Aircraft Charter Vs. Ownership

If I fly this many hours I should buy a jet… right?

In the world of private jets, the rule of thumb is that if I fly this many hours (150, 200 or 250 hours per year) I should own my own jet.

The true answer is that “thumbs” come in all different sizes. This rule is not so simple to calculate.   The private jet ownership decision depends on the type of use, not the number of hours of use.

For example, when a client of ours researched private jet ownership, they were told that because they were flying 800 hours, they needed a private jet of their own. The “rule of thumb” told them so.

The missing link was that they needed several aircraft on the same day out of 6 different regional offices for 1-2 day missions starting and ending out of those offices.   The fact that they needed several aircraft per day quickly eliminated the single private jet ownership solution, as did the decentralized departures.   We have found many clients for whom decentralized departures make the ownership of one private jet more expensive than aircraft charter or even fractional ownership.

The type of travel you will use for your private jet is extremely important when choosing to buy a private jet.   For example, one of our clients did most of their travel to a destination and stayed for more than a week in each location.   If they flew more hours than specified in the rule of thumb, then they should have bought a private jet, right?

Not so fast.   They were flying to a destination and staying for 1-3 weeks. What happens to your private jet and your pilots when you stay for 3 weeks at your destination? The crew flies home (and back to the destination) commercially, and your private jet stays in a hangar, which can be costly.

Decentralized departures, one-way travel requirements and simultaneous use of multiple private jets are three of the many reasons that break the “thumb” rules. Don’t buy a private jet just because you fly a certain number of hours – it may not be your best option.