Fractional Jet Ownership vs. Standard Ownership – Which one is the best for me?

There are a lot of differences between fractional jet ownership vs. standard ownership.
Understanding the differences will help you choose the ownership that’s right for your mission.

So what’s the difference?

Cost of fractional jet ownership vs standard

The cost of ownership is lower with standard ownership

There’s a misconception that standard ownership costs more upfront, but that’s not true. As a standard owner, you own the whole plane, which means you can write off the cost of your plane and get back 40-50% in tax savings, whereas you can’t write off your plane when you’re a fractional owner.

Fractional jet premium for distributed fleet

Fractional jet owners get access to a distributed fleet of planes

With fractional jet ownership, you pay a premium to get access to a distributed fleet of planes. This means as long as you’re within the fractional company’s operating regions you’ll have airplanes accessible to you. Standard owners don’t have access to a fleet of planes.

Standard owners need to pay for repositioning fees

Repositioning fees are charges you have to pay when a plane has to reposition itself to pick you
up. For example, if your plane is sitting in New York but you’re in California, there will be a fee to have your plane reposition itself and fly to your location.

With fractional jet programs, there are typically planes available in nearby locations, so planes won’t need to reposition themselves—meaning if you’re in California, there might be 4 to 5 jets under the fractional program that are available to you. Also, this convenience comes at a premium price.

If you’re a standard owner and most of your flights originate out of your home base, your plane typically will not need to be repositioned.

Fractional owners can trade flight hours

Fractional owners can trade in their flight hours for a larger or smaller

As a standard owner, you can’t “trade-in” your flight hours for hours on another plane. As a fractional jet owner, you can trade-in the hours on your aircraft for a larger or smaller plane, provided your fractional company has other planes within the operating region. The trade isn’t a 1:1 ratio, but it is based on the difference in operating cost. For example, 1 hour of your mid-size plane might trade you 0.6 hours for a larger plane and 1.4 hours for a smaller plane.

Your flight hourly cost is lower with standard ownership

With fractional ownership, you’re buying a certain amount of hours at a fixed rate. If you don’t use those hours (as stated in your fractional ownership agreement), you lose them. And if you need more hours, sometimes those extra hours can cost a premium.

But with standard jet ownership, you can use your plane to generate charter revenue, which helps you offset your fixed costs. If you do end up using more hours, your fixed costs are spread across more hours, lowering your hourly rate.

You have full control and customization with standard jet ownership

As a standard owner, you don’t need approval from anyone to customize your experience. You
have full control of your flight schedule, the color of the plane, the interior, and any other features you’d like to have. As a fractional owner, you don’t get any of those customizations.

Standard owners get tax benefits

If you’re a standard owner, you can write off 100% of your costs. If you’re in a fractional program you may be eligible for tax benefits.

Safety standards

All jet brokers and operators are held at the highest safety standards—higher than any other industry. This means no matter which type of ownership option you choose, you’ll know you’ll have a safe plane.

Standard owners can get to know their plane and their pilots

As a sole owner, you get to know your plane and the people that are flying you around. With
fractional ownership, you get different pilots and a different plane. Some people prefer to have a relationship with the people that fly them around—so if that’s important to you, standard ownership is the better option.

Standard owners can generate revenue from their plane

You can generate revenue from your plane by 1) having your aircraft charter other people (such as when you’re not using your plane) and 2) fully leasing it to other people (such as when there’s a long period where you’re not going to be using it). But as a fractional owner, this isn’t possible because when you’re not using the plane, the other fractional owners are.

Fractional owners know their exact cost

As a fractional owner, you know what you’re going to pay, how many hours you’re going to get, and what your yearly maintenance cost is going to be. This level of predictability comes at a premium price. With standard ownership, there’s less predictability, but this often comes with more savings in aircraft ownership.