B uying your own private jet aircraft is a big investment for an individual or organisation. It is thought that an aircraft purchase will be cost-efficient if you need to fly more than 400 hours per year. In this article we give a few tips on buying a private jet...
For anything under 400 hours
you would probably be better off considering a fractional ownership program such
as that offered by industry leader Netjets.
Buying a private jet outright is for heavy users who wish to retain more control of an aircraft. Multinational corporations are well known to purchase their own jets and will use additional jet charter to supplement their needs.
There are a number of factors to consider when thinking about buying your own plane:
1. Aircraft Type
Which type of plane do you need? This will depend on the number of seats you require and how far you are looking to travel. Private jet planes can be split into the following segments:
Very Light Jets - VLJs have 4 seats and can travel on short flights under 2 1/2 hours with a range of around 1,200 miles. Cabins are compact and often there will be no toilet. They are the cheapest type of jet aircraft with costs up to $3 million.
Light Jets - These light and versatile planes can carry up to 6 passengers up to 2,000 miles. List prices vary between $6 million and $12 million.
Medium Jets - Midsize and Super Midsize jets that can carry 7 to 9 passengers on trans-continental flights with ranges up to 3,500 miles. They can cost up to $22 million.
- Long-range corporate jets with inter-continental flying capacity. They can fly
up to 19 passengers in comfort and are priced to $70 million.
Business Airliners - Business jet offerings from Boeing and Airbus which cost up to $80 million or even more for a wide-body jet.
If you buy a new aircraft direct from the manufacturer you can probably negotiate a discount off the list price. This is one advantage over fractional ownership programs where you will pay full retail price for your share of the plane. Buying your own aircraft also means you can customise the interior to your own specification - there are no limits to how much this can cost!
Apart from direct purchase from manufacturers there are dealers and brokers that sell new and quality (low mileage) used aircraft - although do your homework on any company you deal with.
2. Aircraft Finance
You will need to finance the aircraft and consult with accountants, financial service companies and aviation professionals to find the optimal purchasing solution for the ownership period.
One very important aspect to consider is the depreciation of the aircraft. A new plane will lose a significant amount of value from the list price after 5 years, depending on the type of aircraft and how many hours it flies. By securing a very good initial purchase deal you can dampen the impact of depreciation.
Note also that fractionally owned aircraft tend to have more depreciation due to more intensive use.
3. Aircraft Management
Most plane owners will outsource the managing of an aircraft to a licensed aircraft operator. The cost of such a contract could be $125,000-$250,000 or higher depending on what the company is responsible for and how you are charged for additional operational costs. The management company can look after the plane at its base, be responsible for undertaking maintenance and can provide pilots/staff and the FBO terminal facility.
You may also want the company to charter out the aircraft to third parties when not being used - which could bring in some extra revenue.
The approximate annual costs* of running say a midsize jet could be:
and Crew $500,000
Training and Maintenance $400,000
Fuel Costs $800,000
Other variable costs will be landing fees, airport taxes, hangar rent and weather forecasting. So operational costs for such a jet could easily be around $2.5 to $3 million per year and more for a larger aircraft.
4. Aircraft Maintenance
Over the course of a year an aircraft will spend around 1 month in scheduled maintenance. There is also the chance of downtime from emergency repairs. You need to consider this factor when planning your travel timetable. It could be that you will need to use jet charters to cover for the time when your aircraft is not available. Your management company may be able to provide such a charter service.
an aircraft is generally an option for serious users of private jets such as multinational
corporations and seriously wealthy individuals. However, with the introduction
of very light jets onto the market we are seeing more owner-operators buying as
Ensure you do a full cost benefit analysis before purchasing a private jet and discuss all accounting and legal issues with a professional. *Prices are our approximation and can vary - if you wish to quote these figures on another website please link back to this page.