Private jets are truly wonderful to experience, believe me… but the expense involved in acquiring one can be quite expensive. As for private jet cost, depending upon the make, model and size, to buy one outright, you might be looking at spending between 5 and 65 million dollars. Not too terrible, if you can afford it. Now, while owning a private jet can seem to be the most convenient form of private jet access, it can also be the most expensive. And by expensive, I’m not merely talking about money here. Allow me to explain…
With sole ownership, you are of course fully responsible for the initial purchase price, licensing, regular registration fees, hangar fees, airport fees, pilot for hire, regulations, flight logging data, fuel costs, fuel expenditure logging, maintenance and the list goes on (and on) – and remember, most of these things can represent a constant cost of quite a pretty penny indeed, even if the plane never leaves the hangar. Owning a private jet might be a dream of yours, but if you’re a mite jittery about taking on the huge private jet cost in exchange for a bit of luxury, it can be pretty darned difficult to write out that very first check. Even if you’ve found private jets for sale at an auction, and picked one up for only a small few million, the ongoing private jet cost is the very same, and certainly without discount.
But with private jets, sale prices can vary greatly. Among the things to consider when you purchase a private jet is the factor of flying range and jet size, which can vary private jet cost considerably. For example, if you chose to purchase a light jet, perhaps a Learjet for example, which can average at about $5 million or so to buy, the plane would hold between six to eight passengers, with about a 1,500 mile flight range without refueling. You’ll need to precisely understand what specific realm your needs reside in, in order to decide on the right make and model that’s best for you. Charter a few short flights to get the feel for each major type. You may find medium jets are more to your liking than light jets, such as a Hawker 800, for example.
Aircraft fractional ownership of a private jet, sharing it with a single co-investor, can provide greater travel flexibility at half the cost of sole ownership, however many aviation experts warn that most aviation partnerships eventually sour. This problem can be further compounded with more owners holding shares of the plane. Aircraft fractional ownership can start at 1/16 of a share (that’s 16 owners of just one plane), which may be as low as roughly about $400,000, for say, a Hawker for instance. That generally allows for about 50 hours of flying time. This would equate to be about $8,000.00 per hour of flight – on a cost per hour of flight basis, that is not much cheaper than a charter jet service at all. But aircraft fractional ownership has never been easy – why? Have you ever experienced the headaches of time-sharing a condo? Yeah, that’s why.
Also, you might be a 1/16 shareholder, but those with 1/8 or ¼ shares are those whose needs are met first, and only if they aren’t using it, then you can. There’s a bit of a “pecking order” to deal with. Where on the totem pole will you be? All that having been said, fractional ownership can be economical, and is best for those companies or individuals who fly about 100-150 occupied hours a year or more. Needless to say, chartering a few flights to feel out which model suits you the best, does have the obvious benefits before considering buying one, whether it’s an entire or fractional purchase you’re leading to.
Perhaps the biggest problem is that while you might think that aircraft sole ownership or even aircraft fractional ownership may seem to be less pricey (at least as far as the initial purchasing cost) than a charter jet service, the fact is that even if you own one, solely or in part, you will still end up using a charter jet service a number times on top of it all anyway. Why is this so? Quite often, your jet just might not be available. It may be undergoing maintenance, it may be being used by another (perhaps “higher”) shareholder, it may be due to any number of a large list of things, and further (and perhaps most cripplingly), it might just not suit your specific needs at that time. What do I mean?
Alright, let’s say you own a light jet, but you need to transport 12 passengers – are you going to make two trips? That would be a bit odd, to say the very least. For many reasons, even if you shell out a few million for a private jet, or a few hundred-thousand for 1/16 of (and only 50 hours of) a private jet, you simply will still invariably shell out more to a charter jet service, and on more than one occasion. Why compound your flight expense?
Instead of all the hassle, all the upkeep, the down time, the countless regulations and expenses, and the more-than-occasional unavailability of aircraft ownership or aircraft fractional ownership, with chartering on top of it all, it seems to make much more sense simply to just rely on jet charter services alone. This holds true if you’re an individual who would fly less than 150 hours per year, and even businesses which would use even more flight time. Heck, truth be told, it all ends up written off as a business expense when all is said and done.
Basically, chartering represents less work, less hassle and much less restrictions – this last factor being the most important here. No restrictions are what we’re looking for in the whole private jet experience in the first place, right? When you charter a private jet, you can choose from a fleet of models, sizes and types, and you can book a flight anytime you desire, even within a small few hours, and reach over 5,000 airports instead of the under 500 airports of commercial airlines.
Private jet charter still allows you to fly in privacy and security, avoid delays at airports having to remove shoes, unpack laptop computers and other personal items. If you use jet charter services, you’re able to fly the exact aircraft you desire. Let’s say you only wish to fly alone or with 5-7 passengers, on a 2 hour flight… chartering a turboprop or a very light jet would cost a lot less for that single flight than a Hawker 800 of your very own in that same instance, or even a 1/16 of one.
Do you see what I mean? It just makes more sense, and makes for much less hassle. Most importantly, you only pay for one plane – the one you need at the moment, and whatever type or model you desire. After all, you have access to an entire fleet (a very prestigious concept, by the way), always at your disposal, and you don’t share them with anyone except those you wish to bring with you on your travels.
Myself, I’m greedy – I don’t want to have to deal with, or wait for, any other shareholders’ permission(s) to fly my damned jet. I want the whole thing, and I want it now. I want a Learjet today and a Hawker tomorrow. I want my free catering and my in-flight spa. I want 100% accessibility, right when I want it, and that’s always now. Think about it… isn’t that what flying by private jet is really all about? Otherwise, what the hell are we really spending our money for?