A chartered flight that flew exclusively in international airspace between Russia and Venezuela is estimated to cost $250,000.
The reason it’s so expensive is that the trip is extremely difficult, at the edge of the range of a Gulfstream G550. Apparently, it’s not even possible to do it and meet reserve fuel requirements. There are supposedly to be places the plane could stop for fuel, and have some chance of success.
That 250k price tag assumes an owner of one of these aircraft is willing to take the risk at all. According to this source, 250k is close to the sticker price for such a trip normally. http://blog.privatefly.com/edward-snowden-fly-private-jet-moscow-ecuador
Anyways, another thing that costs approximately 250k is a brand new, high end, ocean going yacht about 40 feet long. The people helping Snowden could purchase a used yacht of the appropriate size for a tiny fraction of that cost, and load it up with enough food and supplies for the journey. He’d leave in the summertime, possibly, and sail through the arctic on a great circle route past Scandinavia, and so forth, remaining in international waters. Legally, the yacht would be registered in either Russia or Venezuela.
I’ve never sailed on the ocean, merely freshwater lakes, and I’m not certain how practical this journey would be. Late summer/early Fall, when the arctic ice has melted happens to be hurricane season. Also, I’m not certain if enough of the ice does melt for such a trip to be made in this type of boat. He might have to take a route that went through the Mediterranean. Apparently, the Strait of Gibraltar is considered international waters. An ocean going yacht with a keel that is able to right itself after being knocked down in a storm is slow, with the longer ones being faster but requiring more crew.
I’m sure some of the members here do have such sailing experience, and can tell me the chance he could make such a journey without having to stop anywhere along the way due to a breakdown or running out of supplies.
Although, even if that happened, couldn’t he send an encrypted message to his supporters and have supplies brought via another boat to a rendevouz point in the ocean somewhere?
And second, there must be legal buffs who can tell me if the United States could legally stop him on the journey. Furthermore, since yachts are so slow, they could readily stop him with a warship and place him under arrest, legal or not. How would the appropriate Federal courts view this kind of arrest?