Flight departments are corporate-owned operators who manage the aircraft of a specific company. Ford Motor Company, Chrysler, and Altria are examples of companies that own, maintain and operate their own fleet of private aircraft for their employees. Flight departments handle all aspects of aircraft operation and maintenance. In the United States, flight-department aircraft operate under FAR 91 operating rules.
The Bombardier Challenger 600 began as a proof-of-concept business aircraft design from American aircraft pioneer Bill Lear. The design was subsequently purchased by Canadair, the predecessor to Bombardier, in the late 1970s. Canadair further refined the design and certified the aircraft in 1980. The type really “took off,” so to speak, with the follow-on Challenger 601, introduced in 1983, which replaced its predecessor’s Avro Lycoming engines with modern General Electric CF43-1A turbofans designed for high-utilization commercial airline service.
Aircraft charter brokers have entered the marketplace through the ease of setting up a website and business online. Aircraft charter operators are legally responsible for the safe operation of aircraft and charter brokers require no economic authority and are largely unregulated. The Department of Transportation requires that air charter brokers disclose to the consumer that they do not operate aircraft and cannot use terms like "our fleet of aircraft", "we operate", "our charter service" and others.
The Private Jet category encompasses a wide variety of aircraft, of many different sizes and capabilities ranging from aircraft optimized for relatively short-range regional travel, to large cabin aircraft able to traverse entire continents and oceans. These aircraft are manufactured by worldwide companies including Beechcraft, Bombardier, Cessna, Dassault Aviation, Embraer, Gulfstream, Hawker, Learjet, and Pilatus. Additionally, Airbus and Boeing build exclusive, private variants of many of the same aircraft operated by commercial airlines throughout the world.
Purchasing a private aircraft immediately opens a variety of possibilities for business owners, entrepreneurs and sport or entertainment celebrities. Private aircraft allow owners to traverse vast distances quickly, and on their schedule, without the burdens and inconvenience of modern commercial airline travel. In fact, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) likens the use of a private plane to a "time machine allowing you to get to where you need to be directly, efficiently and at a reasonable cost."
On 1 April 2017, there were 22,368 business jets in the worldwide fleet, of which 11.2% were for sale. 5-year old aircraft residual value level is at a 56% of the list price. A new business aircraft depreciate by 50% in five years before depreciation flattens between years 10 and 15, and the owner of a 15 to 20 years old is often the last, matching luxury cars.