Private Jet

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.

If you only fly a few hours a year then on demand aircraft charter is probably the best way to go. As your number of hours of private flying increases look at charter cards and fractional cards.

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, and a directory of charter operators, then sign up for membership

The latest news and research on private jets and aircraft is included below.

Jet card sales continue to do well despite the economic downturn. Used much like a debit card, jet cards provide travelers with a pre-set number of private jet flight hours. Such programs are designed for those who travel between 10 and 100+ hours in a calendar year.

Flexjet, the fractional business jet ownership program of Bombardier, is rolling out a price reduction incentive program for owners making quick turnaround trips.

The US operator of the Avanti P 180 has announced a new product, which bridges the gap between fractional aircraft ownership and buying into a card program.

Prospective jet card owners can choose a split payment option and can customize their selection of any two aircraft from the Flexjet 25 full fleet.

The North American provider of fractional shares in the Piaggio Avanti P.180 aircraft is now offering a new 15-hour "Edge Card".

For a limited time, new Flexjet jet card holders can choose from one of six Expert Guide packages. The packages feature a range of expert guides in a variety of lifestyle categories.

The International Herald Tribune has an article on the growing popularity of private jet cards. It includes comparisons to some of the alternatives.

There are many companies that offer jet card programs, but like any investment, you need to do your due diligence before signing on. The types of companies that offer cards fall into three broad categories. The large fractional operators all have jet card programs, other large fleet operators also offer cards (or sometimes they are called "access" or "executive" programs), and then a lot of charter brokers also offer jet cards.

The recently launched airtaxi operator DayJet has announced that it will layoff nearly half its staff and ground over half of its fleet of Eclipse 500 Jets.

The recent bankruptcy filing for Jet Network has an important lesson for folks putting down deposits on charter cards and fractional cards - do your due diligence.