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 then download our Guide to Private Aviation, which compares the products and providers. 

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


In announcing results for last year, Sentient Jet saw key metrics rise to levels not seen since 2008. The company sold over 32,000 hours in 2013, which is the equivalent of more than 1,300 25-Hour Jet Cards, and grew revenue to more than $150 million.

With the economy rebounding the large private aviation companies have been placing orders for a variety of new aircraft over the last few years. The total value of these orders is over $32bn since 2010.

While private jets provide much more flexibility for travelers than flying commercial, sometimes that still isn't flexible enough. Travelers flying in the Boston to Washington DC corridor, who need the flexibility of landing on a heliport or private landing spot may consider a helicopter charter, fractional ownership, or flight card from Associated Aircraft Group (AAG). AAG, which has been in business for over 20 years, started offering fractional helicopters in 1999. They have nine Sikorsky S-76 six- and seven-passenger cabin helicopters, that can be booked 24/7, 365 days per year. 

Use the tool below to find the main operating costs for any business aircraft, everything from pistons, helicopters, light jets to heavy jets. The report shows the costs split by :

  • Annual Fixed Costs
  • Annual Variable Costs

The report will also show a breakdown into hourly operating costs, based on the annual hours of usage that you define, so that you get a good feel for the marginal cost of each hour.

You can also add in a purchase price for the plane and even a loan, for a potential purchase, and the report will run the annual depreciation schedules. Try it out here:


 



 


The results are powered by Aircraft Cost Calculator, and show most of the numbers. The full set of results is available for purchase for just $35 for a one off report, or if you subscribe you can run side by side comparisons of different aircraft. Full usage also lets you put in potential charter hours, so that you could model the effects of chartering out your aircraft, at various numbers of hours each year.

For those looking to give the gift of time and convenience, several private jet companies are offering exclusive holiday deals on their jet cards, which are available for a limited time. Here are some of the available offers.

Are you looking for a luxury travel gift for the person who has everything? Flexjet has teamed up with luxury travel experts Abercrombie & Kent to offer Passport to the World. Inspired by Jules Verne's 1873 adventure novel Around the World in 80 Days, the Passport to the World is a fourteen-day, around-the-world trip for up to eight people on board a Challenger 605. According to the companies, this is the first and only completely private jet experience available for trips circumnavigating the globe.

The holiday season is the busiest travel time for all of the private aviation companies, with peak days being the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the day before Christmas Eve, and the two days after Christmas. The winter months are also busiest at the mountain airports because of ski season. That, combined with the somewhat treacherous conditions, can result in more delays than usual.

AirSprint, a North American fractional aircraft operator with offices in both the US and Canada, has announced newly restructured fractional jet ownership programs. Recognizing that some owners would like to avoid capital costs, and others would prefer a guaranteed rate of depreciation on fractional ownership, AirSprint has created options that are appropriate for all owners. The new programs, which are available for both the Citation CJ2+ and Citation XL/S, are offered at two levels - called the Club and the Infiniti Access Programs.

VistaJet, a global business aviation company, is expanding into the United States market, and has announced partnerships with two US-based companies. Jet Aviation will handle US operations while Wheels Up will handle US sales.

In a continuing sign of the growth of private aviation, Sentient reported sales have reached levels not seen since before the peak of the financial crisis in 2008. With this increase in travel and client demand, Sentient has expanded its jet card offering by adding a 25-hour Super-Mid jet card and a 25-hour Heavy jet card.