According to Jahid Fazal-Karim, owner and chairman of the board of Jetcraft, the sweet spot for buying a plane is between three and five years old in terms of value. Fazal-Karim knows what he is talking about, having overseen more than 500 transactions worth over $10 billion in value since he started his career at Jetcraft in 2008. He is often referred to as one of the most powerful players in business and private aviation. Jetcraft
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).
At Pentastar Aviation, we focus first and foremost on passenger safety. There are no age restrictions for passengers on private jets. Just let us know if you are traveling with a child, and we’ll be sure the aircraft selected for your trip will accommodate your family’s needs. Please note, however, neither PACI nor Pentastar Aviation will transport unaccompanied minors under the age of 18. Domestic pets are allowed on some aircraft. Make sure to let your charter sales representative know if you will be traveling with a pet so we can accommodate your request. Please note that exotic animals may not be allowed, especially on international flights.
Waiting until the last minute isn’t an option for most travelers, of course. For those whose schedules can’t accommodate a last-minute booking, there are other options, though they can be pricier. West Coast airline Surf Air offers unlimited private plane flights to and from roughly a dozen California and Nevada locales like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Santa Barbara for $1,750 per month (plus a one-time $1000 initiation fee); the airline operates up to 90 flights each day and it added Monterey, Calif., to its list of itineraries on July 13, 2015.
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.
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.
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.