Comparison study of buying an airplane, fractional share, jet cardrivate jet charter
UNDERSTANDING THE OPTIONS
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21. Page 3-12

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3. Program Characteristics 

 

 

 

Private Jet Travel: Understanding the Options  

October 2003 

 

3-12

Whole Aircraft Ownership 

 
For some, buying an aircraft is the ultimate transportation solution.  Except when 
out of service for maintenance, the aircraft is always there to take you wherever 
you want to go, whenever you want to leave.  It can be painted and configured 
however you like.  Of course, you will need to find pilots, maintain the aircraft, 
and see to the range of other requirements to keep an aircraft (or a fleet of them) 
in the air. 
 
Financial Considerations of Ownership 
 
Not all companies, and few individuals, have the means to purchase jet aircraft.  
If in such a position, however, the benefits are often indispensable.  The largest 
and most obvious financial consideration is the cost of aircraft acquisition.  There 
is no way to generalize the financing structure of an aircraft acquisition; it could 
range from a relatively simple all-cash deal to the most complex, tax-considered, 
lawyer-driven transaction that one could imagine.  Regardless, it is a paper-
intensive, complicated process that often requires outside advisors to ensure that 
regulatory, legal and insurance requirements are met. 
 
After the aircraft is acquired, owners usually either: 1) hire an aircraft 
management company to serve as an “external flight department” by providing 
key services requiring aviation competence (i.e., hire and train pilots, flight 
planning, aircraft scheduling, maintenance, fueling, etc.); or 2) conduct such 
activities through an internal flight department.  Building an internal flight 
department offers the highest degree of control, but also a higher level of 
complexity.  Using an aircraft management company involves incurring the cost 
of a “middle man”, but this will be offset to some degree by the management 
company’s ability to pass through cost savings on volume purchases of fuel, 
insurance, and the like.  
 
Operational Considerations of Ownership 
 
Aircraft ownership (especially if it is part of a larger fleet) offers a tremendous 
amount of flexibility.  There are no pre-set rules regarding advance notice 
requirements, availability is always guaranteed (barring maintenance or crew-
related downtime), last-minute, or even enroute, travel changes are easily 
accommodated, and there are no “peak days” where rules can become more 
restrictive. 
 
However, without access to a fleet, your flight options will be limited by the range 
and capacity of your aircraft.  Most buyers will choose an aircraft that meets their 
“best fit” requirement, meaning that it will not be the most efficient travel option 
for some trips and incapable of performing others, but will meet their needs most 
of the time.  Plus, when your “one-aircraft” fleet is “down” for scheduled or 
unscheduled maintenance, your options revert to Charter or commercial airlines. 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buying is just the 
beginning 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is always there, 
but . . . 

"Chartering a plane, either directly from a charter company or through a charter broker, is often the most cost effective way to fly private."

Independent Source: Deloitte Private Wealth, Private aircraft: Flying private makes sense for those with the right information (page 20)
*This website has no affiliation with Deloitte.