Jet Advisors Blog

Combining Private Jet Travel with Commercial Airline Travel

Posted on Mon, Apr 28,2014

Plane over mountainsYou are looking forward to that special ski trip, or summer hiking trip, to Aspen from your home in New York City (NYC) with the family and you do not want to waste time or money getting there, what do you do? You have several options, but not all of them really make sense for your trip. Driving is probably the least expensive, but do you want to use up four days of your time off getting there and returning home not to mention the hassle of the drive through the mountains of Colorado and potential for poor driving conditions (at least in the winter). So flying is the only sensible option.

While flying is the most efficient and quickest way to get to Aspen and then back home to NYC there are no direct flights to Aspen from NYC, or for the return. While this may not be a surprise with today’s commercial air travel system, this trip will involve at least one stop and in many cases two stops (one airline stops at Washington Dulles and again in Denver), probable aircraft changes and 10+ hours of travel time. With the plane changes required, and the possibility of lost luggage, why not consider private jet/charter as an option? Flying by private jet will cut your travel time in about half, but few aircraft can make the NYC to Aspen leg non-stop which defeats part of the reason to consider private jets for this trip and can be expensive. There are some private jet aircraft that can perform the trip non-stop, but they are few and far between and can become exponentially more expensive.  In addition, you must make sure the provider is aware of your passenger load and any baggage that you are bringing since this will impact the performance (range and take-off and landing field length needed) of the supplied aircraft.

So what can you do to cut your travel time in the most cost effective and efficient way? My thought is to mix charter flying with commercial flying. Fly commercially to an airport that is relatively close to Aspen and then fly a private jet, or even a turboprop aircraft (if your commercial flight’s destination is close enough to Aspen to offset the slower aircraft speed of the turboprop). This scenario will be more expensive than the commercial trip all the way to Aspen, but you will save time and the potential hassles of an additional stop(s), plane change(s) and lost luggage (which we know happens frequently these days).  

Another thought would be in the case that another couple or family members are traveling to Aspen from some other location than NYC. Both groups could fly commercially to an airport that provides non-stop service from their point of origin and then fly together privately into Aspen. This would defray the cost for both groups for the trip. 

Topics: charter, charter flights, airports, commercial

Recognizing when a Deal is Too Good to be True

Posted on Fri, Apr 11,2014


Aircraft Discussion The old saying 'if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is' holds true in most instances. It can be especially costly to you in the field of aviation if you fly charter, use a fractional service or have a whole aircraft or share a whole aircraft.

Aircraft are rather unique vehicles for travel in that most others wear out and get retired, but with an aircraft, as long as they are inspected and maintained to their manufacturer’s and the governmental agency that oversees them requirements they don’t wear out, to a point. This is one area to be concerned with if you are looking to buy a whole aircraft or share a whole aircraft with partners. Older aircraft have lower acquisition costs as compared to newer like aircraft but as aircraft age the maintenance and inspections become progressively more intensive. So you pay less upfront but the costs to keep the aircraft airworthy are higher, much higher than a newer aircraft. Also with whole aircraft ownership your travel patterns can cost you more. If you fly somewhere and stay, do you ferry the aircraft back empty to its base or do you keep it with you. If you keep it with you what do you do with your crew? Do you pay for them to fly home or do you pay their hotel, meal and rental car costs while they stay. Keeping the aircraft with you may not be an option if you share the ownership with others.

If you share the aircraft with others, who gets first priority for its use? If you are second inline do you not travel or do you have to find alternative means at your expense? Keeping in mind even when you are not using your aircraft you still incur expenses for its upkeep, hangar, crew, insurance, etc. If you have lease financed the aircraft you own or share, what are the aircraft condition requirements (cosmetically and mechanically) at end of the lease term? These can be substantial.

With fractional programs and charter operators what is your real cost? Like todays pricing for airline travel there can be many “hidden” costs. When a fractional company provides a proposal to enter their program do they include the depreciation on your aircraft asset (50% or more over a five year term), fuel adjustment (usually over a thousand dollars per hour) to your advertised hourly rate, flight time minimums, or taxes in the proposal? With charter companies you can ask the same questions, is the quote all inclusive or are there hidden charges like crew overnight fees, hangar fees if the weather is bad at your destination and catering charges. With charter or fractional programs, what if you make last minute changes to your itinerary or cancel the flight? What if the air transportation provider is late or doesn’t show up at all, what is your recourse?

As stated above, if the deal being offered appears to be great (too good to be true) compared to your other options, you need to find out why.

Topics: jet card, charter, fractional, fractional ownership, charter flights, fractional share, private jets, jet lease, fractional program, fractional jet program, fractional co-owner, jet co-owner, private jet co-owner, fractional light jets, fractional consulting

Quelling Nervous Flying

Posted on Thu, Mar 27,2014


Safe LandingIt matters if you fly commercially, or privately, if you are a nervous, or fearful flyer, to some extent. Most flyers (if you are not a pilot or the pilot for the flight) have some misgivings each time they fly, but some of us just resign ourslves to the fact that you need to fly and have little control over the many factors that could impact the flight.

Some factors that cause concern regardless of flying commercially, or privately, are obvious like the weather, over water flights, mountainous terrain, airports in the mountains and small airports (usually short narrow landing strips). Some are not so obvious but due to past accidents and the subsequent news reports still cause some concern. Some not so obvious concerns include security, aircraft maintenance condition, pilot complacency (dependence on automation versus pilot skills), pilot training and experience and pilot fatigue.

Outside influences such as hijacking, terrorist activities and the growing incidents of lasers pointed at cockpits are also thought about prior to flight by some. In private aviation hijacking and terrorist activities are unlikely but the threat from laser light (accidental or on purpose) is growing in the US and in Europe. After 9/11 and other previous horrible events (Lockerbie Scotland) commercial travelers were on edge and the recent “disappearance” of the Malaysian airliner has done little to quell those fears.

So how do you overcome your fears and what can you do? If you fly commercially there is little you can do to change a flight plan, the point of origin of the flight and the destination, checking the experience and training of the crews or the quality of the aircraft maintenance. These are all controlled by the airline. US airlines have a very enviable safety history; however you are still at their mercy when it comes to security check in, crowded aircraft and the unavoidable delays and cancellations. If you fly privately, either on your own aircraft, through a fractional program or by charter, it is a different story.

If you own or co-own the aircraft then you have firsthand knowledge of the crews experience and training and the maintenance status of the aircraft.  In addition, you pick departure and arrival location, times for the flight, who you fly with and most importantly you have the ability to terminate or not start a flight if there are any factors that bother you. If you participate in a fractional program you have the comfort factor (if your provider is one of the larger ones) that pilots are highly skilled and routinely trained, the aircraft is maintained as it should be (with a large staff overseeing such maintenance) and you have the ability to cancel or terminate the flight if you have a weather or other concern, however, you might get charged for the cancelled flight. With most charter operators they can provide you with their past histories and audit reports from independent aviation professionals and, as with fractional programs, you have the ability to cancel or delay flights for any reason but once again you may be charged for any itinerary changes or cancelations.

So what should you do? Do your homework on the method of air transportation you use and if using commercial stay vigilant. If you have your own aircraft make sure your crew knows your preferences and if you fly fractional or charter these companies usually build a profile on your likes and dislikes, make sure the profile is accurate.

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Topics: jet card, charter, fractional, fractional ownership, private jets, jet lease, fractional program, fractional jet program, fractional co-owner, jet co-owner, private jet co-owner, fractional light jets, fractional consulting, airports, Nervous Flying, Malaysia

Danger in the Skies, Laser Pointers

Posted on Tue, Mar 11,2014

Plane at SunsetLaser pointers have been commercially available since the 1980s and are seen everywhere from boardrooms, classrooms, in tools, cat and dog toys and even in gas stations as novelties. So why would the FBI offer a $10,000 reward to anyone that helps them to apprehend and convict someone pointing one of these seemingly harmless devices at an aircraft?

Most laser pointers available to the public are pretty harmless if used as they are intended to be and care is made not to shine them in someone’s eyes from close up. However, the danger to aircraft operations comes from the strong concentrated light they emit, the spread of this light at distances and the potential to distract, startle, cause flash blindness and the concern of injury (but at distances the risk of injury is low, at least from the laser beam). Currently there are no commercially available lasers that can physically damage an aircraft and it is unknown and doubtful that there are military lasers that could.

When using a laser outside at night it appears the beam ends at a relatively short distance from the user but that is incorrect and the beam spreads at longer distance like an ordinary flash light. At one half of a mile the beam from a handheld laser spreads to approximately the size of a doorway. When the beam spreads it has the potential to reflect from aircraft windscreens similar to when you are driving at night and an oncoming car does not dim their lights. Aircraft cockpits are kept in low light and the brightness of a laser beam can temporarily blind the crew, not a good thing when flying straight and level but extremely dangerous during the takeoff or landing phase of flight.

Lasers used in laser shows are 6 watts and green in color (green is the preferred color since that color can be seen more easily by the human eye than other colors and are less expensive to manufacture). Even though the light spreads at distances a laser show style laser can reach over 368,000 feet (70 miles) and at that distance the main danger is distraction. At lesser distances the dangers increase, eye hazard at 1,700 feet, flash blindness at 8,700 feet (1.5 miles) and glare at 36,800 feet (7 miles).

Commercial hand held lasers are usually about 5 mW and green in color but even at this lower wattage eye hazard could occur at 52 feet, flash blindness up to 262 feet, glare up to 1,171 feet and distraction up to 11,712 feet.

As mentioned above, this issue is being taken seriously as incidents continue to increase. In 2013 there were 3,960 (average 11 per day) reported instances in the US (up from 1,416 in 2009) and over 4,266 (average 12 per day) in Europe. If you are caught and convicted you could face fines and possibly jail time. A man in California was sentenced to 30 months in jail for pointing a laser at an aircraft and just last week another California man was sentenced to 14 years in prison for pointing a laser at a police helicopter. The second man’s girlfriend was also involved in the incident and is facing a $250,000 fine and 5 years in prision.

 

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Topics: jet card, charter, fractional, private jet, private jets, jet lease, airports, laser pointers

Sweet Flights from JetSuite: Embraer Phenom 100 & CJ3

Posted on Wed, Mar 13,2013


Embraer Phenom 100 Private JetJetSuite, with its headquarters in Irvine, California, provides charter services on its wholly owned or leased aircraft. JetSuite is a 7-year-old company founded in 2006 by Alex Wilcox (who also founded the discount airline JetBlue) and Keith Rabin, and the company was purchased by David Neeleman and Acadian Woods Partners LLC in 2010.  Although founded in 2006, their first flight was not until 2009.

JetSuite’s initial fleet plan was to use the all-new (4 passengers) Phenom 100 aircraft manufactured by Embraer of Brazil. The Phenom 100 is one of the most advanced and efficient aircraft in its class. Due to the popularity of the JetSuite program and the need for larger and longer-range aircraft, they began adding the JetSuite Edition Cessna CJ3 aircraft (6 passengers plus a smaller sideways-facing 7th seat) in 2012. JetSuite’s current fleet consists of 15 Phenom 100s and 5 JetSuite Edition CJ3s, and all are equipped with free WiFi. The Phenom 100s are used mainly west of the Mississippi and the CJs are used mainly east of the Mississippi.

JetSuite offers a hybrid program which is called a membership program; however, you do not need to be a member to take advantage of their flight services. The membership program provides 4 pricing levels with the following deposits: $50,000, $100,000, $200,000 and $400,000. Prices per “planned” flight hour start at $3,200 for the Phenom 100 and $3,950 for the CJ3, and the price decreases as the membership level deposit increases. Those at the $400,000 membership level pay  $2,900 for the Phenom and $3,650 for the CJ3. Non-members pay higher hourly rates than members, and members receive priority rights when booking trips. Each trip scheduled for members and non-members is quoted by their customer service group and locked in even if the flight is longer than anticipated. Additional charges may be added to the flight charges for use of non-preferred FBOs, requested departure time slides, and changes to an itinerary outside of certain time frames.

Along with the membership program, JetSuite offers occasional discount flights to and from specific airports on specific dates - these special offers are called SuiteDeals. These SuiteDeals are priced per trip and can cost as little as $499.

JetSuite uses ARG/US (Aviation Research Group/United States), a world leader in aviation safety research, as their independent, third party evaluator to verify compliance of all flights to ensure passenger safety. JetSuite has received an ARG/US Platinum rating. The Platinum rating is recognized as one of the highest in relation to operational practices and flight safety standards, and it is the highest-level safety audit rating in private aviation. All JetSuite flights are flown with two pilots, and all pilots are captain rated, attend CAE Simuflight annually for simulator training, and average 8,000 flight hours of experience.

JetSuite offers their customers pet-friendly flights, ground transportation (if needed, but at additional cost), and benefits from luxury partner Singapore Airlines. 

 

See how the Phenom 100 compares to other jets!

Topics: charter, charter flights, jet lease, JetSuite, phenom 100, embraer phenom 100, citation jet 3, cj3

Around the World with Magellan Jets

Posted on Tue, Mar 05,2013

MagellanMagellan Jets is a privately held company based in Quincy, Massachusetts, and provides charter broker services. Magellan Jets is a 5-year-old company founded in 2008 by Joshua Hebert, Anthony Tivnan, and Greg Belezerian.  Tom Harrison, President of DAS (an Omincom company), serves as Chairman of the Board. In 2012, Magellan Jets acquired SkyBridge Private Air, a premier charter broker which expands their presence on the west coast. They have quickly gained market share and the respect and confidence of the charter user community as well as charter provider companies.

Magellan Jets offers jet card programs as well as On-Demand charter. Their private jet cards include a 10-hour jet card and 25-hour jet cards (11 categories to choose from), as well as their Voyager Membership Program.  On-Demand charter is self-explanatory but offers unique pricing options for one-way or round trip flights. The card programs vary from a debit card format with access to numerous aircraft types, to a specific aircraft type at preset rate and flight hours. These different programs offer air travel options that include helicopters, turbo props, light, mid, super mid and large business jet aircraft and air ambulance services along with 24/7 worldwide concierge service. The average age of the fleet network is usually 7 years old or less.

Magellan Jets uses Wyvern and ARG/US (Aviation Research Group/United States), the world leaders in aviation safety research, as their independent, third party evaluators to verify compliance of all charter flights to ensure passenger safety. Magellan Jets verifies the air charter safety information from flight history of the aircraft operator and related insurance policies. Magellan Jets has exclusive access to the records and audits of every aircraft and flight crew, and Magellan Jets demands the highest standard of safety for each flight.  This is all closely monitored by their Flight Support and Compliance, which consist of pilots.  

In addition to being meticulous in regards to the safety of all of the operators’ aircraft, crews and maintenance, Magellan Jets offers their customers air ambulance service within air medical service, pet-friendly flights, ground transportation (if needed), and benefits from luxury partners such as Four Season’s Nevis, The W Hotel S. Beach, French Lick Golf Resort, Goldeneye, and Manhattan Motorcars, to name just a few.

 

Top 5 Issues Selling a Fractional Share

Topics: jet card, charter, Magellan Jets