When we do an acquisition for a client we spend considerable time statistically analyzing the data on past flights (when available). Most clients ask if that is really necessary and the answer is unequivocally; yes. They ask why is it so important to know the frequency of passenger loads and certain length trips…my answer is that we remember significant events more accurately than ordinary events. Clients will specifically remember when they couldn’t fit their luggage on a flight or even when they didn’t have the capacity for that additional passenger, these are atypical usage trips: “outliers” from normal travel patterns.
Data determines the solution.
I want to fully understand my client’s travel habits for beginning to end. Our memories will inconveniently dismiss the majority of the trips that were uneventful. These trips will determine what private jet type is best to own. Our objective is to buy the private jet that is best suited for the 90% of the client’s usage. In statistical analysis there are times when the researcher dismisses the “outliers”…we never dismiss the outliers especially when they are reoccurring however, we don’t want those infrequent trips to determine the acquisition strategy either.
There are often “rules of thumb”…we all know of some…if you are flying 25 hours per year charter or if you are flying 200 hours or more you should own your own private jet.
Intelligent people strive for solutions to problems in a time efficient manner. Though these rules can be the correct answer, it is usually a happen stance rather than logical decision making. For example I had one client that was a large retail chain that was flying over 500 hours per year…the rule of thumb says they needed to own a jet to solve their flying needs…the data showed that best solution was charter or fractional ownership…how could that be? The answer was this client has five regional offices that flew out to several stores on each trip during one or two calendar days. Additionally they wanted the flexibility to have more than one private jet per day. Because no decision is ever made in a vacuum, the recommendation was fractional ownership due to the company’s sophisticated accounting and vendor approval process. The fractional solution was not the least expensive but offered the ability to have a one stop solution which streamlined the accounting and client interaction processes.
I want a jet because it is faster…
The best private jet for many missions doesn’t have to be a jet. There are some faster multi-engine turbo-props that can nearly keep up with the jet competitors on the typical 600nm trip. The next question is whether or not turbo props are as safe as jets. The answer is absolutely. A professionally flown multi crew turbo prop has a similar safety record to their jet equivalent.
How would you use the private jet is another example. Would you only use it to supplement commercial travel? Would you only use this private jet for earmarked trips with many passengers or just for family vacations? Don’t forget when the kids go to college, they typically meet the family at the destination opting to fly direct from school so you may not need as many seats as you thought. How long do you stay when you do fly privately? This can be a major factor when deciding what private jet service to purchase.
How much does it cost to fly that private jet per hour? Again busy professionals want to have a number of the cost to fly their private jet. The most important factor is to remember all of your costs, acquisition, fixed, cost of capital, operating costs with reserves, and disposition and possibly tax recapture. The true cost to fly is the sum of all the costs divided by the number of hours the “client or their employees/family” flew…not the number of hours the private jet flew for other purposes such as chartered flights for an outside party.
So when you are considering acquiring an private jet insure that you work with a firm that will help you understand what you really need and how much it will cost. An informed decision will be the best entry into the world of flying on private jets.