Paul Cappuccio, who lives in Greenwich, Conn., and is the general counsel for Time Warner, flew to Miami on Blade most weekends last winter and plans to do the same this year. “It’s such a relaxed way to fly, an elegant experience and so hassle-free,” he said. While not necessarily budget-friendly, Mr. Cappuccio said that Blade hits the sweet spot on price. “It’s not all that much more than a full-fare first-class ticket, but a small fraction of what it would cost to fly on a chartered private jet,” he said.
The very light jet (VLJ) is a classification initiated by the release of the Eclipse 500, on 31 December 2006, which was originally available at around US$1.5 million, cheaper than existing business jets and comparable with turboprop airplanes. It accompanied a bubble for air taxi services, exemplified by DayJet which ceased operations on September 2008, Eclipse Aviation failed to sustain its business model and filed for bankruptcy in February 2009.
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Finance leasing is attractive to the lessee because the lessee may claim depreciation deductions over the aircraft's useful life, which offset the profits from the lease for tax purposes, and deduct interest paid to those creditors who financed the purchase. This has made aircraft a popular form of tax shelter for investors, and has also made finance leasing a cheaper alternative to operating leases or secured purchasing.
No matter what company you're flying with, be sure to ask if there two pilots or one. (Though two pilots are standard on commercial flights, regulations vary for private planes of all sizes.) It also helps to ask if the operator owns the plane—typically, companies that own their planes offer better service. Never forget to ask about daily minimums and taxi fees. "If the hourly rate is $9,000 and you have a single 40-minute flight, you might assume you are going to pay $6,000," says Doug Gollan, creator of PrivateJetCardComparisons.com. "But if your provider has a daily minimum of 1.5 hours, you are going to actually be charged $13,500, plus taxi time, which in my comparisons I have found varies between being included and up to 12 minutes per segment."
And typically, you can’t just buy one discount ticket on these planes; they’ll want you to pay for the whole cost of the plane, so you’ll need to find a group to go with you to get the most savings. Plus, if you want to save big, you likely won’t get a brand-new primo jet, as these tend to cost more. And finally, there’s the issue of safety: Private chartered planes tend to get in more crashes than commercial jets — though they are still far safer than cars. Most small-plane accidents were due to pilot error, so call the private jet company to determine how many hours of flying experience your pilot has.
Customers spend time with a full-service design team to decide how they want to outfit the plane’s interior. Interiors can be customized to align with the branding of a company, the tastes of an owner, or the operational needs of the flight department. Some notable interior options for the Citation Longitude are the side-facing couch, optional crew jump seat, and solid surface flooring. The Longitude offers an inflight-accessible baggage compartment, and its ceiling extends to 6 feet, making it easy for most people to stand up. Textron Aviation
With a dry lease, the lessor provides the aircraft without crew. These arrangements are favored by leasing companies and banks, and require the lessee to put the aircraft on its own AOC and provide aircraft registration. Dry leases usually cover a term of no less than two years. Lessees must comply with conditions regarding maintenance, insurance, and depreciation, and other requirements that may be affected by geographical location, political circumstances or other factors.
The preowned aircraft market has changed significantly over just the past couple of years, with aircraft values changing more quickly and the prices shown on the Web typically bearing little relation to actual selling prices. Your professional Aircraft Broker has access to the very latest aircraft listings and pricing information that simply won’t be available or readily accessible otherwise.