Your business is finally starting to pick up, joining in the gradual economic recovery. You’re needed in five places at once to keep momentum going but find yourself stuck in line, pondering which of the TSA scans (X-ray or pat-down) will be quicker and less humiliating. Yes, you can easily see the value of owning a private jet. But what do you need to know to get the ball rolling?
Buying a jet is more than adding another vehicle to your company fleet. It’s adding a self-contained “travel division” to your company, introducing essential personnel from an entirely different industry and becoming deeply involved in unfamiliar infrastructure (airports and the airway system). And unless you’re a pilot, you may not be aware of all of the questions you should ask a seller before the purchase. As with all major investments, consultants can help you along the way: Skip Google and ask friends and colleagues who operate jets to find a trusted consultant or management team to help you find and buy a pre-owned jet. Then audition several of these referrals to find a good fit.
Consider these four points:
How do you match your business requirements with the right plane? Do you need your jet to transport a handful of people relatively shorter distances, or will it carry more passengers longer distances? Getting carried away with impressive speed or range statistics could lead you astray, as well.
For what and how often will you use your aircraft? Most buyers will use their jets to fly 80 percent of their missions and charter a plane for the remainder. A broker can help you determine whether you need a jet that flies long or shorter distances, and seats many passengers or just a few.
To operate your jet, what personnel will you need and how do you find them? Regardless of whether the aircraft is new or pre-owned, you’ll need to arrange for your jet’s care, operation, and storage, as well as the handling of financial, insurance, legal, and other paperwork, to establish a safe, legal, and fiscally prudent flying operation. Most prospective owners can handle a couple of these duties but not all, and that’s another area in which a consultant comes in handy.
Buy new or pre-owned? You are likely to have a reasonable budget and want to achieve the best value for your money. Buying a pre-owned jet can help achieve that but can be tricky — especially if you do not have an in-depth understanding of the world of aviation or of the many different requirements and possibilities that various types of private jets have to offer.
Jet brokers will help you determine whether you will use your jet enough to justify buying an entire aircraft, or if fractional ownership or using a charter service is more appropriate. Then they simplify and de-stress the process of purchasing an aircraft, personally managing all aspects of the arrangement for you. They can ensure you choose the right private jet for your budget and your personal or corporate needs.
Private jet brokers will entreat you to provide a list of requirements and desires in your potential future jet. They will then take this list and apply it to the planes they are brokering and return with your aircraft options. If none of the options fits the bill, they will search from their contact lists for companies or individuals who might be willing to lease or sell their aircraft. They will also work to secure financing and insurance on your jet, and find capable inspectors who will give the craft their seal of approval.
A good jet broker will not push you into a sale, but provide you with the information to decide whether to purchase the aircraft to begin with, and then be available to answer questions, refer you to resources to help operate and maintain your jet and more.