England Patriots
  • The plane is actually operated by Eastern Airlines on behalf of the Patriots, so Eastern Airlines provides the crews, maintenance, etc.
  • The plane is in a premium configuration, with most seats being the equivalent to what you’d find in domestic first class; after all, the standard capacity of a Boeing 767-300 isn’t really needed here, and football players are typically larger than your average passenger
  • The reason for picking up a private plane is that the logistics of charters with airlines can often be complicated, so picking up a cheap plane on the secondhand market can be a good option
  • In the last season, the Patriots team flew 44 hours and 17,000 miles for away game transportation
  • In addition to the primary mission of transporting team members, the plane has also operated all kinds of other missions, from picking up over a million masks in China early in the pandemic, to transporting healthcare workers to last year’s Super Bowl in Tampa

Bottom line

Back in 2017, the New England Patriots became the first NFL team to pick up a private plane to transport teams. Airline NFL charters can be complicated, so this gave the team a lot more comfort and control for traveling to away games.

The Patriots just put out a video showcasing the plane’s operations, and it’s really cool to see how it’s all done. The Patriots partner with Eastern Airlines for operating this plane, meaning that Eastern provides the crews, maintenance, etc.

What do you make of the New England Patriots’ Boeing 767?

(Tip of the hat to Alon)

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