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.
Meredith Broder, an adviser with the Villanova, Pa., travel company Avenue Two Travel, said that empty leg flights have changed the private jet game. “Rather than have the plane fly empty, air companies or private jet brokers try to sell that route at a discount,” she said. “This strategy helps with fuel costs and puts private jet flying within reach to people who wouldn’t normally be able to afford this luxury and convenience.”
Ms. Broder booked a jet charter this March from New Jersey to Las Vegas for her client Steven Michaels, an entrepreneur from Cherry Hill, N.J., and seven of his friends. The trip was in celebration of several of the men turning 50, and the group wanted an extravagant getaway. First-class tickets worked out to close to $2,000 a person round trip, while chartering an eight-seat Citation III jet was $3,500 each. When presented with both options, Mr. Michaels said that going private was a no-brainer. “The journey was like paying for a high-end tour or excursion and ended up being one of the most fun parts of the trip,” he said.
Fractional ownership of aircraft involves an individual or corporation who pays an upfront equity share for the cost of an aircraft. If four parties are involved, a partner would pay one-fourth of the aircraft price (a "quarter share"). That partner is now an equity owner in that aircraft and can sell the equity position if necessary. This also entitles the new owner to a certain number of hours of flight time on that aircraft, or any comparable aircraft in the fleet. Additional fees include monthly management fees and incidentals such as catering and ground transportation. In the United States, fractional-ownership operations may be regulated by either FAA part 91 or part 135.
About 70% of the fleet was in North America at the end of 2011. The European market is the next largest, with growing activity in the Middle East, Asia, and Central America.[8] In 2015 the total airplane billing amounted to US$21.9 billion, and 718 business jets were delivered to customers across the globe : 199 (27.7%) by Bombardier Aerospace, 166 (23.1%) by Cessna, 154 (21.4%) by Gulfstream Aerospace, 120 (16.7%) by Embraer and 55 (7.7%) by Dassault Falcon.[9]
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