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, 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.

Having analyzed its flight data for December, Flight Options, the second-largest company in the private aviation industry, reported an increase in demand for flights to popular resorts in Colorado and the Caribbean.

Several companies in the private aviation sector have been reporting increasing sales, and this is backed up by research showing more interest in private flying amongst the affluent.

When we first covered very light or personal jets back in 2007 the industry was just taking off (so to speak). Since that time, the global economy has weeded out the winners and losers, with just 3 models making up the majority of the aircraft in service.

The limited-edition jet card includes an adventure-filled four-day, three-night getaway at the Las Ventanas resort in Mexico. Highlights include an unforgettable evening with famed adventurer Geoffrey Kent, founder and CEO of Abercrombie & Kent, as well as golf with PGA Champion Mark Calcavecchia.

For the first time, CitationAir is offering a 5-hour version of its Jet Card product. The limited edition Jet Card will be available for five hours on any of the CitationAir private jets, including the Cessna CJ3, XLS, Sovereign and Citation X.

In today's economy everyone is trying to save money – even if you can afford a private jet. So Nextant Aerospace has introduced the remanufactured 400XT, which provides a new aircraft at what looks like a used aircraft price.

Are you assessing different private aviation options? Before you commit to a program, be sure to consult SherpaReport's new in-depth Guide to Private Aviation. This free downloadable guide helps anyone considering fractional ownership, jet cards or aircraft charter.

If you have some flexibility in your search for private aviation travel, then empty leg charters can be an efficient and very cost effective way of enjoying a private aircraft.

Known as the “ultimate aerial SUV,” the Pilatus PC-12 is one of the more versatile and luxurious aircraft used for private aviation. Manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., Stans, Switzerland, the company has delivered more than 1000 PC-12s to the marketplace.

Flexjet just launched its fractional jet ownership sales program of Bombardier's Learjet 85 aircraft. The all-new Learjet 85 aircraft is the first FAR Part 25 certified business jet with both fuselage and wing built primarily from carbon composites. It features the latest advances in aerodynamics, structures and efficiency.

Most charter companies offer an array of different aircraft from which to choose. For both business and personal use, probably the main concerns regarding private aircraft travel are comfort, safety and operational costs. When it comes to very light jets, the Eclipse 500 boasts a wide array of these benefits for the charter traveler.

This new membership program combines the benefits of fractional ownership with the cost advantages and flexibility of jet cards. Members have access to the new Phenom 300 executive jet by Embraer, without the asset purchase or monthly management fees.

Fractional and charter jet cards are a good private flight option for those who want the convenience of private travel without the large capital outlay involved in full or fractional jet ownership. Unlike the case with chartering a plane, fractional and charter jet card purchasers pre-pay for access to 20-35 hours of occupied flight time with a particular fractional fleet or with the aircraft available to the charter company. Your flight hours are then debited from the amount of hours you have paid for as you fly.

The private aviation company and the Las Vegas based hospitality company have agreed to provide mutual benefits to their respective customers.

If you have chosen to go the fractional ownership route over full ownership of an aircraft and are looking at light plane options, the Embraer Phenom 300 offers a combination of savings and performance that is hard to match. Here's some of the reasons why and the options that are available.

CitationAir recently announced that it had added six Citation Xs to the company fleet, calling the aircraft, " the fastest, most time-efficient business jet in production."

Flight Options has seen strong year-over-year growth in sales and operations during the first quarter of 2011. This reflects broad-based demand from across its client base for the company’s fractional ownership, membership and jet card programs.

Charter aviation companies and charter brokers can easily provide a quote for your business trip or vacation - usually right from their website as most have online forms. To get a quote started for a private jet, they'll need to know how many people are flying, departure time and date, and your return plans. But there's more to calculating a quote than filling in an online form and if you're not careful, you could end up with a post-flight invoice full of unexpected charges.

This new relationship, between the global luxury travel group and the private aviation company, provides unique benefits to one another’s customers including access to expert travel advisors and private club membership.

Much like a travel agent, an air charter broker matches your travel needs to the best available private jet operator at the best price. Whether it's a business trip for your senior staff or the need to fly a large group to an event, brokers have access to the fleets of multiple air charter operators. Many brokers also extend their services to ground and in-flight amenities. Do you need Wi-Fi? Would you like a five-course meal onboard or will a light snack do? How about ground transportation and a hotel room? Brokers can take care of all the details.

There are more than 2,500 air charter operators flying in and out of thousands of airports in the US and thousands more around the world. It's likely, there are a few operating at a regional airport near you, ready to provide on-demand private air travel for business and pleasure trips. But how do you know if the charter operator uses an experienced crew or if it will be able to accommodate last-minute itinerary changes? 

Jet card owners take note. If you're flying more than 50 hours, you have new options other than fractional aircraft ownership to lower your travel costs. Both CitationAir of Greenwich, CT, and Avantair Inc. of Clearwater, FL, are offering programs aimed specifically at frequent private jet fliers who don't want to own an asset.