A Look At Fractional Jet Ownership
We've all experienced it - the commercial flight. After a mad dash to make it to the airport on time, including the hours allotted for getting through security, where you'll have to take off your shoes, empty your pockets, and prove that your laptop is not a bomb, you sit and wait for a couple hours before they decide to start boarding, and give you the privilege of sitting in the cramped seat that you paid a couple hundred dollars for.
The mega-rich have always had the option of private aircraft available to them. If you're Donald Trump, you can think nothing of equipping yourself with a Boeing 727 that costs probably close to $50 Million (not including the costs of pilots, flight attendants, support staff, insurance, fuel, maintenance, etc.). For others, however, the idea of a private jet has been outside the realm of possibility. An exciting concept in private aviation, however, is allowing private jet travel to make more sense for those who have seriously considered it as a possibility.
Fractional jet ownership is a fairly new concept. It is based on the idea that an individual can purchase a fraction of a plane, and pay management and operation fees to a company that will be responsible for safety, pilot training, hiring of crew, and all those other things that you don't want (or wouldn't know how) to deal with. Fractional ownership can substantially cut the costs of owning your own aircraft.
Fractional jet ownership is provided by a number of companies, including Cessna's CitationShares, Bombardier's Flexjet, and NetJets, the company that started the trend. As consumer interest in fractional jet ownership has increased, so has the competition between these companies. CitationShares and Flexjet are owned by aircraft manufacturers, their respective fleets composed mainly (if not entirely) of the planes they make. NetJets, on the other hand features a broader spectrum of aircraft, and is the industry leader. As such, that's who we'll be focusing on today.
It is true that the fractionals substantially cut the costs related to owning an aircraft. That's not to say that private jet ownership is for everyone, however. The primary target of the fractionals consists of those who have considered owning (or sharing) a jet, but found the arrangements too complicated or expensive to justify, as well as those who are used to first class air travel, but want to make a step up. The fractionals are also an attractive deal for mid-sized companies who need the convenience of a private aircraft without the premium price. According to NetJets's website, purchasing a 1/8 share in a Raytheon Hawker 400XP would set you back $793,750 plus a $10,582 monthly maintenance fee, and an hourly charge of $1,501. That 1/8 share works out to about 100 occupied hours per year. Yeah, it's expensive, but when you consider the price of seven first class tickets from New York to Miami, it suddenly becomes more reasonable. In fact, as a little experiment, I attempted to get the price on such a flight on very short notice. NetJets claims that your plane will be waiting on the tarmac within 6-12 hours notice. With a commercial carrier, I was unable to find a next-day flight, I was unable to find first class seating, and on one airline, I was informed that a return flight wouldn't be available until a week after the date I requested. If short notice flights are commonplace in your life, NetJets offers the solution.
Let's say, however, that you aren't interested in a small aircraft like the 400XP. What if you want something that can fly from New York to London non-stop? Well, just step into one of NetJets's large cabin aircraft. If you are lucky enough to afford these multi-million dollar jets, you will enjoy the highest degree of luxury. The Gulfstream 550, for example, is the latest and greatest in Gulfstream's line of long-haul private aircraft. Aboard, you will find a satellite telephone, video monitors, a DVD entertainment system, data ports, a fax machine, and whatever else you need to run your operations (or enjoy some well-deserved down time) at 30,000 ft. Naturally, the Gulfstream 550 also offers a full service galley, as well as a flight attendant for you and 13 others.
The final frontier in fractional ownership is the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ). If you've ever flown on Boeing's popular line of 737 airliners, you know how big the BBJ is. That's because the BBJ is actually a gutted 737, which is then outfitted with the latest in in-flight luxury. In fact, the BBJ is even available with a boardroom, bedrooms, and a shower. Yeah..... a shower. Nothing says success like the ability to roll out of bed, take a shower, eat a nice breakfast - all while you cut through the air at 528 mph. If the $50,000,000.00 price tag (full price) is a little disturbing, owning a fraction with NetJets can take a large chunk out of it.
Fractional shares start at 1/16 of a share, which can be as low as $369,875 in a Hawker 400XP. That's 50 hours of flying time. For those who don't want the commitment (or the cost) of buying a fraction, NetJets has implemented a lower-cost solution that they call the Marquis Jet Card. The Marquis Jet Card starts at $109,900 for 25 hours in a Cessna Citation V. With the Marquis Jet Card, required notice jumps up to 10 hours, which is still much better than anything the airlines can offer. The card offers the convenience of chartering an aircraft, with the peace of mind that you get from NetJets's safety standards. Other fractional carriers also have prepaid jet cards, so this is a [somewhat] affordable solution for those who don't want to deal with the monthly or upfront costs of ownership.
If you decide that fractional ownership is for you, be warned, you should thoroughly investigate the pilot training, safety procedures, aircraft, and management services that each company offers before making a decision. The big three, NetJets, CitationShares, and Flexjet, offer excellence in each, but some newer fractional start-ups may not be up to snuff. Remember that your security and safety is paramount, and if you feel that it's inadequate with a particular company, take your business elsewhere. If you're serious about making a fractional jet purchase, and live nearby to their operations, don't hesitate to ask for a tour of their aircraft and facilities, they should be more than happy to accommodate you. Many fractional operators hold regular events around the country in which prospective buyers can take a look around the aircraft and the service that they offer.
Fractional jet ownership offers the best of luxury, security, and functionality without the premium total ownership requires. If you've been considering buying or chartering private aircraft, fractional ownership just may be for you.
Jonas Elmerraji is the founder and editor of growFolio, the world's first free online investment and business magazine. Issues are available online at http://www.growfolio.com
Entering Business Aviation, Part I: Types Of Aircraft
The jets that people fly in corporate aviation are usually a lot smaller than those found with the airlines. Exceptions to the rule are Boeing's BBJ and Airbus' Corporate Jet, both of which are based on some of the smaller types of aircraft marketed to the airlines.A corporate flight attendant is typically utilized on a "cabin class" aircraft. They are larger aircraft with usually 19 or less seats, where you can easily get up and walk around the...(related: Aviation)
Mirrors To Redirect Mini Laser Weapons On Fighters For Vortex Airflows
Recently a new airborne laser system was announced to be put onto fighter jets, once this technology becomes more advanced we will no longer need missiles for air-to-air combat. The system, which will go onto a fighter jet would be called the; "HELLADS" or High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System, it is being tested now. It would be a system based on Israel's THEL system which is a mobile "Tactical High Energy Laser"I propose we have a set of mirrors in front of the aircraft redirecting the high-energy laser beam to areas abov...(related: Aviation)
How To Overcome Jetlag
Jetlag seems to be every traveler's worst nightmare ? especially if you're going away for just a short while.What causes Jetlag?Jetlag is a condition that arises from crossing multiple time zones in a relatively short time and consequently disturbs your natural body clock or circadian rhythms. Other contributing factors include lack of exercise, dry atmosphere and alcohol.What are t...(related: Aviation)
Airline Fuel Costs Mount
The airlines are huge users of fuel. Fuel costs are higher than even the cost of the aircraft. Surcharges are up to th...(related: Aviation)
So You Want To Get Free Airline Tickets: Should You Choose A Reward Or Cash Back Credit Card?
If you want to use a reward credit card for getting free airline tickets, you have a choice of cho...(related: Aviation)
What Causes Jet Lag?
Jet lag is a common sleep disorder suffered by many millions of travelers every day, whether traveling on business or for pleasure. In one recent survey of international business travelers, seventy four percent of those questioned said that they suffered frequently from jet lag.Jet lag affects people of all ages, although its symptoms vary widely from person to person and tend to be more severe the older you get. Jet lag symptoms also tend to be worse if you are already suffering sleeping difficulties in advance of traveling.Jet lag also increases with the number of time zones crossed during your journey. If the time difference between your starting point and destination is just two or three hours, then you are likely to experience little or no jet lag. However, once your jou...(related: Aviation)
Do Jet Lag Diets Work?
Anti jet lag diets have been around for some time now, but do they work?Perhaps the best know anti jet lag diet is the Argonne Diet, developed at the Argonne National Laboratory in 1982. Over the years thousands of people have downloaded copies of this diet online and it is reputed to have been used by an impressive list of people including the late President Ronald Regan, the US Secret Service, the CIA and the US Army and Navy. In addition, it is purported to have been used by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian swim team.However, when you realize that the only evidence to suppor...(related: Aviation)
How To Get A Free Airline Upgrade On Your Flight
Everyone wants to buy a cheap economy ticket and get bumped up to business or first class. I mean who does...(related: Aviation)
Material Memory And Nasa High Tech Plastics For Rotor Blades
Some new materials, types of plastics seem to be stronger than steel by quite a bit. Since they are made of polymer plastic blends it will be possible to add in some material memory manufacturing in the process. This would allow the rotor blades made out of this new plastic material to change shape. These materials are said to be ten times the strength of steel and th...(related: Aviation)
Boeing Is Really Flying Now
The Boeing Company has completely blown past projections for aircraft sales this month. Before the Annual Paris Air Show the B...(related: Aviation)
Top Ten Secrets To Saving Big Money In The Airline Flights
Do you know that some people travel around the country andabroad, for both business and pleasure, and save bundles of money in the process?They do that by using little known ways of really taking advantage of the most popular form of transportation - airline flights.They don't rely on the ever-famous "airfare price-wars". They don't rely on their travel agents to save money while flying.Certainly, you should not dismiss these two methods. The price-wars can work to your advantage. But depending on them too much is a big mistake.1. Call the airlines.Call the airlines between midnight and 1 a.m. Monday throughFriday to get cheaper ticke...(related: Aviation)
Airport Travel Tips: Reducing Waiting Times
Key Travel TipsFollowing these tips will help you reduce your wait time at the security checkpoint.Before you go to the Airport? Do not pack or bring ...(related: Aviation)
Fuel Costs And Air Fares Set To Rocket After Hurricane Katrina Punishes The Us
It now looks certain that Hurricane Katrina will push fuel prices - and air fares - up through the roof.Hurricane Katrina has just killed hundreds of...(related: Aviation)