Choosing a private jet manager, like choosing a jet, this is about striking the right balance between several areas. Almost all private jet management companies provide the same services – hangar rental, maintenance, repairs, and inspections, and concierge services. The areas in which the management companies differ should be taken into account, namely the size, experience, and costs. As always, it is important to get objective information before signing an agreement. Here are some areas to consider:
The first area to investigate is size. Smaller companies provide personalized service and can customize everything to your preferences. Since the staff is small, you can talk directly to the top managers to address problems or concerns. Large companies, on the other hand, are often those that have been in service the longest. They will be used to managing for a wide variety of clients and will probably have many other clients with needs similar to yours.
Individual staff experience at both small and large companies can vary, so it’s important to ask. Companies that have been around for a long time don’t necessarily have the most experienced staff. Be specific when enquiring about experience. Find out if they have managed your type of aircraft. If you are going to be traveling internationally, enquire about their experience abroad.
Another question to ask a potential private jet management company is how they carry out maintenance. Some companies outsource the maintenance to local vendors, while others use their in-house maintenance staff. Parts discounts are available to larger private jet managers due to the volume of parts that they order. This discount may or may not be passed on to you – some companies mark up parts costs for their profit.
Although parts discounts are usually only offered at large companies, fuel and insurance discounts are available to almost all managers. Group insurance rates and reduced fuel costs through companies like Corporate Aircraft Association or AV Fuel can help drive costs down, but, private jet managers may still charge you more for fuel at their profit. It is a good idea to get a direct quote on fuel and insurance costs from the managers that you are considering to compare them.
Another important area to consider is how your aircraft will be managed. Help you manage or “Light” managers perform only part of the duties generally provided by private jet managers but do receive some volume discounts. Regular private jet managers generally perform all of the same duties, but have different methods of management. Large companies will generally appoint a representative to handle maintenance, fueling, and hangar details. In some cases, your pilot will act as your on-site manager. Other management companies will have various department heads manage a specific aspect of your aircraft – an expert for maintenance, an expert for customer service, and so on.
The monthly fee for managing a private jet is about the same across the industry. The difference in actual cost depends on smaller details like pilot salary, fuel and parts costs, training fees, and so on. Some companies pay their pilots more, have more required pilot training, or offer better benefits for their staff. Startup fees, flight time charges, landing fees, and other “hidden” charges can add up as well. It’s important to get all of the facts before signing on with a private jet manager.