Private jet ownership: How much does a private jet cost?

If you’ve been thinking about buying a private jet, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll begin with the top two questions we get from our customers:

“Can I afford a private jet?” and
“How much does a private jet cost?”

We then look at the main mistakes people make when buying a jet.

Then we tell you about how to reduce your cost of ownership by:

– Getting clear on your mission
– Identifying planes that fit your mission
– Looking for older planes
– Working with a team that understands how to buy right

Finally, we’ll leave you with recommendations for how you can reduce your
cost of private jet ownership.

Can I afford a private jet?

Buying a jet of your own is more affordable than you think. And it comes with
significant tax benefits as well.

We know because we’ve helped a lot of business owners buy private jets—and
not just any private jet, but ones that delivered a $20M experience for 1/10th of
the price.

However, in order to buy a plane that gives you that 10x value, you must know
how to buy right (and most people don’t).

Specifically, if you can avoid putting too much weight on:

– How the plane looks;
– The age of the plane; or
– The brand name of the plane.

And focus on factors such as:

– The maintenance pedigree;
– How the plane was flown;
– Who previously owned it; and
– The country the plane was located.

Then the chances of you buying a plane that fits your mission and that you can
afford dramatically go up.

As a utility buyer exploring legacy aircraft, you can find deals on a light jet for
around $500,000, a midsize jet for $1M, a super-mid for $3M and a heavy jet
for around $3M as well. Why is the super-mid the same as the heavy jet? The
super-mid is a relatively newer category of aircraft which means that you’ll be
looking at aircraft that are roughly 10 years newer on average—and you’ll pay
for the age difference.

The purchase price for the aircraft isn’t really the primary indicator as to whether
or not you can afford your own jet. While you will need the ability to get
approved for financing or purchase the aircraft outright, you should be more
focused on your blended hourly cost after taking into account purchase price,
maintenance, tax benefits, charter revenue, personal use hours, and the sale of
the aircraft.

With the right buy, right charter company and effective maintenance team, you
can generally fly on your own jet for as little as 20% of the cost of chartering the
equivalent aircraft. If you are already chartering between 50-150 hours per year,
it’s a no-brainer.

How to reduce your cost of ownership

The real art form to buying right and reducing your cost of ownership comes down to:

1) Getting clear on your mission

Buying a private jet isn’t as simple as buying a car. For that reason, people will often buy for the wrong mission.

They either buy too big (planes that have way more capability than the kind of flying they’ll be doing) or they buy a plane that’s too small (which ends up becoming a waste of money).

So before you start shopping for a plane, get clear on your mission.

How many people will you typically fly with? Where do you plan on going? Do you typically travel with a lot of luggage, golf clubs, skis, etc.? Do you need internet connectivity or do you want time to disconnect?

2) Identifying planes that fit your mission

After you’re clear on your mission, the next step is to identify all the possible planes that will fit your mission. We recommend you work with a jet broker unless you want to get deep into the nitty-gritty details of aircraft performance and specs. Even then, an expert can provide valuable recommendations based on years of practical experience whereas much of that info isn’t easily searchable on the internet.

3) Seeing if older planes can give you what you want

Once you’ve identified all the plane models and variations that could fit your mission, to get maximum value you want to explore older models and model years.

Why older planes? Because older planes:

Are just as safe as newer planes (this was confirmed by an MIT study which found there to be zero correlation between the age of a plane and the safety record);

Cost significantly less (a new plane might start at $11M whereas the same, older plane starts at $900K); and

Have been upgraded (or at least many of them) with modern avionics equipment, which means they have more capability and safety features than many newer aircraft.

4) Working with a team that can help you buy right

The key to getting the best jet (for your mission) at the best price comes down to working with a team that:

Knows how to buy right;

Knows how to determine if the plane has been well maintained; and

Understands how to maintain that aircraft going forward.

If you do the above 4 things well, you will become a private jet owner at a significantly lower cost than most.