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Private jet travel options in a looming recession

As the global economy enters a potential recession, whole aircraft ownership may not be as attractive or feasible for some individuals and businesses. However, there are still options available for those who wish to maintain their jet-setting lifestyle. Below we will discuss the positives and negatives of each option so that you can make the best decision for your needs.
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    Fractional Jet Ownership


    Fractional ownership can be a cost-effective option for businesses or families who have the need to travel 50 or more flight hours per year. With fractional jet ownership, you are investing in a tangible asset as opposed to jet cards, where it is more like a lease.

    Fractional jet programs are an excellent option for those who want to maintain their private travel lifestyle but don’t want the responsibility of whole ownership. The savings are quite considerable compared to owning their own aircraft.

    Fractional jet ownership comes with a host of other benefits, such as access to a dedicated concierge team who can handle other aspects of your trip for you such as hotel and rental car reservations, priority booking, and not dealing with the frustrations involved in commercial air travel.

    Managing an aircraft takes time and patience. With fractional aircraft ownership, you don’t have to worry about the management because it’s taken care of under your monthly fees.

    This means hiring pilots and crew is done on your behalf and is also managed by the fractional ownership company. Maintenance on the jet is done by the preferred MRO. This means regular maintenance is done increasing safety. With multiple owners and flights, it’s important to the fractional aircraft company to keep the aircraft in the best shape possible, therefore increasing safety compared to other options Private jet travel options.

    Also with fractional jet ownership, there are tax benefits that are similar to whole jet ownership.


    One of the main disadvantages of fractional jet ownership is that you do not have exclusive use of the jet. This means that you share the jet with other owners, depending on the number of fractional owners, there could be scheduling conflicts during busy travel seasons and holidays.

    Most fractional aircraft companies work around this problem by having additional jets in their fleet on standby to accommodate busier times of travel.

    Learn more about SkyShare USA & Fractional Ownership

    Jet Cards


    A jet card membership gives you the flexibility to use different types of jets depending on your needs and allows individuals to purchase blocks of flight time on a jet at pre-determined rates.

    This is a good option for those who do not fly enough to justify fractional ownership but still want the convenience of private jet travel even though a lot of jet card memberships can eventually cost the same amount or more over a 5 year period.

    Jet card memberships also offer a variety of perks, such as last-minute deals which can save you money on your jet travel. In addition, jet card memberships often come with VIP concierge services to make your travel experience more enjoyable.


    One of the main disadvantages of jet card memberships is that you are essentially paying for a flight by the hour, which can be more expensive than other options if you are a heavy traveler.

    In addition, jet card membership contracts often have high hourly minimums, which can make this option less attractive for those who only need to fly a few hours per year.

    Another thing to consider with jet card memberships is that you are not investing in a tangible asset like you would with fractional jet ownership.

    Jet Charters


    On-demand jet charters give you the ability to fly on your own schedule without having to worry about the commitment of jet ownership.

    This is a good option for those who only require private jet travel on occasion or for last-minute travel. Jet charters also give you the flexibility to choose the type of jet that is best suited for your changing needs and budget.

    In addition, jet charters do not require long-term contracts like jet cards or fractional jet ownership, so you are not committed to anything long-term.


    One of the main disadvantages of jet charters is that they can be more expensive than other jet ownership options because you are paying for the jet by the hour.

    Typically with private jet charters, you run into repositioning fees and additional fees that you may not be aware of.

    Repositioning costs are flight time fees connected to chartering an aircraft from one place to another in order to allow it to land or take off.

    If you’re the charterer, you’ll generally be charged to fly one in and pick you up. In addition, if you’re dropped off at your destination, you’re also responsible for flying the aircraft back to its origin.

    Jet charters can be less reliable than other options because in some cases you are relying on the availability of a jet at the last minute. With the increase in private jet use in recent years, operators are struggling to supply the planes to meet the demand.
    Another thing to consider with jet charters is that you may not have access to VIP concierge services like you would with some jet card memberships or fractional jet ownership programs.

    Leasing Jets


    Jet leases offer many of the same advantages as fractional or whole jet ownership. You do not have to worry about maintenance or insurance costs because it is covered under your monthly fee. You have the same flexibility with your schedule as you would with fractional or whole jet ownership. You even have access to an excellent concierge.

    However, jet leases can be more flexible than fractional or whole jet ownership because you are not committed to a long-term contract. This is great for someone who flies less than or around 50 hours a year and is not looking to own quite yet but may want to eventually.

    In addition, jet leases often come with lower upfront costs than fractional or whole jet ownership, due to the fact you are not buying the asset. Plus, depending on the jet program, you could get access to the latest and greatest jet models.


    One of the main disadvantages of jet leasing is that you may not have exclusive use of the jet.

    Another thing to consider with jet leasing is that you are not investing in a tangible asset like you would with fractional or whole ownership.

    And just like leasing a car, you have to return the jet, depending on the contract terms, in pristine conditions, which can be a challenge after 2-5 years of use.

    Owning Your Own Jet


    Whole jet ownership is advantageous in many ways and one of the biggest is complete control over your asset.

    When you purchase a jet, you are buying the most valuable asset, time. This means a jet that gets you and your guests to your most desired destinations faster than any other means of travel with all the necessary amenities.
    Amenities differ for each owner.

    Whole aircraft ownership allows modification to fit any lifestyle. From exterior color schemes to match the sports team you coach to interiors that have meeting rooms with high-speed internet to get work done before arriving at the destination, these are things that can be customized under whole ownership.

    The key to whole ownership is finding the right management team to help keep things in order on your behalf. As an owner, you get to choose the team that you feel works best for you.

    They’ll ensure you have the right crew and pilot, insurance, and all scheduling is taken care of. You get 100% high customer service. In other ownership options, you are stuck with the team that manages that jet. By owning your own jet, you can offset costs by leasing or chartering your jet to others when you are not using it.

    According to industry stats, wholly owned aircraft with high levels of utilization typically have low life cycle costs. Life cycle cost (LCC) is an approach that assesses the total cost of an asset over its life cycle including initial capital costs, maintenance costs, operating costs, and the asset’s residual value at the end of its life. So the more you use your aircraft the more beneficial whole jet ownership is.

    When you are ready to sell the aircraft, you benefit from the asset’s residual value as well. You control the sale of the aircraft.

    Whereas if you owned a fraction of the aircraft, the market value of the plane is typically lower than what you paid in to and the sale is controlled by the management team or the terms of the contract.


    One of the main disadvantages of owning your own jet is that it requires a significant amount of money to purchase and operate a jet. You are responsible for all expenses including the purchase, fuel, maintenance, salaries, positioning, storage, and insurance.

    On the downside of whole ownership, you oversee your flight crew, pilots, and maintenance. These things take time, money, and constant monitoring.

    Hiring a management team to do all this for you is always an option, but it takes money and building a relationship with the management team to ensure they’re meeting your expectations.

    Maintenance and upkeep come at a cost. The materials that go into planes pass rigorous FAA standards. This causes production time and costs to increase for manufacturing. These costs are later relayed to the owner. In another aspect of upkeep, if maintenance is not kept up with it can be a huge issue later down the road.

    Lastly, owning one aircraft may not fit all your travel missions. For example, if you have a larger aircraft and need to land at a small island airport, you might not be able to use this aircraft due to landing limitations.

    If you have businesses in multiple locations, owning one aircraft may not provide the best option for moving your team from location to location.

    An alternative solution is either buying another jet or joining a jet card membership or fractional ownership, where you have access to a fleet.

    Empty Leg Flights

    An empty leg flight is a jet that needs to be flown without any passengers to its original destination or back to its home base. The jet is already en route, so the pricing is typically very discounted from the regular charter rate. You can think of it as a one-way flight on a private jet. These flights come up often as jets are constantly being moved around the country or world to be in position for their next charter flight.


    If you find an empty leg that meets your travel needs, it can be a great way to fly at a fraction of the cost of a regular private jet charter.


    Empty legs are often only available on short notice and going from and to select areas so it may not be possible to plan your travel around an empty leg flight.

    Search Empty Leg Charter Flights

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