Choosing the most valuable way to travel by private jet can be quite confusing to even the most seasoned travelers. How do you choose between traditional aircraft charter, fractional ownership and block time agreements (also known as "jet cards")? You want the best value for your individual needs; so, where do you begin?
In many cases, traditional charter will prove most economical. Occasionally, block time agreements may be the best option. Fractional ownership tends to be the best option for the fractional companies, not the customer! When you consider the initial investment of the purchase of your share, and the fees that accompany it, you will find that it is simply an expensive bragging right.
Initial investments for fractional ownership begin at around $100,000. Other expenses include monthly management fees, reduced hourly flight charges, fuel surcharges, maintenance expenses, insurance, crew costs, and depending on your destinations- additional airport fees. The question to ask yourself is, "are the additional charges you are paying reasonable?
Do you have access to maintenance bills and crew expenses? Are you only paying your share? When the fractional company sells the aircraft, at the end of your contract, are you comfortable with the small percentage of your initial investment that you will recoup? When you do the math associated with fractional ownership, do you feel confident in this option as a choice for private travel?
Block time agreements are a reasonable option for one-way itineraries. Traditional charter requires two hour daily minimums when the overall flight time is less than an average of 2 hours per day. By being dropped off and picked up you can avoid minimums and benefit from the one way pricing that these agreements offer. The pricing represents an inflated hourly rate and therefore is quite expensive for round trips. Another down side is that thin a 12-month period. With some block time agreements, if you don't utilize those hours within the allocated time, you forfeit the money that you have spent!
Charter allows the flexibility of choosing the best aircraft on a trip by trip basis. It is almost always more economical than being tied to a specific aircraft that doesn't work for every itinerary. By utilizing the services of an air charter broker, you benefit from the knowledge of an experienced charter coordinator who examines the independent audits of safety auditing firms, negotiates costs involved with your charter, researches the qualifications and experience of crew and maintains a worldwide network of thousands of aircraft available for charter.