Pros and Cons of Fractional Private Jet Ownership
Nov 17, 2022
If you prefer to fly on a private jet instead of flying commercial, there are multiple options available to you. You could own your own aircraft, you could charter private jets whenever you wanted to fly, or you could enter into a fractional ownership arrangement.
Fractional jet ownership is when multiple people own an aircraft together. They each pay for part of the initial costs of purchasing the aircraft, pay a part of the ongoing costs to maintain and operate the aircraft, and then share the usage of the aircraft.
What Are the Advantages of Fractional Jet Ownership?
Fractional jet ownership is a happy medium between chartering and owning a private jet. By only partially owning the aircraft, you save a lot of money while enjoying all of the benefits of owning, which include:
Lower Barrier to Ownership
Because owning a private jet can be an expensive proposition, fractional jet ownership can put the option within reach for many more people. Even if you can afford to purchase a private jet on your own, it may be worth it to save on the initial purchase. Plus, sharing the costs of purchase could also increase the size of jet you could buy.
Ongoing Costs Are Shared
One of the biggest advantages of fractional ownership over full ownership is that you don’t have to pay as much. You’re sharing both the initial costs of the investment and the ongoing costs of maintenance and operation with at least one other person. There are costs for fuel, maintenance and upgrades, hangaring or tie-down costs, crew salaries, and aviation insurance that have to be paid. Sharing those costs is a major advantage of fractional ownership.
Responsibilities Are Shared
The upkeep for a private jet can be a big responsibility. However, if you’re not the only owner of the jet, then you aren’t the only one who has to arrange for repairs and other maintenance. All owners can benefit from maintenance tasks taken on by just one of the owners.
Guaranteed Flight Hours
In fractional jet ownership, you’re typically guaranteed access to the jet for a certain number of hours of flight time. How many hours that is per year depends on the share of the jet that you own. For example, if you own half of a jet, then you may be guaranteed access to it for 400 flight hours.
Eliminated One-Way Flight Fees
When you charter a private jet, there might be fees associated with flying one-way. This is because it could cost the charter company money to get the plane back to its home airport. When you own a jet, even in part, you eliminate any fees that you might have incurred by flying one-way.
While private jet charters are much more flexible than flying commercial, owning your own jet is the most flexible of all when it comes to where and when you can fly. Private jet charters may be subject to availability and where the charter company is willing to fly. With your own jet, you can fly wherever you want during your own flight hours.
What Are the Disadvantages of Fractional Jet Ownership?
Fractional jet ownership does have plenty of advantages, but it’s not the right choice for everyone. Before you start looking for a jet and co-owners, it’s important to understand the potential downsides as well.
Costs Are High
Even split multiple ways, a private jet can still cost a lot of money. While fractional jet ownership does reduce the initial up-front costs by sharing them, those costs are still high. That’s not including the ongoing costs of maintaining the aircraft, like insurance, hangaring, repairs, and more.
Limited Aircraft Choice
When you own an aircraft, either in full or in part, you’ll need to use only that aircraft. When you charter, you could try out different models and sizes of aircraft. You could charter smaller aircraft when flying alone a short distance and larger aircraft when flying with a group or for a longer period of time. When you own, you’re limited to your own aircraft even if your needs change over time.
Shared Aircraft Availability
While you’re guaranteed a certain number of flight hours with fractional jet ownership, you do have to share the aircraft with your fellow owners. This means that it might not be available when you need it. Throughout much of the year, this may not be a problem, but at holidays you may find that the other shareholders want to use the aircraft as well.
Lower Value Over Time
Just like cars, aircraft decrease in value over time. This value depreciation means that if you later chose to sell the jet, you wouldn’t recover your investment in it. You’ll have put money into the up-front costs and the ongoing maintenance and upkeep that you won’t be able to get back by selling later on.
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