With the well documented issues in commercial flying more and more people have found reasons to turn to private aircraft.
There are a variety of options to consider. The starting point is how often you want to fly privately.
Once you reach about 50 hours of flying a year then fractional aircraft ownership can start to make sense and above 300 or so hours per year whole ownership is worth looking into. Here is some core information to help you understand the options.
All of the major providers have expanded over the last few years. Many now offer a wide range of products and solutions to meet the needs of various clients. If you're looking at the different options and would like a good general overview then download our free Guide to Private Aviation, which includes details on charter, jet cards and fractional ownership. For detailed side by side comparisons of the leading jet card and fractional providers, a directory of charter operators, and our Aircraft Buying Guide then sign up for membership.
The latest news and research on private jets and aircraft is included below.
When a charter operator needs to reposition an aircraft for its next charter flight, that flight leg often is flown empty—without paying passengers—thus the term, empty leg (aka “deadhead”). The outbound flyer typically already paid for this repositioning leg, so any revenue generated by the empty leg is found money for the operator. Thus, operators often offer these flights to the public at somewhat reduced pricing. By some estimates, as much as 40% of all private jet flights are empty legs. Now, more than ever, third party brokers utilizing the internet have gotten into the game, aggregating empty legs from various operators and offering them for public consumption.
We’ve previously written about the main reasons for flying on private jets. These include the time saving, the privacy, the convenience and the flexibility. Recently we’ve heard of a couple more reasons to add to this list. While these additional reasons don’t make compelling cases on their own, they certainly add to the consideration set.
Fractional aviation company Flexjet recently reported strong growth and performance for 2016, something they expect to continue in the coming year. In a recent press release, the Cleveland company announced that they had seen a 20 percent growth in new business, as compared with 2015 figures. There was also a marked increase in the number of new referrals and owners who were switching their affiliations to Flexjet from other aviation competitors. In fact, half of new business came from “conquest sales” or customers who previously used another fractional provider.
It always amazes me just how many people are caught out when they make the decision to sell their aircraft, but when you look at the array of specialists offering to support the sales process, it is hardly surprising.
It’s often said that in excess of 80%, as many as 85% perhaps, of all jet sales transactions involve an appointed broker, so my primary focus here is to help guide you through this selection process.
Acquiring your own aircraft takes some thought and planning. If you know what you’re doing and have a good team to help you, the process can go fairly smoothly. But, if you haven’t bought a plane before or if you want to try and “wing it”, you can be in for some exciting surprises. Here’s a look at some of the biggest mistakes that can happen along the way.
Looking at the latest ten-year forecasts for the business jet industry, it appears as though the next decade will bring slow growth overall. Several forecasts see a peak within the next five years followed by a downturn, although this decline is softer than has been seen in the past.
Asset Insight looked at the pricing and valuation of used Embraer Phenom 300s over the last year. The results are summarized in the charts below. Overall, there were 19 retail transactions between December 2015 and November 2016.
The full charts are all presented together, to give you a snapshot of the Phenom 300. Each individual chart is then discussed in detail below.
The International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations, or IS-BAO, is a code of best practices that serves as the gold standard for business aviation around the world. It was developed by the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) in 2002 and has been endorsed by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). At the time of writing, more than 700 operators worldwide are IS-BAO registered.
Earlier this year, we reported on the success of Delta Private Jets, the wholly-owned subsidiary of the commercial Delta Airlines. Through a series of promotions and upgrade options, the two companies blurred the lines between private and commercial aviation, introducing business travelers to the comforts of a private jet. Several other global airlines have similar programs: Qatar Executive (formed in 2009) is the private arm of Qatar Airlines, and German airline Lufthansa also offers a number of private flights. Until recently, though, Delta was the only US-based commercial carrier with a private aviation interest. That has changed with JetBlue’s recent investment in JetSuite.
The answer to the question, on the cost of a private jet, depends on if you are looking to own a plane, or just use and rent one. But ownership or renting is just a starting point, there are multiple other factors to consider, the most important discussions center around what you need the aircraft to do. This article outlines the costs for each option, with some specific examples.
Kansas-based fractional provider Executive AirShare recently announced a majority recapitalization agreement with long-term customer, investment firm Curran Companies. As a result of the investment, the provider will now be controlled by Curran, with Executive AirShare founder Bob Taylor maintaining "significant ownership". Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed. According to Curran President, Wiley Curran, the company will focus on expanding the fractional provider (the nation's 3rd largest) into new markets.
New Hampshire-based fractional plane operator PlaneSense, has announced plans to add more Nextant 400 XTi jets to their fleet. PlaneSense was founded in 1996 and has had a close partnership with Pilatus since their founding. In fact, the company flew only Pilatus PC-12 turboprops until very recently.
Canadian fractional company AirSprint has announced plans to expand its fleet with a recent order for up to 12 Embraer Legacy 450 aircraft. The $198 million deal will include two definite deliveries in late 2016, with the option for 10 additional deliveries in 2017 and beyond. AirSprint and Embraer announced the agreement at the recent Canadian Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (CBAA) in Calgary, which is also AirSprint's base of operations.
NetJets has a new addition to its range of midsize aircraft, with the recent delivery of the company’s first Cessna Citation Latitude. But the delivery was more than just a special occasion for NetJets, the nation’s largest private aviation company. It also marked the 7000th Citation to take to the skies.
A newcomer to the shared private aviation market hopes to attract customers with a combination of customized rates and eye-catching aircraft. SevenJet is based in St. Petersburg, FL but is a subsidiary of C&L Aviation Group, located in Bangor, ME. And although the current fleet consists of just ten craft, SevenJet founders hope that their years of industry experience and customer service will result in significant growth.
If you have flown commercially in recent months, you have no doubt experienced the inconvenience of lengthy TSA security checks. While major airports such as LAX can have waits of up to three hours, even travelers through smaller airports can face long delays and missed flights. For example, those booked on early morning flights from smaller regional airports may find that the TSA desk opens just thirty minutes before scheduled departure.
Cleveland-based Directional Aviation recently announced a restructuring within the company, transitioning its Flight Options brand from a fractional provider to an on-demand operator. This will effectively leave two national fractional providers: Flexjet, which is also part of the Directional Aviation family, and Columbus-based NetJets.
Fractional private aviation company Flexjet recently announced an addition to its service line-up with the new Global Access program, which provides access to larger aircraft capable of long-range flight. Flexjet’s Senior Vice President of Sales, DJ Hanlon, says that this flexible membership program will “extend clients’ abilities to fly outside of North America and still enjoy the consistency and level of service they have come to expect.”
The data from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) shows sales in 2015 were at the same level as 2014. The annual databook reported 718 new business jets sold worldwide in 2015 compared to 722 unit sales in 2014. Here are some of the highlights and the sales by manufacturer.
The Gulfstream G450 entered production in October 2004. Twelve years later, its reliability, performance, and value continue to impress those in the aviation industry, and it remains a leader in its class. Here is a breakdown of the costs you should expect to incur, if you choose to own and operate a Gulfstream G450.