There’s no one right way to fly private: travelers who prefer or require private aviation for their business or personal needs have a variety of options on deck. If you’re unsure of how to fly private in a way that meets your needs exactly, we can help.
The four most common ways to fly private include jet card memberships, fractional ownership, chartering, and outright ownership. In this article, we’ll take a look at the various ways to fly private so that you can make an informed decision about which option is best for you.
Fractional ownership, or partial ownership of a jet, gives you the ability to fly a certain number of hours per year. It’s a happy medium between ownership and memberships. Travelers who want to go this route typically plan to fly 50 or more hours per year, which makes purchasing equity in a jet a savvy idea. The number of hours or days you can fly each year depends on how large of a share you’ve purchased in the aircraft, such as one-sixteenth or one-fourth of the aircraft.
The benefit of fractional ownership is that frequent flyers receive the perks of jet ownership but are not solely responsible for the jet. Additionally, there are potentially some tax benefits/depreciation depending on the total usage, as well as the fact the owners have an asset with resale value. All owners share the responsibilities of ownership with peers who have similar flight needs. While a guarantee to have access to an aircraft whenever one wants is there, some things to consider and evaluate:
- Peak travel seasons, holidays, and major events will limit how many hours a plane is available.
- If another part-owner of your share has already requested the jet, you might need to change your itinerary. Some programs reach out to charter providers in order to fulfill the request, some have the ability to change the departure time +/- 3 hours or so, and some only guarantee availability based on share size.
- You are signing a five year term contract and could sometimes exit after 3 years and have your share repurchased or resold.
- You are allowed to use the number of hours allotted to you, and depending on share size, you may have the option to borrow against future annual allocations, typically 25% of your hours/days.
- The fleet availability could mean you will fly an older aircraft when your newer aircraft is unavailable, most often on peak travel dates. Some share owners might get an incentive of a free upgrade if only larger jets are available.
Jet Card Membership:
For travelers who fly 25 hours or more per year, jet card memberships might be the perfect solution. Through a jet membership, travelers can purchase flight time in hourly increments. The reason to the popularity of the membership model is clear, the focus being the TOTAL EXPERIENCE of the member: flexibility in the type of plane to match the specific profile of the trip, the cost of the flight, hand-picked crew, customized amenities on board, and more.
Membership perks and amenities can vary widely. Magellan Jets rebuilt their membership program to include even greater flexibility and member-focus in Elevate, the premier jet-specific membership.
Chartering aircraft gives you the ability to pay as you go rather than purchase flight time up front. When you charter a flight, you choose the destination, departure time, and more. Chartering flights works well for the price-conscious, those who have one-off trips, or those who own their own aircraft but occasionally need to supplement their travel.
Charter often requires some flexibility on departure dates and times, as planes are only available if they are not already booked, and fleets may be limited. If chartering may be a good fit for you, we invite you to get a quote at Magellan Jets and determine if we are the right company to meet your needs.
An outright ownership is another option when it comes to flying private.
If you’ve flown private for some time and discovered that ownership is the right route for you, we’re happy to assist in making your transition seamless. We can recommend companies that are able to advise whether buying is the right choice for you based on your individual situation. We are happy to lend you our private aviation expertise and assist along the way.