For some, it’s a far fetched idea that will never become a reality. For others, it makes good, logical sense. Purchasing a private aircraft may seem like an extreme purchase, but there are many pros and cons to consider before committing to a sale. If you consider all the factors and decide purchasing a plane makes good business sense, you can commit to the purchase with full confidence. Toying with the idea of buying a private aircraft? Let us take you through some pointers to help you make the best, most informed decision possible.
Buying an aircraft is a huge investment, and you are certain to benefit from getting multiple opinions before you commit to anything. There are plenty of aspects of the purchase that can be complex and you’ll never regret getting an expert opinion. One way to make buying an aircraft easier is with the assistance of aircraft management companies and buying consultants. They can help you source an aircraft, coordinate the sale and help you to stay in the air after the purchase (for a fee). There are plenty of things that can go wrong with the sale of an aircraft, as well as general maintenance issues, so having someone on call to help you when you need it is always a good investment.
Private planes vary considerably in price, depending on the aircraft you choose. It’s not uncommon for the price range to be in the millions. Will you fly frequently enough to justify this? Aviation experts advise between 350 to 400 hours of flight time per year to make purchasing a jet worth the investment. If you’re flying less than this, you may find the costs associated with a private plane outweigh the benefits and you might want to consider alternative solutions.
You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a drive; the same should apply when purchasing a plane. After all, you want to make sure that you’re investing in an item you are happy with and that you will be comfortable on your future flights. You may find some manufacturers organise demo flights for potential buyers, to help you make an informed decision before going through with the sale. Most buyers have had some experience riding in business jets and have a general idea of what cabins they enjoy most, so can use a demo flight to confirm what they suspect they are looking for.
Just like buying a car, the purchase price is only the beginning of your expenses. Insurance, fuel, catering and of course, pilots, are all ongoing costs which must be taken into account. You can hire the services of aircraft management companies who can take care of all of these aspects, but the cost of this can be anywhere between $100,000 to $200,000 per year, depending on your aircraft and your usage.
One way to reduce surprise costs is to organise an inspection of the plane before purchasing. Not only can an inspection confirm if a plane is safe to fly, but they may also be able to confirm that the plane is worth the asking price. Inspections are ideal for older aircraft that might not be as well maintained. Knowing the plane’s true worth will give your bargaining power and might save you thousands, if not millions, of dollars down the track by avoiding unexpected repair costs.
We would all like to think our purchases are made to last. Of course, most of them are, especially if you invest in a newer model. However, like any other complex machinery, planes require maintenance and new parts. Planes can be unpredictable and so can the costs associated with them. You could be looking at parting with $50,000 or more to replace a single part.
If you’ve bought your plane and the interior isn’t quite to your taste, you may be surprised to find out how much it costs you to refurbish the interior of a private jet. A high-end designer wide body interior could set you back hundreds of thousands. Depending on your desired features and materials, this price can vary considerably. Hot tubs, dining rooms and on-plane movie theatres can all be installed on your jet for a considerable cost.
When it comes to purchasing a private plane, there’s a lot to factor in. Additional costs, potential breakdowns, and airline safety regulations are some of the many considerations to weigh into your decision. Although there are companies and services available to assist you when buying an aircraft, a simpler solution might be to engage a private jet charter service who will take care of everything for you, at a fraction of the cost of owning your own plane.
Luxaviation is one of the largest private aviation services in the world, with a fleet of 250 aircraft. Put your mind at ease and contact Luxaviation now to find out more about their private flight charters.