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How To Buy A Private Jet

These are the questions to ask yourself if you’re considering private jet ownership

It doesn’t take too many flights on a Gulfstream before your mind naturally starts to wonder — could I ever afford a craft like this?

A private airframe is a major investment that demands some serious forethought. But if you have a plan for how to use it and a business plan for what the craft can achieve, owning a private jet can be beneficial to your travel plans and your bottom line.

The first thing you need to do before embarking on the path of jet ownership is seek the support of a professional in the industry. Buying a jet is not simple; there are myriad details to consider and a strict protocol to follow.

Global Air Charters is one such expert that specializes in airframe acquisition and management. You can lean on our years of aviation experience to find the right jet and be set up for years of successful ownership.

Here are a few questions to consider as you enter the jet marketplace:

How much money do I need?

Like any vehicle, this depends on what you want to accomplish. When you buy a car, you consider how many passengers you’re likely to have, what your regular payload might be, and where it will mostly be driven.

It’s the same thought process with an airframe. Will you be flying for business or pleasure? Are these commutes in-state or across oceans? Will you fly alone or with your entire C-suite?

Questions like these help us build a profile of your craft’s intended use because, as you can imagine, the prices for different kinds of jets vary widely — from around $3 million for a twin-engine turboprop, to $75 million for a brand new, top-of-the-line heavy jet.

Is buying a private jet a good investment?

It’s unwise to believe that jet ownership will be an easy money-making enterprise. The old joke is that if you want to become a millionaire in aviation, start by being a billionaire.

But that’s not to say a private jet can’t generate revenue or that jet ownership has no other financial benefits. Airframes are known to hold their value as investment vehicles — some have even appreciated in the last few years due to supply constraints and increasing demand for pre-owned business jets.

Your return on investment will largely depend on what type of airframe you purchase, how often you allow it to be flown for charter, and how often you fly it yourself.

For example, regional business commuters regularly request smaller aircraft, like King Air or Cessna light jets, and their frequent trips offer a steady revenue opportunity. On the other hand, an ultra-long-range heavy jet, like a Gulfstream V, needs to fly on charter more often to turn a profit.

Private jets do offer considerable tax benefits, as you’re entitled to deductions when your asset is used for commerce. We encourage potential buyers to work closely with an aviation tax specialist to take advantage.

What is the market like for pre-owned jets?

Pre-owned jet inventory in 2024 remains somewhat constrained thanks to the lingering effects of the pandemic that sparked considerable interest in private travel options. But we remain confident in our ability to find the right airframe for our clients, no matter the market conditions.

What does the acquisition process look like?

Once you’ve decided on an airframe, GAC negotiates with the seller on your behalf. We draft a letter of purchase intent, followed by an aircraft purchase agreement. When all the paperwork is in order, the airframe undergoes a pre-purchase inspection at a mutually agreed upon facility. This inspection usually includes a records review and test flight.

How much can I expect to pay in upkeep per year?

As you might imagine, the cost of airframe upkeep is considerable. You’ll be responsible for maintenance fees, crew salaries and benefits, hangar space, insurance, new software, and upgrades to avionics and mechanical programs, just to name a few.

It’s important to find a management partner to monitor these costs and align them with your overall financial strategy. GAC is uniquely positioned as a mid-size boutique aircraft management firm — large enough to secure the best prices but small enough to give each aircraft the personal attention it deserves.

GAC provides airframe owners with a monthly report on how their airframe is performing, making it easy to proactively assess and reconfigure strategy if need be. Whether you want to maximize revenue or simply offset your ownership costs, GAC makes it easy to operate your airframe as you see fit.

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