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  • Writer's pictureBillions Luxury Portal


Asset based, fractional ownership, monthly memberships or pay as you go charters it seems there isn’t a week that goes by without a new and easier way to fly popping up. But how do you know what’s right for you? The numbers of possibilities are confusing and without the right knowledge, you may find yourself entering a costly arrangement that doesn’t quite suit your needs.

Here we delve into nuts and bolts to explain the best ones for you...

Asset Based Ownership

When it comes to private jets, travellers are spoilt for choice. There are hundreds of models of different private aircraft on the market, in a multitude of sizes to accommodate different flights, and styles. So you can be confident there’s an aircraft to suit your needs. One of the great things about whole aircraft ownership is that you’re entirely in control of the operation. Whether it’s the schedule or take off point, you are free to do as you wish with your private aircraft, which can be very useful if you need to jet-set on a regular basis. Unfortunately, owning a private jet is expensive upfront. Most private aircraft go past the million mark and the more brand-new a model is, the more expensive it gets. So unless you spend several hundred hours a year in the air it probably isn’t worth buying your own plane.

If you spend up to 50 hours flying it might make sense to buy a share in an aircraft. Hence companies such as NetJets, the pioneer of fractional ownership. Originally founded in 1964 as a charter and management company, NetJets now sees itself, in the words of NetJets Europe CEO Mario Pacifico, as “a kind of private club,” where “owners are at the centre of everything we do.”

There may be occasions when you need something larger with a longer range – for instance, a Dassault Falcon, Bombardier Global 6000 or Gulfstream G550. No problem: your share equates to a certain number of hours of flying time, not necessarily in the plane you’ve bought into, but in any of NetJets’ 700-plus planes. Owners are spared all the hassle of recruiting and employing pilots and cabin crew, negotiating fuel costs or dealing with maintenance and hangar costs, ready with just half a day’s notice.

Despite its convenience, fractional ownership still carries its share of difficulties. One downside is that it can be quite expensive if you need to fly out a lot, as you’ll be requiring a more substantial fraction to own and while it lets you enjoy the perks of having a private aircraft at your disposal without the super high overhead costs you’ll still need to shell out a vast amount upfront before being able to continuously use the service.

On-Demand Private Jet Charter

The idea of private jet charters might have been around nearly as long as owning private jets, but the chartering operations of old were vastly different to the way we charter today. It was only after the influx of applications and new technologies that chartering a jet became much more accessible, which in turn grew its popularity.

For the most part, an on-demand private jet charter works similar to your typical airline: you schedule a flight, walk into a terminal, then take the trip to your destination. But what makes it differ from your standard commercial carrier is that you don’t have to worry about any security pat-downs, long flight lines, or the endless wait for your luggage. Instead, upon scheduling and paying for the flight cost, all you need to do is enter, wait, and board. And most of the time, you get to leave as quickly as possible.

Unlike most choices on the market, on-demand private jet charters do not require you to pay any hefty capital cost upfront except the flight booking itself because you’re not acquiring an asset, that said if you’re looking to make various, simultaneous trips, you might need to book different flights from several operators, which can become quite expensive and taxing.

Subscription – Pre Paid Options

Similar to that of a Metro card the jet card is a pre-paid flight card redeemable against a number of hours, charged at a fixed rate of flying time. One of the positive points of jet cards is the low capital outlay compared to full or fractional ownership and the ability to select from a variety of aircraft types, often specifying the actual aircraft model.

Typically starting with a price point of $100,000+ the first such membership scheme was the Marquis Jet Card, acquired by NetJets in 2010, today there are over 35 companies offering pre-paid programs including Air Partner, Clay Lacy Aviation, Delta Private Jets, Flexjet, Jet Linx Aviation, JetSuite, Magellan Jets, Nicholas Air, Private Jet Services, PrivateFly, Prive Jets, Sentient Jet, Solairus Aviation, Star Jets International and XOJET each offering varying programs and services which is great to tailor make to the services you require but be aware jet cards cost per flight hour compared to other options are relatively high.

Another pay up front method is the monthly subscription model think Netflix or Spotify. For a monthly fee Surf Air offers unlimited flights aboard a Embraer Phenom 300 executive jets, Swiss-built Pilatus PC-12 NG single-engine turboprops and, on some routes, Cessna Citations. For a mere £1,750.00 per month Surf Air can offer flights from London Luton to a handful of European destinations including Cannes, Zurich, Geneva and Milan. Many more are expected to launch over the coming months. Founded in the USA with access to over 17 American destinations including California (Los Angeles, San Francisco and Santa Barbara) and in Texas (Houston, Dallas, Austin and Midland), Surf Air claims to offers a smarter, better alternative to commercial travel. An ideal private jet option for frequent flyers

Last Minute Deals

Each month, an estimated 3,000 private jets make more than 40,000 flights with only the pilots aboard. Either they’re en route to collect passengers or returning to base having dropped them off. These are known as empty legs, and securing a passage on one has long been the least expensive way of flying private. Indeed, it can save you up to 75 per cent of the cost of a conventional charter.

Many charter houses offer this service which is perfect for one way travel and last minute plans be aware routes are very limited.

Article provided by Luxury Living Magazine


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