Companies like Surf Air and FLITE Air Taxi can charge less than big-name competitors, in part, because they use different planes — like, for example, single-prop turbo planes — that cost less to operate because they use less fuel than larger jets. “The operational cost can be a fraction of other planes,” says Justin Hart, vice president of Surf Air memberships.
Are these lower prices the reason more Americans are chartering planes? Virtuoso’s statistics indicate that the number of private charter trips increased by 10 percent from 2014 to 2016, and statistics from the research company Euromonitor show that the number of passengers in the United States who chartered planes increased from 4.88 million in 2013 to 5.32 million in 2016 (this number excludes helicopter charters).
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."
The reality of the Web is that it provides a very incomplete picture of private jets for sale or the private jet marketplace. In the last few years the pre-owned aircraft market has changed significantly; the values of aircraft change more quickly and the prices shown on the Web bear little relation to what such aircraft actually sell for. Moreover, many of the best aircraft for sale never appear on the Internet, as they’re bought and sold among brokers for their clients without ever being listed for sale. Moreover, many buyers who plunge into the market without the help of an expert advisor may not even have properly identified the best airplane for their needs, and a buyer can make a great deal on the wrong airplane. That is why The Private Jet Company made it their principal focus to spend whatever time is necessary to understand the buyer's specific needs and preferences to be able to present the best value private aircrafts that fulfill the buyer's needs and offer the best value for the buyer's dollars. The founder of TPJC and all its brokers make it their goal to become a trusted advisor to the buyer to not only present the currently available aircraft on the market, but to assist in negotiating the deal, recommending legal and tax advisors, aircraft inspection specialists, suitable FBO facilities and any other services to assist in consummating the best possible deal for the aircraft purchase.
Though the early Lockheed Jetstar had four, most production business jets have two jet engines, mostly rear-mounted podded engine. If mounted below their low wing, it wouldn't allow sufficient engine clearance without a too long landing gear. The HondaJet is the exception with its over the wing engine pods. Dassault Falcon still builds three-engine models derived from the Falcon 50, and the very light jet market has seen several single-engine design concepts and the introduction of the Cirrus Vision SF50 in 2016.