The most economical option is chartering, which doesn't require any cash upfront (other than a deposit) through companies like Tradewind, Sentient, and Solairus, (which we took home from North Carolina). Of course, there are the old standbys like NetJets and Marquis, who sell fractional ownership (like 1/16th) of a single jet for upwards of $100K. One step down from that, pricewise, is the jet card, where you buy a set amount of hours from a company like Nicholas or Private Jet Services, and can use those hours for different planes. Then there are membership models like WheelsUp, where you pay $17,500 as an initiation fee to fly in their fleet, and then a $8,500 annual dues fee starting the second year. It's like a country club—only you're guaranteed access to a KingAir350i or Citation Excel / XLS instead of a golf course.
JetSmarter, around since 2013, is an example of a player in the private aviation space selling shared flights. The company operates on a membership model: Fliers pay a minimum of $15,000 a year and book seats on already scheduled flights through the JetSmarter app, which lists more than 150 domestic and international trips a day. Trips under three hours are included in the cost of the membership while longer ones are an average of $300 a person, according to Sergey Petrossov, the company’s chief executive officer; most flights have an average of eight to 10 passengers.
There are two major differences between private charter and scheduled airline service: cost and flexibility. While booking a flight via jet services companies is generally more expensive, they provide a much higher degree of flexibility. With Pentastar Aviation Charter, Inc. your charter will fly on YOUR schedule to the domestic or international destination of YOUR choice. Our service to both major and general aviation airports gives you access to more than ten times as many domestic destinations as scheduled airline service. In addition, we have international experience operating in more than 80 countries.
Hong Kong leveraged lease: In Hong Kong, where income taxes are low in comparison to other countries, leveraged leasing to local operators is common. In such transactions, a locally incorporated lessor acquires an aircraft through a combination of non-recourse debt, recourse debt, and equity (generally in a 49-16-35 proportion), and thus be able to claim depreciation allowances despite only being liable for half of the purchase price. Its high tax losses can then be set off against profits from leasing the aircraft to a local carrier. Due to local tax laws, these investments are set up as general partnerships, in which the investors' liability is mainly limited by insurance and by contract with the operator.
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.
How can these and other similar companies afford to offer such low rates? One reason is that sites like JetSuite.com are offering seats on flights that would have been empty or at least not full. “Over 40% of flights that are flying private have empty seats,” says Steve King, the co-founder of private jet charter company AeroIQ. Many times, these flights are simply repositioning so they can pick up passengers in another city and the companies would rather get some money from passengers than no money.
Time saving - this is one of the most significant reasons for using private aircraft. Depending on your program you can have an aircraft ready in just a few hours. You can arrive at the airport just minutes before your scheduled departure time, fly directly to your destination (without any layovers), make productive use of your time onboard, avoid overnight stays (saving hotel $ as well as time), avoid waiting in lines at the airport, land at over 5,000 airports in the US and so be closer to your destination. All of this can provide significant savings in both productive time and in dollars. Productivity - the time savings above provide significantly more productive time, both onboard and before and after your flight. You and your staff can make the most of the travel time to talk business or work with customers, suppliers or partners.
Prospective aircraft buyers often look for private jets for sale by searching Google, gathering information on various makes & models and their performance characteristics, and on condition, age, price and other information about specific jets for sale. Most private airplane buyers use standard phrases like: "private jets for sale", "private jets on sale" or "private jets on market" for their search. Some prefer more specific terms that may include a manufacturer’s name along with the aircraft model number, and configuration features such as a particular upgraded avionics package. Searching for aircraft for sale online using very specific terms may miss some listings due to variations in identification, for example “Gulfstream G550” vs. “Gulfstream G-550.” More inclusive searches, such as “Gulfstream, large-cabin jet” yield more results.
Charter operators own or manage private jets for multiple clients. Like traditional flight departments, charter companies handle all aspects of aircraft operation and maintenance. However, they are not aligned with just one corporation. They manage aircraft for a private owner or corporation and also handle the sales of available flight time on the aircraft they own or manage. Maintenance services can also be provided which typically include on-site or mobile repair, major and minor routine inspections, troubleshooting assistance away from base, avionics installation and repair, jet engine and battery service, interior modifications and refurbishment, Inspection Authority (IA) qualified inspectors, aircraft planning and budgetary projections, compliance with service bulletins, aircraft storage management, record keeping and management, technical appraisal of private jet purchases, leases and lease terminations, and Part 91 or Part 135 conformity inspections.