Purchasing a private aircraft immediately opens a variety of possibilities for business owners, entrepreneurs and sport or entertainment celebrities. Private aircraft allow owners to traverse vast distances quickly, and on their schedule, without the burdens and inconvenience of modern commercial airline travel. In fact, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) likens the use of a private plane to a "time machine allowing you to get to where you need to be directly, efficiently and at a reasonable cost."
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.
The 91,000 lb (41,000 kg), 6,750 nmi Gulfstream G550 was selected for the IAI EL/W-2085 Conformal Airborne Early Warning AESA radar for Italy, Singapore and Israel (which also has IAI Sigint G550s) while L3 Technologies transfers the U.S. Compass Call electronic-attack system to the G550 CAEW-based EC-37B, like the NC-37B range-support aircraft, and will modify others for Australia’s AISREW program, Northrop Grumman proposes the G550 for the J-Stars Recap;
the 99,500 lb (45,100 kg), 6,000 nmi Bombardier Global 6000 is the platform for the USAF Northrop Grumman E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, the radar-carrying ground-surveillance Raytheon Sentinel for the UK Royal Air Force, and Saab’s Globaleye AEW&C carrying its Erieye AESA radar as UK's Marshall ADG basis for Elint/Sigint for the United Arab Emirates; it is also the base for the proposed Saab AB Swordfish MPA and the USAF Lockheed Martin J-Stars Recap battlefield-surveillance program, while IAI's ELI-3360 MPA is based on the Global 5000;
In a wet lease arrangement, the financing entity, or lessor, provides the aircraft, and complete crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) to another party at a cost based on hours of operation over a set time period. The lessee pays for fuel, airport fees, duties, taxes and other operational costs. Wet leases generally are established for one to 24 months. (Any shorter period would be considered simply ad hoc charter, which can be thought of as wet lease by the hour or mission.) In the commercial airline world, wet leases are typically utilized to provide supplemental lift during peak traffic seasons or during annual heavy maintenance checks. In the United Kingdom, a wet lease is employed whenever an aircraft is operated under the air operator's certificate (AOC) of the lessor.
Under American and British accounting rules, a finance lease is generally defined as one in which the lessor receives substantially all rights of ownership, or in which the present value of the minimum lease payments for the duration of the lease exceeds 90% of the fair market value of the aircraft. If a lease is defined as a finance lease, it must be counted as an asset of the company, in contrast to an operating lease which only affects the company's cash flow.
Cessna simultaneously developed the Citation Mustang, a six-place twinjet (2 crew + 4 passengers), followed by the Embraer Phenom 100 and the Honda Jet. They have a maximum takeoff weight lighter than the FAR Part 23 12,500 pounds limit, and are approved for single-pilot operation. They typically accommodate 5-7 passengers over a 965 nmi average range, with a $3.6M mean price. Some VLJs such as the Eclipse and Mustang have no or limited lavatory facilities.
Steve Wooster, the managing director of services and air operations for the luxury travel network Virtuoso, said that the proliferation of private jet brands has led to these lower prices. “There are many more suppliers than there ever used to be, and competition means prices have dropped,” he said. “Private jet flying is now open to a diversity of passengers, not just C.E.O.’s.”
Flight departments are corporate-owned operators who manage the aircraft of a specific company. Ford Motor Company, Chrysler, and Altria are examples of companies that own, maintain and operate their own fleet of private aircraft for their employees. Flight departments handle all aspects of aircraft operation and maintenance. In the United States, flight-department aircraft operate under FAR 91 operating rules.