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

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3. Program Characteristics 

 

 

 

Private Jet Travel: Understanding the Options  

October 2003 

 

3-3

structured fee schedule removes much of the guesswork from business aviation 
expenditures.  Excluding adjustments for inflation, your total out-of pocket 
expenses over several years can be identified even before your share is 
purchased.

 

 

Operational Considerations of Fractional 
 
As noted above, the Fractional share you acquire dictates the number of flight 
hours to which you are entitled.  Many Fractional programs, especially the larger 
ones, have built sophisticated aircraft optimization models that predict the best 
way to position the fleet throughout the network.  This allows the programs to 
minimize positioning flights, thus lowering fleet operating costs, and giving 
customers the ability to reserve a flight with minimal advance notice.  However, 
advance notice requirements do exist and often differ by aircraft and share 
ownership level. 
 
Service is guaranteed most of the time.  When you "book" a flight, the aircraft will 
be waiting for you at the departure airport - fueled, staffed, and catered as 
needed for the trip (custom catering usually costs extra).  Fractional programs 
offer a standard time window during which you can arrive at the airport past your 
scheduled departure time and avoid any late fees.  If that standard is exceeded, 
programs often reserve the right to redeploy the aircraft and assess a penalty 
(which differs in each program). 
 
Many Fractional customers cite the extensive in-house capabilities of the 
program manager as a major factor influencing their purchase decision.  The 
program manager is responsible for all of the services requiring aviation 
expertise.  Some consumers feel more comfortable if all of these activities and
among them crucial services such as pilot selection and crew training, 
maintenance, flight planning, dispatch and scheduling -- are overseen by a single 
entity whose job is to ensure that operating, safety and consistency standards 
are set at a very high level and are constantly met. 
 
Fractional programs also have rules outlining the geographic area served.  
Though there are regional programs, the major programs serve the entire United 
States.  Some offer extended services such as to or from areas within 200 miles 
of the U.S. border or the Caribbean.  Further, some programs offer reciprocal 
access to programs that they operate in other regions of the world.   
 
To avoid aircraft demand becoming misaligned with availability, Fractional 
programs require more advance notice on "peak days", especially for smaller 
Fractional shareholders.  Specific days covered and the associated rules will be 
stated in your contract. 
 
A key selling point for Fractional programs is service consistency.  While chances 
are that you will rarely, if ever, fly on your own specific aircraft, you will almost 
always fly on an aircraft identical to the one in which you own a share.  The paint 
scheme is the same, the interior is the same and the service is the same.  Short 
of owning your own aircraft outright, Fractional programs offer the highest level of 
aircraft customization.  There are, though, occasional exceptions to this 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Reservation" 
rules 

 

 

 

Extensive in-
house 
capabilities 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fractional 
onboard 
experience 

"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.