Exploring The 4 Main Types Of Private Flying

Posted by on 23/01/2015


Undoubtedly, there are many advantages to a private air charter. While it’s true that many executives choose to fly privately due to the luxurious accommodations that can impress even the toughest clients, the real benefits of private planes are in fact convenience and efficiency. By averting the nuisance associated with busy airport hubs and the chaos of commercial terminals, private jets save passengers a lot of stress and frustration.

Although they are generally referred to as private jets, the world of private flying is not limited to booking a small aircraft. To be more precise, private flying offers you four main options, each with its own advantages and setbacks. Let’s elaborate.

1.    Jetcard membership programs

The most recent addition to the private flying package, jetcards are the ideal solution for people who need to make several short trips per year. As the name suggests, opting for a jetcard membership program entails that you will make a prepayment for a set number of flight hours with a certain type of aircraft from your favourite private jet service. The jetcard membership programs are an especially efficient solution for businesses that require a consistent level of service and support for their travelling needs.

Aircrafts included in these programs typically accommodate between 10 and 14 passengers and come with the added bonus of availability and access. However, take note that it does pay off to go over the contract before signing to avoid extra fees resulting from hidden clauses such as fuel surcharges, restrictions and peak-time additional charges, for instance.

2.    Ad hoc charters

By far the most flexible private flying option, the ad hoc charters are essentially jets on demand that you select based on flight route, destination and special accommodations. Similar to a lavishing dining experience, the importance exploring the various options and aircrafts, and making sure they are on par cannot be stressed enough. Once you booked a jet, the price and availability of the aircraft are guaranteed, and all you need to do is foot the bill.

Speaking of the bill, take note that the quality of the private flying experience in this case is directly proportional to the amount of time and effort you want to invest in looking for a reliable service. While paying premium prices for the charter is not guaranteed to satisfy all your requirements, shopping around is certainly going to help you locate a service with a proven track record of safety and success. In the light of these facts, it’s understandable why ad hoc charters are the ideal option for people who travel rarely and don’t desire a long term commitment.

3.    Outright ownership

As the name suggests, outright ownership means you have complete and total rights over the aircraft. In spite of the fact that this option is ideal for any company whose employees travel on a regular basis, let’s not forget that the actual price of a small aircraft with a light cabin starts at $2.5 million. In other words, extremely few businesses can actually afford the huge initial investment. Besides the initial price, owning an aircraft also means allocating a budget for employing experienced crew, operation costs and maintenance fees.

In case you decide to take this step, then you should know that managing an aircraft on your own is not an easy feat. To cut down on some of these costs, most experts recommend finding a management service with a proven track record that could contract the jet during spare hours. Placing such an expensive acquisition in the hands on subpar management is a risk you shouldn’t gamble on.

4.    Fractional ownership

Even though this option is still in demand, trends suggest that fractional ownership is slowly, but certainly losing ground to jetcard membership programs. The primary reason for the loss in popularity is that the latter requires a limited level of commitment. Fractional ownership means that you will buy an upfront share in an aircraft at the current market value for a fixed period. While it does sound good in theory, take note that this option entails you account for monthly management fees and that the share usually costs around 1/16 of the aircraft’s value.

The setback of fractional ownership is that the costs you are due for are dependent on the range and the passenger capacity. The longer the range you need to travel and the larger the plane, the higher the cost and ongoing fees you have to pay.


Granted, making the right decision in regards to the type of private flying that would best suit your needs and preferences can be daunting. In fact, some may even go as far as to compare it to having to make a meal choice at a restaurant with an extensive menu. Nevertheless, regardless of whether it’s dining or selecting the most appropriate form of private flying, keep in mind that it all boils down to understanding the available options and weighing in your taste and budget.