If you fly frequently, particularly by private charter, you may have thought about purchasing your own corporate aircraft.
It’s a decision that has to balance costs with convenience and efficiency. Here are some things to consider while you research whether or not buying a corporate aircraft is right for you.
Who buys corporate jets?
Most purchasers are high net-worth individuals and corporations who fly frequently. If you log in over 200 hours of flying time per year, the price of purchasing and maintaining a plane becomes cost effective.
As well, those who purchase do so to obtain more control over the flying experience. Owning a corporate aircraft affords owners the convenience of having a dedicated crew available whenever they want to fly, 24/7. No more waiting in security line-ups and gone are the days of waiting 2 hours for your flight only to be bumped due to over-capacity.
The Benefits of Ownership
When a person or organization owns their own aircraft, it can be customized with specific equipment and comforts that suit their needs. Flying by private aircraft charter is almost always better for executives who have little time to waste, as the jet becomes their own private boardroom in the sky. Private aircraft can come with every convenience imaginable, including fully functional galley kitchens, private washrooms, bedrooms for long hauls or overnight flights and multiple meeting spaces for privacy and in-flight internet, phones and fax machines for increased functionality.
When you own your own aircraft, you also hire a flight crew that remains with the aircraft every time you fly. You can develop a personal relationship and a level of trust with them and they become a member of your successful team.
As a corporate aircraft owner you can also make your own choices as to how you use your aircraft. When you charter a flight, you often pay by the hour when it sits on the ground, so if you fly a group to a vacation destination and would like the aircraft to wait on the ground for your party for a week, that’s not cost effective with a charter flight. However, if you own the plane, you can dictate how and when it’s used. (And you can even fly your flight crew home by commercial airline if you don’t need them in the meantime.)
Purchasing a corporate jet can cost anywhere from $500,000 and $80 million. Along with the initial cost of purchasing the aircraft, they must be stored, staffed, fueled and maintained. Ongoing maintenance costs usually add up to about 15 percent of the purchase price per year.
Be sure to spend the time finding the right company to help you purchase or sell an aircraft that knows the landscape and with relationships can help you get the best deal. For more information on buying and selling jets, visit jaspears.com.
Most individual and companies who own their own corporate jet contract a third party management company to deal with the aircraft and provide staff, maintenance services, storage and, most importantly, deal with the complex paperwork required to meet the required government regulations as well as organize flight logistics to fly anywhere in the world. These turnkey operations provide a considerable benefit: they administer everything to do with the aircraft and when you need to fly, all it takes is a quick phone call to arrange a flight, even on short notice.
These management companies, including Skyservice, will also charter out your aircraft when you are not using it. This helps offset some of the ongoing fixed costs of ownership. How much it can offset depends on many factors: when the economy is doing well and during busy aviation seasons such as Christmas, spring and fall, the charter industry is very busy.
Your Next Move
The decision to buy a corporate jet is an involved one that requires considerable number-crunching and a careful consideration of the benefits versus the responsibility and costs of ownership, but in the end private aircraft charter provides incredible flexibility and maximizes productivity for frequent flyers.
How do you put a price on arriving home after a busy day of flying to multiple sites and still have time to tuck your children in bed?