With the well documented issues in commercial flying more and more people have found reasons to turn to private aircraft.
There are a variety of options to consider. The starting point is how often you want to fly privately.
If you only fly a few hours a year then on demand aircraft charter is probably the best way to go. As your number of hours of private flying increases look at charter cards and fractional cards.
Once you reach about 50 hours of flying a year then fractional aircraft ownership can start to make sense and above 300 or so hours per year whole ownership is worth looking into. Here is some core information to help you understand the options.
All of the major providers have expanded over the last few years. Many now offer a wide range of products and solutions to meet the needs of various clients. If you're looking at the different options and would like a good general overview then download our free Guide to Private Aviation, which includes details on charter, jet cards and fractional ownership. For detailed side by side comparisons of the leading jet card and fractional providers, a directory of charter operators, and our Aircraft Buying Guide then sign up for membership.
The latest news and research on private jets and aircraft is included below.
The latest statistics from the Department of Transportation show an increasing number of bags being lost by the commercial airlines. In addition only about 75% of commercial flights arrive on time. With these statistics it may now be the time to start looking into flying privately.
Yesterday Jet-Alliance reported that it had received delivery of the the first Eclipse 500 very light jet (VLJ). The company is offering fractional ownership for about $100,000 for a 1/16th share (50 hours of flying) and has orders for several more of the planes to build up it's fleet.
When Raytheon recently announced the sale of its aircraft business unit - manufacturer of Hawker and Beechcraft planes - it also made it clear that its fractional ownership business Flight Options, LLC was not part of the sale.
PlaneSense currently has 25 Pilatus PC-12s in it's fractional aircraft program and according to the New Hampshire Union Leader will increase this to 37 aircraft over the next year. This puts it in the top 6 fractional aircraft programs in the US.
Rumors continue to swirl about the sale of Raytheon's aircraft division, the manufacturer of Beechcraft and Hawker planes. Raytheon has been looking to sell this division for quite some time, since it doesn't quite fit with Raytheon's other defence contracting business units.
Private aircraft charter has been around for a long time. It lets you make use of a plane for one journey without any other long term commitment. There are thousands of aircraft available for charter, covering all sizes of planes from pistons and single engine turboprops to large executive jets. There are also a large number of air charter operators and brokers, who each provide their own level of service.
There are many reasons to use private jets. The main general reasons that we hear most often are listed below. The specific pros and cons of the different forms of private aircraft travel are discussed in our articles on each travel type.
When you buy a fractional jet share you are paying for part ownership of a specific plane. You will be allocated an amount of time in the aircraft. This usually ranges between 50 - 400 hours of flight time per year. The number of hours depends on the size of the share.
The 2007 American Express Global Business Travel Forecast predicts that air fares worldwide are expected to increase next year.
American Express predicts a three to five percent increase in domestic economy fares, and a three to seven percent rise in international business-class fares. These come after several years of increasing airfare prices.
The companies below all provide fractional aircraft ownership. You'll find companies offering ownership in all types of planes from ultra-long range business jets to single engined turboprops. The table shows the types of planes available through the program and includes the broad geographic area that the fractional aircraft program is available in.
Yesterday Bombardier and Jet Solutions announced the pricing for the Flexjet Jet Cards. The price varies with: