Private Jet Charter Versus Buying Your Own Jet

OK, you’ve made it. Your success, whether it’s personal or as a senior member of a corporation, means you want to lead a jet-set lifestyle. This includes the convenience of travelling in your own aeroplane. It’s so much better than being tied to airline schedules and travelling from major airports. So, it’s no longer a decision about if you’re going to go for it, more a case of how.

It’s a matter of carrying out a cost benefit analysis, and matching it to your budget. Owning your own jet is not a simple proposition, however, and there a number of costs you need to consider which relate to the ongoing running costs. The cost of a private jet can range from $3 million up to $50 million and beyond, depending on just how big and luxurious you want your jet, but that is just the start. The jet needs somewhere to live, you need a highly qualified crew to fly it for you, and it will guzzle fuel at an alarming rate once you do start flying. It will need insuring and, depending where in the world you live, you may find the local tax man takes an unwelcome interest in your latest toy. Regular maintenance is not just desirable, but a legal requirement around the world, and so cannot be an area where you economise. Last, and far from least is the catering to keep you and your guests in well fed content while you travel. Top class cuisine is surprisingly expensive as an in flight extra.

The most convenient way to handle the myriad expenses and tasks that come with owning your own jet is to let a specialist management company take care of the jet on your behalf. Most airfields operating private jets have such companies who, by taking care of a number of aircraft are able to consolidate many of the services and so reduce the costs. Even so, you can expect to pay anything between $100,000 and $200,000 each year for such a service, on top of the fuel and crew costs.

A great advantage of using a management company is that they can also help you offset your costs by hiring out the jet on your behalf when you don’t need it. This can go a long way to covering the operating costs if you have the type of aeroplane that is in demand for hire as a private jet.

So how does this compare to private jet charter? Charter costs are totally dependent on the type of aeroplane you want and where you are flying between. The beauty of chartering is that you can vary the type of aeroplane you use to suit the length of the journey and the number of people flying. If it’s a short hope between cities for one person to attend a business meeting, there’s no need to use the same kind of jet you would use to take the extended family on holiday across an ocean.

The general consensus within the industry is that, on a purely cost analysis basis, is that if you are going to use the jet for more than 350-400 hours yourself each year, then it pays to own the jet. Less than that, and private jet charter could well be the best option for you.

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