Thinking about buying your own private aircraft? Here’s what you should know.
There are many benefits to owning an aircraft, chief of which is the convenience of traveling quickly on your own schedule. For those who fly frequently, whether for work or leisure, purchasing your own aircraft can be a valuable investment that ultimately saves you money in the long term. This is a major life purchase, and there are many factors to consider when deciding if a private aircraft is right for you, including your budget, lifestyle, and frequency and distance of travel. Here are some benefits and considerations to help you get started.
Benefits of Owning an Aircraft
Owning and maintaining an aircraft is obviously an expensive endeavor, but if you frequently travel to multiple locations, the time saved can translate to a more productive, efficient, and comfortable lifestyle.
Say you have a last-minute meeting with a VIP in the next state over. It’s a 90-minute flight and you need to be there in four hours.
When you own an aircraft, you can arrive at your terminal and take off within a few minutes with a miniscule amount of planning. Once in the aircraft, you can stretch out, have a nice meal, and get some work done in relative peace and quiet. Smaller private planes typically have more landing options no matter the destination, so you can charter the quickest, most convenient journey. And when you arrive at your destination, your final destination is as close as where you park your plane.
Owning a private aircraft can give you:
- Flexibility: You can take off at a moment’s notice and hop quickly from one destination to the next.
- Convenience: When you own your own aircraft, you can reduce travel time and set your own schedule.
- Privacy: Once on the plane, you have the same privacy you have at home, in your office, or in your car. You control your environment—stretch out, prop your legs up and relax with a cocktail, or focus on knocking out some work. Change into your suit before the big meeting, or into your beach gear before the big vacation.
- Productivity: For business owners and high-level executives, the idea of “downtime” doesn’t exist. A private aircraft fitted with a workspace means you can get everything done and still get to the next meeting on time. Depending on the size of your aircraft, you can shuttle around important clients. Trust us, they will be impressed—what clients wouldn’t love a meeting held at 41,000 feet?
- Leisure: Private aircraft give you the ability to travel to remote and hard-to-reach destinations at a moment’s notice. Surprise your partner, family or group of friends with a spontaneous vacation to the islands, or escape the rat-race for a weekend of solace and fly-fishing at your favorite hidden stream. When you own your own aircraft, you have total control over when and where you travel.
Considerations of Owning an Aircraft
Of course, investing in your own private plane isn’t as simple as purchasing a more typical recreational vehicle like a motorcycle or a boat. You have to think about upfront costs, as well as the ongoing overhead for maintenance, insurance, storage, and staff. Here are some important things to know as you’re deciding on whether a private aircraft is right for you.
- Initial Purchase Price and Upfront Costs: While the upfront cost of an aircraft can be substantial and varied, having a clear understanding of what your needs are will help you make the most efficient investment for your specific situation. For instance, a light business jet, one of the most popular jet sizes on the market, could be perfect if you fly less than eight passengers and within 2,000 nautical miles. However, if you plan to globe-trot with a large entourage in tow, a mid-size or jumbo jet would be more aligned with your needs. Some people pay in cash, but financing is also available. The rates you get will largely depend upon your down payment and credit score.
- Optimization & Maintenance: You can get top-tier service through Omni Aircraft Maintenance. Aircraft owners should reserve for upcoming maintenance to cover costs of propeller and engine overhauls as well as major airframe maintenance. Pay-per-hour maintenance programs like MSP and ESP are available as well. Ultimately we recommend reserving, whether choosing to self-reserve or to enroll in a maintenance program.
- Insurance: Much like a vehicle, there are different kinds of aviation insurance that hinge on a variety of factors. These include in-flight insurance, public liability insurance, passenger insurance, combined single limit and aircraft hull insurance. The kind of coverage you need will depend on your unique situation, including the type of plane you’re purchasing, how many people you plan to fly with, and how many staff and crew members you plan to have on board. Private plane insurance costs are dynamic. What you were quoted a year ago may have gone up significantly since. When deciding on insurance, pay attention to coverages/exclusions, and be aware that your rates will obviously increase if you file a claim.
- Taxes: When you buy a private aircraft, you’ll have to pay several different taxes, including sales and use taxes and personal property tax. However, the amount you’re required to pay will largely depend on where you live. For example, the California Franchise Tax Board lets plane owners who fly more charter service than personal avoid sales tax. Other states have their own unique qualifiers and breaks, and no two states are exactly the same.
- Storage/Parking: The average monthly cost to rent a hangar can range from airport to airport. With increased costs found at busier airports, you may find opportunities at smaller airfields.
Optimize Your Ownership and Investment
Through Omni Air Transport’s aircraft management services, our experienced team can help you optimize your investment through inspection/upgrade coordination, investment consulting and time savings related to regulatory compliance and record keeping. We also offer services that can help offset the cost of aircraft ownership such as working with our experienced flight crew, which can help negate recruitment and training costs. We also offer third-party charter revenue, which can be a great opportunity to offset fixed costs incurred.
Owning your own private aircraft can mean more flexibility, convenience, comfort, and long-term savings. Whether for work or leisure (or both), a private aircraft gives you more control over your schedule, more freedom, and can help maximize the use of your time.
They’re also very fun.
They are a significant investment with a high upfront price tag and ongoing fixed and variable costs, including fuel, maintenance, insurance, and taxes.
If you own or run a company in a fast-paced industry, a private plane could be a unique advantage over your competition—one that might be worth the investment.
But if you aren’t ready to own, you can still enjoy the luxury and convenience of private air travel through Omni Air Transport charter services.