NetJets highlights '5 Common Misconceptions About Aircraft Ownership'

By Doug Gollan, July 11, 2018

Operator of the world’s largest private jet fleet, NetJets sell fractional shares, leases, and jet cards as alternatives to full aircraft ownership and on-demand charter


NetJets is promoting its jet card, fractional ownership and private jet leasing products by highlighting what it says are five common misconceptions about the ownership of private jets. According to a post on its website, the Berkshire Hathaway owned provider writes, “Being in the business of private aviation for more than 50 years, we’ve encountered many misconceptions about aircraft ownership. To help you evaluate your private travel investment, we’ve outlined the five, most common jet ownership myths.”


The biggest myth, according to NetJets is the owning your own plan costs less than share jet solutions. It claims, “If you fly fewer than 330 hours per year, whole aircraft ownership is not a sound business investment” noting that comparisons generally do not include depreciation, maintenance and operating costs can vary considerably, and fixed costs can be difficult to pinpoint. The fixed annual costs for a Cessna Citation Sovereign in 2017 were estimated by AMSTAT to be $344,941 and estimated by Conklin & de Decker to be $460,331; however, the actual total fixed annual costs reported by Executive Jet Management were $1,226,506, says NetJets.


While ownership of your own jet may give you freedom, NetJets says, fully owning your own aircraft means you’re managing a business unit with executive time spent hiring pilots and crew during a period when there is a shortage of business aviation pilots, plus the need for scheduling of maintenance, ensuring regulatory compliance and operations as well as costs of unplanned incidents. It also cites managing the legal responsibilities associated with owning your own aircraft.


While hiring a management company instead of funding your own flight department can save some of your time, NetJets says owning your own plane doesn’t mean, “I can go anywhere I want, any time I want.” It says when you only have one airplane, you are hindered by two to four weeks per year your jet will be grounded for regular maintenance and adds unscheduled maintenance downtime can be significant. It says crew vacation and sick days can result in more downtime.


Another factor is as life and your business changes, you may find the aircraft you bought doesn’t serve all of your flying needs, be it passenger capacity or range. NetJets, like other fractional ownership and jet card providers, enables customers to upgrade or downgrade the size of their aircraft based on need. In fact, NetJets offers a 25-hour Marquis Jet card enabling users to split their hours between two different aircraft types in its jet card fleet.


Other myths about full ownership, according to NetJets is that it is easy to sell your jet. “The Reality: Selling an aircraft is incredibly difficult,” says NetJets. Lastly, while you may imagine that you will use your plane enough to make it make sense, the company says 60% of private aircraft are underutilized. You can read more about NetJets’ diverse jet card programs here.

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