If you’ve been a frequent flyer on private charters, you’ve probably wondered how to buy a private jet? A private airframe is a serious investment. But depending on how you use it and what you’d like it to achieve, it can benefit your travel plans and your bottom line.
Here is our first piece of advice: if you’re considering purchasing a jet, you should seek the support of a professional to help you navigate the process. Buying a jet is not simple; there are myriad details to consider and a strict protocol to follow. That’s where a firm like Global Air Charters — we specialize in airframe acquisition and management — can be of service.
How much money do I need?
Like any vehicle purchase, it depends. When a client approaches us intending to buy a jet, we first create a profile of their needs. What are your goals for owning this jet? Is it for business travel or pleasure? Do you plan to fly regionally, cross-country, or intercontinental? How many passengers are you likely to fly with? The answers to these and many more questions help us determine what kind of airframe is right for you.
As you can imagine, the prices for private jets vary widely. On the small side, a King Air twin-engine turboprop might cost $3 million, whereas the brand new, top-of-the-line Gulfstream G800 may total $75 million.
Is buying a private jet a good investment?
There’s an adage about investments like this: If you want to become a millionaire in aviation, start by being a billionaire.
Seriously, we’d caution anyone from thinking that buying a jet will be an easy money-making enterprise. But that’s not to say that it can’t generate revenue or that jet ownership has no other financial benefits.
In the last decade, private airframes have held their value as investment vehicles. Over the last few years, we have seen private jets appreciate due to supply constraints and increasing demand for 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, if you purchase a smaller King Air or Cessna light jet, you can fly it much more. There are many revenue opportunities in the light jet market because more people, especially regional business commuters, regularly request these smaller aircraft. An ultra-long-range heavy jet, on the other hand, needs to fly on charter more often to turn a profit.
The most significant benefit to airframe ownership is that it gives you a considerable tax benefit. As an entity that owns an asset used for commerce, you’ll be entitled to the proper deductions when that asset is being operated. We encourage potential buyers to work closely with an aviation tax specialist to take advantage.
What is the market like for pre-owned jets, and how do I find them?
Because airframes have appreciated over the last few years, jet inventory across the board remains limited. Whatever the market conditions, however, we are experts at finding the right airframe for our clients.
Jets for sale are listed on several websites, or you can simply let us do the searching. GAC will act on your behalf and find multiple airframes that meet your requirements.
What does the acquisition process look like?
Once you’ve decided on an airframe, GAC negotiates with the seller on your behalf and will obtain the best deal possible. We draft the necessary documents, such as a letter of intent to purchase, followed by an aircraft purchase agreement.
When all the paperwork is in order, signed, and countersigned, the airframe will undergo a pre-purchase inspection at a mutually agreed upon facility. This inspection usually includes a records review and test flight as well.
How much can I expect to pay in upkeep per year?
As you can imagine, the cost of maintaining an expensive asset like an airframe is considerable. Fixed costs include salaries and benefits for pilots and crew, maintenance fees, hangar space, insurance, software upgrades, and new avionics and mechanical programs, just to name a few.
That’s why it’s crucial to hangar your airframe with the right management company. You want someone who can keep an eye on these costs and align them with your overall financial strategy. With a large aviation firm, your jet may be one in 1,000, and your goals may not get the personal attention they deserve. At the same time, smaller firms might not have the leverage to secure the best prices.
Global Air Charters offers the right fit as a mid-sized boutique firm. Every airframe owner receives a monthly report on how their airframe is performing, and our attentive staff is ready to assess and reconfigure strategy if need be.
We routinely utilize our assets for revenue generation and have a proven track record of doing just that. But once your airframe is on certificate with us, you decide if you want to try to generate maximum revenue or simply offset your ownership costs. Global Air Charters offers maximum flexibility to operate your airframe as you see fit.