Comparison study of buying an airplane, fractional share, jet cardrivate jet charter
UNDERSTANDING THE OPTIONS
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17. Page 3-8

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3. Program Characteristics 

 

 

 

Private Jet Travel: Understanding the Options  

October 2003 

 

3-8

While the occupied hourly rate is standard in Fractional programs (regardless of 
how you use your aircraft), Block Charter programs often price roundtrip flights 
less expensively on a cost-per-hour basis than one-way trips.  Further, some limit 
the number of one-way trips you can use as a predefined percentage of total 
hours. This can be a very important financial consideration, especially if your 
travel will be less than perfectly efficient (meaning not all trips will be round-trips 
from the aircraft’s home base). Some of the programs offer an incentive for using 
the aircraft efficiently, others a disincentive for using it inefficiently, and some 
simply charge for all the time incurred, just as a traditional On-Demand Charter 
company would. It is crucial when considering these programs to understand 
how these charges will be incurred based on your own likely flight profile.  
 
As the concept of Block Charter is relatively new, at least in its modern 
incarnation, and encompasses a range of service offerings, it is critical that you 
fully understand the nuances of a program before you commit.  Finally though, 
there are an increasing number of national programs, regional programs also 
exist.  While a Dallas-based program may make sense if you are based in Dallas, 
it is not likely to if you are based in Miami, as most of your trips could be 
considered one-way (and hence more expensive). 
 
Operational Considerations of Block Charter 
 
As noted above, the way that a Block Charter program procures and operates 
your trips may be an important consideration.  Some programs own or lease a 
portion of the fleet available to their customers.  The balance of their fleet is 
comprised of aircraft that they manage on behalf of other owners.  As such, their 
owned, leased and managed fleet defines the universe of aircraft that these 
programs provide to their customers.  As needed, they often reserve the right to 
charter outside aircraft to provide additional lift.  They are also likely to audit 
carefully the consistency, quality, and safety standards of the operator and 
aircraft that they use to augment their fleet.  A key benefit of this type of Block 
Charter program is consistency.  The pilot and crew pool is small, increasing the 
chances that they will become familiar with you and your needs.  Aircraft interiors 
and exteriors are likely to be more standardized, especially those that are owned 
or leased.  Some programs have a hierarchy of Charter companies that can 
provide lift to their customers, cascading down to alternatives.  This allows them 
to maximize quality. 
 
Others take a more ad hoc approach.  Increasingly more common are Block 
Charter programs that aggregate demand (customers) and match them with 
aggregated supply (aircraft from a variety of operators).  These programs might 
advertise that they have a fleet of 2,000 aircraft, by which you can quickly 
determine that they are advertising their access, as a broker, to the larger pool of 
Charter aircraft operated by third parties.  If that is the case, they probably do not 
perform audits of all of these operators and aircraft themselves, though they 
might require that they pass certain third-party audit standards.  Regardless of 
the aircraft quality, however, aircraft interiors and exteriors from these Block 
Charter operators are likely to be more inconsistent.  Your tastes may differ 
considerably from those of the aircraft owner.  
 

 

Your travel 
patterns drive 
Block Charter 
prices 

 

 

 

 

Do your research!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whose fleet are 
you chartering? 

 

"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.