Fractional Aircraft Ownership Cost 101: An In-depth Review
Chartering a private jet has its perks. It’s one of the best ways of traveling, especially when only hitting the skies a few times a month or less. For those that want to own their own jet but don’t want to spend the millions of dollars needed to purchase and maintain an entire aircraft, fractional aircraft ownership is likely the best option.
But what is fractional aircraft ownership?
When two or more people—typically a multiple of 1/16—share ownership of an aircraft, it’s considered a fractional ownership agreement. This means all parties involved share both the use of the aircraft and the associated ownership costs.
How much does fractional aircraft ownership cost?
The amount you would pay to partially own an aircraft can vary widely from a few hundred thousand a year to a couple million a year. These numbers really depend on the number of owners involved, the size of the aircraft, and the costs associated with the purchase and upkeep of the aircraft.
Some of those fractional aircraft ownership costs include:
- Cost of acquisition
- Management fees
- Crew wages
How does fractional airplane ownership work?
When you enter a jet sharing program, you’ll likely be required to sign on for a term lasting multiple years. Essentially, you’re entering a timeshare or purchasing a share.
For example, if you own a 1/16 share and the fractional plane’s operating time is 800 hours annually, you’ll receive 50 hours of flight time per year. If your share is 1/8, you’ll enjoy 100 hours. As a 1/2 owner, you’ll be able to use the aircraft for 400 of the available 800 hours each year.
It’s important to note that shares less than 1/16 don’t typically exist. Anything less than 50 hours of flight time isn’t justified cost wise.
In some fractional aircraft ownership agreements, the allowable time spent on the aircraft is determined by days. The days you’re entitled to may be plotted on a calendar. When you sign up for jet ownership shares, you’ll have your say over whichever option works best for you and then you’ll be able to calculate the fractional aircraft ownership cost.
What is the best fractional jet ownership program?
There are many to choose from. By doing your research, determining a budget for fractional aircraft ownership cost and comparing ownership programs from a variety of providers, you’ll be able to select the one that’s best for you.
What are the principal benefits of fractional aircraft ownership?
There are several benefits tied to the fractional aircraft ownership cost, like flexible availability, aircraft category options, and potential investment opportunities. Other benefits include:
Depreciation deductions. Can you write off fractional jet ownership? Yes. For those using the aircraft for business, you can use depreciation on qualified asset purchases, including the aircraft you hold shares in.
Instant aircraft access. If an emergency comes up and you need an aircraft quickly, fractional owners are more likely to access their aircraft on short notice.
Reduced flying costs. Since you’re sharing the cost of owning and operating an aircraft with others, you won’t feel the financial effects of full aircraft ownership.
Complete customization. In some agreements, you can choose the number of hours you’ll need throughout the year and bank the rest. This provides you with all the benefits of aircraft ownership without the cost.
Increased privacy. Lately, private jet flyers all over the world are making headlines as their private jets are being tracked and publicly shared. For those that deeply value their privacy, fractional ownership provides the freedom of flying privately without notoriety as the aircraft is registered in the fractional company’s name instead of personal names.
This benefit alone may be one of the biggest. Recently, Business Insider published an article about the world’s second richest man selling his personal jet after being followed on Twitter. Instead, Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH, has begun chartering private jets to protect his privacy.
The article also adds, “Other public figures have expressed safety concerns over the sharing of flight data on social media. Earlier this year, Musk offered $5,000 to the person behind a Twitter account that tracked his travel, asking the Twitter user to shut it down. He failed to get the account shut down.”
Fractional Jet Ownership Alternatives
Buying shares on an aircraft isn’t right for everyone. If the fractional aircraft ownership cost doesn’t make sense budget-wise, there are plenty of other ways to get around on a private jet.
Other options include:
Private jet charters. These are a great option for those that want the convenience and luxury of flying in a private jet without the hassle of ownership in any form. This is similar to renting a jet, and it’s enticing to many people, especially those looking for anonymity in the sky.
Private jet cards. This option isn’t one we fully recommend. At the beginning of 2020, a private jet provider filed bankruptcy, taking roughly $50 million in unused jet card deposits with it.
We discussed this event and why jet cards are risky in a previous blog article entitled Jet Cards Exposed: Everything You Need to Know.
Whole aircraft ownership. Sometimes owning a personal jet is the best way to fly, and if you can afford it, it may make the most sense for a variety of reasons.
For a more detailed look into the world of whole aircraft ownership, check out our recent blog article entitled Whole Aircraft Ownership 101: A Detailed Look at Personal Jets.
Private jet memberships. Private flyers that want access to more than just charters but don’t want to own an aircraft in any capacity should consider a membership option.
In last few years, the demand for private jets has soared higher than ever before. This has led to decreased aircraft availability. And in recent months, the cost of chartering a private jet has also risen drastically.
At Stratos, we recognize that our clients want access to aircraft on short notice and at a reasonable cost. With a Stratos Soar Membership, travelers are able to:
- Lock-in the hourly rate of chartering a jet for up to 12 months
- Enjoy guaranteed availability of flights
- Fly as often as needed
- Avoid repositioning fees, fuel surcharges, de-icing and hangar expenses and pet fees
At Stratos, we’ve been providing some of the safest aircraft in the skies and excellent customer service for almost two decades. If you’d like to soar higher with a reputable and knowledge air charter broker, start your free quote today or call 888.593.9066 to speak with a private flight advisor directly.
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