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Private Jet Cost: Flying Fractional Saves Time and Money

PC-24 jet lined up on tarmac

Cost and time investment are often the deciding factor when a company is considering travel solutions for its executives. Whether considering commercial air travel or private flights, there are many options available. It can be a challenge to weigh the pros and cons when investing in the best option for your company. Here are some things to consider when evaluating private jet cost:

Avoid the Many Headaches of Flying Commercial

Any business traveler who has spent time flying commercial knows the many drawbacks to this option. Once you arrive at the airport, wait in long lines at security. At the gate, you fight for outlets and space to work while waiting to board. Once on board, you are at the mercy of the airline and may face even more delays, such as long queues waiting for takeoff. If weather becomes an issue, the airlines aren’t flexible enough to ensure you can make it to that important client meeting.

Private flights allow you to avoid the hassles of commercial travel. When taking a private flight, passengers go directly to the plane. No waiting in long security lines. Just hand the bags to the crew and board. Once on board, business travelers often get to work immediately reviewing presentations, taking calls, and with Wi-Fi available, catching up on email. Saving time on travel ultimately means cost savings for a company.

Watch Out for the Hidden Costs of Charter Flights

Charter flights can be booked through a broker for an hourly fee, but business travelers must be mindful of the additional cost that comes with this service through various fees. Charter can be a good option for the one-off business flight where you must get in and out quickly, however, the cost of these flights skyrocket if flying at the last minute or during peak travel times, such as certain days of the weeks, holidays, or even Super Bowl weekend.

The cost of a chartered private jet really adds up when factoring in the “repositioning fee.” This covers the cost of flying an empty plane to pick up your team, or the empty leg it will incur when flying back to its base after your flight. This cost can be avoided if you are a private jet owner.

Another drawback is the reliability of charter flights. If there is a problem with the aircraft or the pilot is sick, the flights may be canceled, and passengers are stuck scrambling for an alternative. The cost of the flight is not always refunded or may be held toward a charter flight in the future. But that’s of little use to business travelers trying to make a meeting.

PC-24 on runway at sunset

Whole Craft Ownership Pros and Cons

Owning a private jet outright comes with many benefits, but also many costs. It gives you the freedom to fly when and where you want, and is a depreciable asset for the company. Businesses that fly 250 hours or more a year on private jets should consider private jet ownership. If you do choose to purchase a whole private aircraft, it requires having a knowledgeable team to manage all the responsibilities that come with it.

Aircraft storage, maintenance, and inspections are all private jet costs that add up, as do the cost for a pilot and crew to get you where you’re going. When the aircraft is down for maintenance, other flight options will need to be considered.

The cost of the private jet itself is a fixed cost for your business, but these other costs can often vary, making it difficult to forecast the company’s true private flight costs. Large corporations that fly C-level executives on private jets regularly can often afford these added costs, but for businesses that are mindful of their travel budget, whole craft ownership can present challenges.

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Jet Cards Offer Convenience but Little Return on Investment

If your company wants to access under 50 hours of private flight time a year, jet cards can be a flexible option. When purchasing a jet card, your company gets a set number of hours and the service will draw down from that until the final hours are used. Jet card companies also offer a wide range of options and tiers to choose from, depending on need. As of 2018, Forbes magazine has documented more than 250 jet card programs available to consumers.

This wide range of options can make for an overwhelming selection process, especially if your company is looking to maximize availability and flexibility, but also wants to manage costs. Depending on the tier of jet card purchased, your company may be limited to traveling only during off-peak times and limited on certain kinds of jets, limiting when and where executives can travel. Fees may be applied during peak travel dates or if reservations aren’t made well enough in advance. While the cost of entry can seem more affordable with a jet card, little is saved if company executives must fly commercial or charter a private flight to fly during the jet card’s many blackout dates.

PC-24 takeoff from runway

Fractional Aircraft Ownership: The Best Option for Serious Business Travelers

Corporations that use more than 35 hours of private flight time find that the cost savings, time savings, and flexibility offered by private jet fractional ownership is of great value. Compared to whole craft ownership, the cost savings can be significant, since you are purchasing only what you need, whether it’s a one-half share or one-sixteenth share. The costs are far more predictable when owning through a fractional program like PlaneSense, one of the oldest and more established fractional companies in the industry. This provides businesses with a fixed cost they can factor into budget forecasts, and truly allows business travelers to fly where they want, when they want.

Fractional jet ownership also has an edge over jet cards for the serious business traveler who plans to log more than just a few private flights a year. By flying fractional, you have a fleet of aircraft available on short notice, such as the Pilatus PC-24 which can access far more airports than most other business jets. There are no blackout dates and your allotted time never expires as long as you are an owner. All aircraft maintenance and pilot training is managed in-house to ensure quality.

Companies using charter flights for business may want to consider graduating to fractional ownership for reliability and predictable costs. Don’t risk getting stranded on an important business trip or face staggering peak travel fees. Fractional ownership has all the advantages of a charter flight without the risk and added cost.

Imagine your company having access to flights when you need them and the ability to get closer to your destination. Avoiding commercial flights, even with all the perks of business class, will save immense time and stress. Fractional aircraft ownership provides a high level of service and access your business needs.