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

The Need-to-Knows of a Hawker 400XP Fractional Share

Posted on Fri, Apr 26,2013

This is the second in a series of blog posts by David Beach on what questions to ask (and find the answers to) before signing a lease or fractional share/fractional ownership contract on any airplane. Read our first installment of this series here: What to Know About Buying a Challenger 604 Share.

David Beach is the former Senior Vice President of Contracts at NetJets and the current VP of Administration at Jet Advisors.

 

Fractional Programs, Know the Terms & Conditions (Part 2)


Hawker 400XP, private jet, fractional shareAnother common facet to all fractional programs is the aircraft management services agreement. Regardless if the aircraft is a light jet like the Hawker 400XP or a large cabin like the Challenger 604, this is the most important of the numerous agreements that make up the contract package for program providers.

This agreement sets forth the ins & outs of the owner’s or lessee’s duties & payments and the services rendered by the providers along with their duties & responsibilities. Things to pay attention to and understand involve areas of operation, legal requirements (Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and IRS), term, defaults, additional fees, and use restrictions to name just a few. There are more clauses to be aware of and those will be covered in subsequent blogs.

Operation

Is the provider you are considering worldwide, North American, or regional? If not worldwide, does the provider’s primary service area cover your needs? What are the requirements or limitations if you need to travel outside of the primary service area (additional charges, ferry fees, increased hourly charges and/or increased notice periods)?

Does the provider cover your flight with one of its aircraft, or are you subcontracted to an unrelated third party (and are you advised of this upfront)?

Legal Requirements

Legal requirements can be confusing, especially in the aviation field. Who is considered to be the operator of the aircraft? Does that extend to making sure the maintenance is in accordance with FAA requirements? Who communicates with the FAA if there are issues? Are pilots properly trained and licensed? Who acquires insurance coverage and determines the limits of that coverage? Are there fees to pay to fly the aircraft, then to land the aircraft, and taxes on the fuel you use, or on other fees associated with the management of the aircraft?

Challenger 604, private jets, fractional ownership Term

The term of the agreement can have a big impact on future aircraft value if you purchase the share. A too-short term can restrict your options without the ability to extend it or renew it. Does the term automatically renew/extend, and for what period? Do you have the option to terminate instead of extending?

Defaults

What actions can you take or not take to be declared in default? What actions or inactions put the provider in default? If a default occurs, are there cures, and how long do you have to cure? What are your rights if the provider defaults?

Additional Fees

If the provider has to modify the aircraft to comply with regulations or upgrades, or refurbishes the aircraft, who pays for it? If the provider increases crew salaries, is that cost passed on to you? Domestic or international landing fees, segment fees, airspace fees, communication fees, and concierge fees - are they bundled into the hourly flight charge and/or the monthly management fee, or passed on to you as incurred? If they are passed on as incurred, are they passed through at cost or with an administrative fee tacked on?

Use Restrictions

Use restrictions are not limited to the provider’s primary service area; most providers have certain limitations on high-demand days, which are usually called peak period days. On peak period days, your cost per hour may increase, you will have a longer notice period, and the likelihood of a delay or acceleration to your requested departure time increases. Some programs, depending on your contract, may further restrict your use on these peak period days.

These are a few of the areas you need to know about, but there are more to come…

 

Top Issues When Buying Fractional

Topics: fractional, fractional ownership, charter flights, Hawker 400XP, private jet, fractional share, private jets

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