businessman-drinking-tea-in-a-private-planeIn the world of aviation, buying a private jet can bring an amazing amount of freedom to travel at will to the world’s most popular hotspots or remotest getaways. An equally liberating choice is to charter a private jet for transportation. You’ll arrive at your destination in style without the responsibility of owning an aircraft.  So, if you are a frequent flyer and user of private jets, how do you know whether you should buy a plane of your own or just continue to charter when needed?

The question is not easy to answer and depends greatly on your financial situation and aviation needs. You will need to weigh the pros and cons of your wants and needs, then give the numbers a good crunch. There are basically three ways to go.

Buying a Jet

For those who can manage it financially, buying a jet may make sense if you fly often. You should research and understand the tax implications of aircraft ownership and seek professional guidance when buying a jet to understand your undertaking. Owning a jet means taking responsibility for many aspects of flight, including crew selection, maintenance schedules, and adherence to FAA safety standards. Most aircraft owners also have a risk management plan to address unexpected costs, such as fuel prices, and necessary measures to stay compliant with the FAA.

Also, purchasing a plane is a life-changing luxury, but only one expense involved in jet ownership. Factor in the operation and maintenance of the aircraft, including fuel, maintenance, insurance, hangar fees, crew salaries, depreciation, and financing costs when you calculate your investment.

Jet Charter

Chartering a jet is the best move for infrequent travelers, or frequent travelers of all types who are not interested in jet ownership.  You get a luxurious, exciting jet charter experience without any of the responsibility for the aircraft’s personnel, maintenance, etc. You may not own the plane, but you will feel like you do! Jet charter companies make travel easier with concierge service and the ability to schedule the flight at your convenience. Just board the plane, stretch out in your better-than-commercial-first-class seat, and fly directly to your destination. If you are a frequent jet charter customer, consider jet cards, which allow you to pre-purchase blocks of flight hours to use when booking flights.

Jet Ownership with Jet Charter Capability

For prospective aircraft owners, one more option is available. If an owner seeks aircraft management  with a Part 135 operator, the operator can potentially add the aircraft to their Air Carrier Certificate and charter the plane when the owner isn’t using it. This option is a win-win for the owner and operator. The aircraft owner recoups some operating costs—sometimes up to 30% or more—from the charter flights. The Part 135 operator acquires another aircraft to their fleet and can provide economies of scale for maintenance, fuel, and other necessary expenses for managing the aircraft.  Terms and restrictions apply to this option, and not every aircraft or owner will qualify, but many owners have found this a very beneficial way to retain jet ownership. After buying a jet, several of our customers at RAI Jets are currently reaping the benefit of such a relationship.

Considering your unique circumstances, financial goals, and priorities will help you ultimately decide whether to buy a jet or continue to charter. RAI Jets has the expertise to help you exercise any of these options. If we can ever be of assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us at 800-247-2834 or contact