Tuesday, February 13, 2007

How to Buy a Private Jet

Once upon a time, Bill Lear introduced his Lear Jet 23 in the year 1964, and since then the private jet market has never looked back and this event has sort of revolutionized it. These custom made private jets have never failed to make a style statement, a mark of having achieved something in life for the corporate honchos and wealthy businessmen.

No matter what your reason for purchase is, it's best if you care to look into some tips and words of advice before signing on the dotted lines.

- A thorough cost-benefit analysis is a must before you decide to purchase a private jet. The number of hours of regular flying you do must justify the costs involved in acquiring the jet. It is suggested by some aviation experts that about 350-400 hours of regular flying justifies buying the jet and if you're flying band does not fall in there, a fractional ownership or jet pooling might do the trip.
- Consider all the costs involved, including the hidden ones. You might have to factor in costs like insurance, fuel, fees at the airports, catering and pilots. Professional private charters might be able to offer you all of these at a certain fixed cost per year. It again boils down to prudent decision making with regards to buying or leasing.
- You might have to determine the kind of aircraft you might need. It would be a real waste of money if you actually bought an aircraft which is either too large or too small for your specific uses. Again, the size of the aircraft would also matter given the kind of distance you plan to cover. It might help if you checked out different manufacturers and models before arriving at your favorites.
- Before buying, it is a wise thing to shop around for the model you have narrowed down. Call up and ask for quotes. You can also check online catalogues for different manufacturer's prices.

On the whole, you could consider fractal ownership i.e. you purchase a jet from a company by disbursing monthly payments and paying the operational costs, payable hourly or weekly or you could consider taking it out on lease. However, buying a second hand jet is not that clever idea because of higher conversion costs and converting costs not withstanding the costs of getting the aircraft compliant to the basic airport norms.