Is 1 Billion Dollars Enough to Own a Private Jet?

That day there was a fierce debate between me and one of my close friends on who can afford a private jet. Is 1 billion dollars enough to own a private jet?

My friend who keeps pretty up to date with latest trends in tech and transportation fields argued that the overall cost is so huge that even a person having 1 billion dollars as a net worth will find it difficult to maintain a private jet.

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But I was not ready to go by his argument and so started researching to figure out how rich one has to be to own a private jet. To do that, I have endeavored to have the full picture of what the overall costs involved starting from purchasing to ultimately managing a jet.

What I have found out is that it really costs a huge amount to run on your own big machine on your own given schedule. But it is not that huge that a person with 1 billion dollars as his net worth can’t afford a jet personally.

He may not fly with the ultimate luxury of a private plane compared with the ultra-high wealthy persons and richest celebrities in the world. But he can maintain a private aircraft provided his time is worth more than the cost of a private flying involves. Not to surprise, he still can enjoy the most personal air travel with the said net wealth if he wants to.

When and why does one own a private jet?

one own a private jet

On top of the huge purchasing cost, a private jet owner has several other fixed and variable costs to pay. But as per the experts in the industry, if one has to fly at least 100-200 hours a year, he better own a private jet.

Thus how, he can fly anywhere on his given time and schedule. Moreover, you can avoid the hustle of busy commercial airport, uncalled for delay of flight, and deadly hassle of the scrutiny line. On top of everything, a privately owned jet can give you the privacy and safety more than the traditional options. 

But the crucial thing to keep in mind is that you’ll require a fabulous amount of cash flow to enjoy this pinnacle of luxury. Apart from the upfront payment associated with the purchasing, there are operation cost, crew salary, maintenance, hangar fees, fuel, and upgrades/ add-ons cost.

If you go by the example of celebrity jet owners, they are all multi-billionaires but there are wealthy people having a net worth around 1 billion dollar among the private jet owners across the world.

And my findings have discovered if you have an extensive domestic along with international travel schedule, you should opt for the ownership of a private jet with at least US$ 30 million as fortune or self-made worth.

Certainly, there are other affordable alternative that will not put you through the burden of owning a jet but still enable you to maintain a secure and timely international air space. No, I am not referring to the commercial first class flights.

You can opt for a fractional jet ownership- both cost and ownership shared among a small group of owners. Other economical alternatives of private air space include Jet card program membership and on-demand private jet chartering.

The tendency and necessity of the extremely rich people to fly privately and the secure most way has given the market of personal jet flights a boom in the last decades. Therefore, personally owned and operated planes are increasing with the number of extremely wealthy individuals. Let’s explore the scenario for further details and fun. 

The Fabulous Ownership Cost of a Private Jet


Purchasing cost of Brand New Jets

Owning a private jet is considered to be the acme of luxury associated with modes of transportation. Therefore it is evident that purchasing a personal jet will cost you a crazy amount of money. The general rule of thumb is that the bigger the jet, the more cost.

Keeping the high-end jets in mind, the cost can be a billion dollars. But a compromise between the price and high-end features should not cost you more than 40 million. You should know very clearly of the factors that cause the price hike and down. They include the cabin size, speed the jet flies at, the range it can cover, upgrades it comes adorned with, and more.

And the jet upgrades refer to the additional features that increase the comfort by adding to the luxury statement. The popular upgrades or add-ons include net connectivity, weather radar, air and thermal control, navigation facility, and more available upgrades.

Let me give you an example of two popular jets meant for private ownership. The following charts can make you even clearer how much the initial aircraft you target can cost.

Pre-owned Jets at Cut-down Price

Conversely, you can go for a more affordable alternative to buying a used jet. That will cut down the upfront cost to a significant amount. However, there is a tendency among the jet owners to switch to newer jet after every four-five years.

This is a convenience as you can have pre-owned jets that are superbly workable. As a no-risk option, you should take help from a pro broker who will inspect the crucial variants regarding a pre-owned jet purchase and they are flight hours, existing upgrades and features, and more that you can in detail where discussed so. 

An example will prove pretty helpful for you when going for a used jet purchase. Let’s take the famous brand Gulfstream which offers its G450 models at $38-$43 million when brand new. To be on the other side, a pre-owned jet of the same brand and models will cost you anywhere between $14 million and $35 million depending on different variants.

That apart, the pre-owned jets are the preference of the business jet owners who take those for commercial purpose. But for personal use the brand new models are advisable and experts say that expensive jets require less operating cost.

And operating cost is the biggest concern lurking in the mind of even the ultra wealthy persons. Moreover, pre-owned jet requires an uphill renovating cost amounting to millions.

Crazy Operating Cost of a Jet

Ownership/purchasing cost are the initial one-time cost that extra-ordinary wealthy people can afford and you can seek financial assistance from the lending authority associated with aviation. But it is the operation cost that makes them think twice before making the final deal.

That is when Gollan’s suggestion comes very crucial that one should only go for a private jet only if he requires at least 100 hours of airtime a year. Whereas some expert says that it is financially viable to fly chartering planes when the annual flying hour’s number is around 100.

Whatever, next to the upfront cost, this can change the total financial picture of owning a personal aircraft. To your amusement, it is the latest trend in the jet industry that newer, larger, and more expensive planes cause a cut-down in the operating cost. 

Let’s now shed light on the key factors that comprise the total operational cost. To be precise, operational expenses of a private jet are those that require the owner to run the jet that ranges fuel cost, crew salary, maintenance cost, hangar fees, insurance, and several other factors. Among the mentioned costs, some are fixed that remain constant all the year round and others are variable. Therefore, we will cover this section in two separate points – Fixed operational Cost & variable operational cost.

Fixed operational cost 

Let’s first understand the fixed operational cost of a privately owned jet plane. These are the expenses to bear with whether you fly the jet or not. The major fixed expenses comprise:

The crew salary: Running a private jet will require you at a minimal crew comprising of a pilot, a co-pilot and a stewardess. And maintaining the mentioned staff means to pay a fabulous amount of money on a yearly basis. Whether you are on the air with them or not, you have to pay them. A professional and skilled aircraft staff will cost around 200000 USD or more.

If you have a smaller and lighter jet, you cut this cost by opting for self-piloting. But this too will cost you a months-long training in exchange of hefty training fees. And after the training, a license for an amateur pilot will require no less than USD 100000.

The training costs: The crew will surely require training and you have to get them trained in exchange of paying high training fees to the concerned authority that conduct such training.

Hangar Fees: You will never want to let your million dollars luxury jet ruin under rain and the sun. Secured storing is must that will make you pay a huge amount of money on a yearly basis for the parking space any airport allows your jet in their hangar. And it varies state to state depending on the facilities they are equipped with to offer you. 

It is the responsibility of the pilot to consider and reconsider the factors relating to storing the jet. You can decide whether to opt for the cheaper option Tie-down or the more secured and expensive Hangar Space. If you decide in favor of Hangar space, the pilot should seriously ponder over these facts – the climate the jet will remain in, the proximity of the repairing location, how much would it cost if damaged outside, and above all the concern to resell the aircraft when needed. 

Insurance: Insuring the private jet is a must and it will entail a large chunk of dollars. Whereas you are destined to pay a yearly insurance fee, the amount of the premium depends on many things similar to other insurance policies.

The various factors that will affect the jet insurance premium are aircraft hours, the intended place to park the jet, the kind of parking or storing, the state you select to store your jet, the size of the jet, the age, the amount of required coverage, and many more. 

On the upside, there are options to save insurance cost given you can obtain certain certificates on regular training, shared ownership, and more. To insure safely and properly, you should consult an agent working with aviation industry for long without caring for the fees they claim.

Maintenance: Other than the costs already briefed on, there are several other fixed costs to name. The avionic software updates and many other fall into that category. Besides, the maintenance expenses are also a fixed cost that depend on the duration of time or the number of hours flown and the age of your jet. They are time-based maintenance expenses but fall to the fixed category cost as you cannot avoid them even if you don’t fly.

Variable Costs

Variable expenses of a jet relates to the number of flight hours and the size of the jet. The size of the jet cabin determines which size of a crew your jet needs. As the rule of thumb goes, smaller and lighter aircraft needs smaller staff and they have proved to be more fuel efficient.

Moreover, the landing and parking fees differs on the size of the jet. The cost of the hour flown on air can be counted by the stipulated fuel cost per nautical mile declared by the company.

Upgrades or Ad-ons

I have derived immense fun while researching on the upgrades private jets tend to install and every latest model appear with top-notch mind-blowing upgrades in keeping with the latest technology. Actually, this part has caused lurking in my mind when and if can afford a private jet. 

However, this is actually the fun part of owning a private jet. Most of the upgrades offered for your jet are comparatively cheaper than other costs. And the cool part of it is that you can upgrade nearly every product on your aircraft.

Though there is no recommended number and item of what should include the upgrades in your air vehicle, forums comprised of aerospace industry personnel and jet owners suggest having a ready amount of $5000 as a rainy-day backing. 

The upgrades are crucial and they ensure your safety, keep you connected, and increase your comfort. Some high-end brands offer extensive upgrade portfolio that include next-generation technologies, satellite communications, cabin management, and the exclusive entertainment system. There are more on the upcoming cue that will fall to the aesthetic level. 

Keeping that in mind, your main budget for upgrade should stand between $100000 and $500000. In case of a pre-owned aircraft, you may need the reset of some furniture and paint afresh. These two will certainly fall to the ad-on category.

These are all about overall cost of owning and running a private jet. The financial picture will be even clearer in the section where I will break down the operating cost of a certain brand of jet. Yet you can pretty easily speculate on the mammoth burden of cost flying private on private jet involves. There are more economical alternatives to fly personally to owning.

More Economical Alternatives of Flying Private

The Aerospace industry has grown bigger over the last decades with the rise of the extremely wealthy individuals opting for private air travel across the globe. This has accelerated the sale of private jets.

But actually private flights have increased significantly more than the private jet ownership. This is quite an interesting phenomena brought to public attention by a recent Vistajet report and the Wealth-X a firm researching on ultra-rich individuals. 

The report has deciphered that the boom in private flights these days is not the result of the increased private jet ownership or purchase by a single individual. The case in point, the rich people are opting for more cost-effective means of private air time. The alternatives come in three formats which too are private air travels in kind. These are:

Fractional Jet Ownership: This is a smarter and economical ownership plan where several people will claim title to the aircraft by paying the due part of overall cost of what entails a jet ownership. This is smarter if your intentions are purely luxury and enjoy private air travels. 

If you own an aircraft, you are not frequently cruising as you do with other modes of transportation, especially a car. Therefore, you can share air time agreed upon by the other owners who needs to travel on air but not that often. Therefore, a rising number of demy billionaires and super rich find it more affordable to take to the airspace by a co-owned private jet.

The number of fractionally owned jets has increased by 4.7% between 2016 and 2017. The number of partially-owned jet owner stands between 8000 to 10000 now. But with the decline in the deliveries of new jets, the rich people even the multi-millionaires are now shifting to and vying for the jet card membership programs. 

Jet Card Membership: This is a membership program where members having a jet card can purchase target flight package of his chosen model. The member will buy flight hours in advance to fly on his convenient schedule.

The number of jet card membership has already more than doubled by 2017 with the lower deliveries of newer aircrafts. Doug Gollan, a luxury air travel expert, says that nearly 30,000 individuals own jet card membership.

On-demand Charter Flight: This is like an Uber-style service of private planes where you can have a private and secured air travel. The process is that you will book one aircraft for hours required for your purpose on short notice. 

Against the backdrop of static fractional ownership, the number of jet charter companies is on the rise and it has almost doubled since 2008.

Among these three alternatives of private air travel, charter and membership services have been consistent in attracting younger clients on track of reaching new heights in terms of net worth.

Studies by relevant agencies have found that wealthy individuals having membership of private jet owner forum belong to the multimillionaire and multi-billionaire groups.

Interestingly enough, you will encounter a growing overlap among the wealthy and ultra-rich people sharing more than one private flying option. Even extremely wealthy persons owning luxurious private jets are frequently seen to have travelled via membership card options. The point in focus is that you may need to fly for longer range while your own jet is meant for shorter or domestic range. 

The pop queen Madonna has recently been in England to meet her elder son travelling by a first class commercial flight. Celebrity entrepreneur Richard Branson is frequently seen to fly on commercial flights of his own company while the range is too expensive for his private jet.

However, these are alternatives but to own a private jet is itself bliss. So let’s check the price of some private jet affordable to the individual appearing to the end of the list of ultra-wealthy. To be precise, those who have hardly crossed the multi-billionaire stage or still counted as the multi-millionaires.

Some of the Most Affordable Private Jets

Let’s now review few jets popular among the private jet owners for their budget ownership prices. Obviously, these are the jet featuring minimal to medium size, speed, range, and fuel cost. But they can meet up with the purpose of the owners opting for them.

Along with minimal capacity they offer lesser luxury in terms of upgrades and interior decor.  But the fifth one is a go-between of the budget price and high-end price and so offer high-end features, designs, and luxury. Here you go with: 

ECLIPSE 400 – Very Light Private Jet (VLPJ)

ECLIPSE 400 – Very Light Private Jet

The Eclipse 400 is a very light and a power single-jet capable of carrying four people including the pilot up to the max air distance of 1256 nautical miles. The fastest cruise speed it can fly at is 380 mph costing $0.96/nautical mile for fuel. 

For your better understanding, it can reach New York from Los Angeles – a distance of 2148 nautical miles- in nearly 6 hours costing $12000 as fuel expense. So far comfort and luxury involves, it will give you the feel of a sports car. This is the most affordable jet both in terms of ownership cost of $1.2 million and operating cost but you have to opt for superior alternative for international flight.

STRATOS 714 – The Need for Speed Jet

STRATOS 714
STRATOS 714 – The Need for Speed Jet

With the same carrying space or cabin size, this private jet has earned fame as the faster light jet with cruise speed of 477 mph and 1500 nautical miles of flying range. It is superior to other four-seater jets featured with single power engine Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5 that can generate a mammoth takeoff thrust of 2900 pounds.

With a superior speed and extensive flight range compared to the ECLIPSE 400, it claims $2.5 million as ownership cost. This is both affordable and gives better performance.

SPECTRUM S.33 – Meant for Speed & Range

SPECTRUM S.33 – Meant for Speed & Range

Spectrum comes equipped with S-33 carbon fibre and Williams FJ-33 engines to peak the highest height of 45000 feet for any VLPJ. With a flight speed of 489 mph it reaches the max altitude in just nine minute.

In line with the height and speed, it offers an extensive range of 2000 nautical miles and a huge cabin size of accommodating at least 7 passengers except the pilot. The model is under planning for improved features and it costs $3.95 million. With an additional upfront cost, you are having more speed, range, and travelling space.

HONDA HA -420 HONDAJET – Top-notch Service & Facilities

HONDA HA -420 HONDAJET – Top-notch Service & Facilities

Honda comes equipped with GE-Honda Aero Engine capable of producing 1997 pounds of thrust at taking off so that it can reach 43000 ft high altitude – higher than all other VLPJs.

They are on the up side for their top quality support and facilities and the brand is credible enough to rely on. In this Honda VLJ, you will have the engines escalated on the wings providing extra space to accommodate your feet and luggage. You are having all these against a $4.5 million of ownership cost.

CESSNA CITATION SOVEREIGN – Luxury Travel and Workspace

CESSNA CITATION SOVEREIGN – Luxury Travel and Workplace

This Cessna Citation model is used mostly by the corporate business bodies for its luxury and interior space to work while flying. They very often tag it to be a visionary bound for visionary travelers. This mid-size corporate jet comes featured with two turbofan-engines that enable it to fly off and land quickly within a short distance. Cessna Sovereign offers a fabulous range of 2664 nautical miles along with the sky-touching flying height of 47000 ft. 

The most chosen upgrade that will separate this from the stock jets are the flight deck, cockpit of fiber-optic technology, exclusive LED lighting, and the joint control units inside the cabin. You can have this intriguing and bold aircraft at no less than $18 million – still an affordable purchasing cost.

BOMBARDIER CHALLENGER 650

BOMBARDIER

Bill Gates flies on a jet of this company though not this model. And this Bombardier model too can be proud of quoting high profile users such as government agencies and military organizations – Canadian Air Force is the one to name with boast.

In line with the high-end price of $32 million dollar, the speed and accommodations are superior too as it can fly to a range of 4000 nautical miles with a fabulous speed of 520 mph. This giant of a corporate jet can rise to 41000 feet with the mentioned speed. 

What it sticks out actually is for the redesigned cabin, luxury flight deck, and an added take-off thrust. But you should be prepared for the high fuel cost if you plan to adopt this aircraft as your space companion.

We can have an overview of how a private jet cost soars from these reviews of the five jets. The upfront price primarily depends on the size, speed, and the range. The price is proportionate to the mentioned factors.

If you go for bigger size, faster speed, and superior range of flight, the purchasing price will be higher. Other than those, deck design, luxury cabin interior, and upgrades can add to the upfront cost of a jet.

Thus the price can soar up to multi-billion dollars with the matching components, features, performance, and ad-ons. And if you want to keep pace with the trend, every new model appears with major updates.

To have the full cost picture, you have to figure out the operating cost along with the maintenance expenses. Now with some models before as an example, you can figure out the operating cost pretty easily.

How much does it cost to operate a private jet per year?

Yes, it is the operating costs you should figure out first before you embark on the search for your dream luxury machine. Yes, it is the pinnacle of luxury if you want to surf around the globe or across the domestic border but it comes with a huge burden of cost to break your bank. The operating costs of owning a private jet includes fuel cost, hangar space fee, insurance premium, maintenance cost, crew salary, and landing and parking fee.

With the full knowledge on what private jet operating cost can entail, take an affordable private jet and find the total operating cost for a year. Thus you can have a clear picture of the scary operating cost your dear Big Machine will rip off your worth per year.

Let’s Start with a Very Light Private Jet of Honda-420

Total Operating Cost 

200 hours/Year

400 hours/year

        Cost on Operation

Fuel ($4.40/Gallon)

$140,800

$281,600

Maintenance

$24,788

$49,576

Engine Overhaul

$48,232

$96,464

Mics Landing/Handling

$40,000

$80,000

Mics Variable 

$5,000

$10,000

        Fixed Cost  

Crew Salary

$114,649

$114,649

Crew Training

$13,797

$13,797

Hangar 

$18,050

$18,050

Insurance

$ 25,555

$ 25,555

Jet Management 

$48,000

$48,000

Mics Budget (Against Rainy Day)

$10,000

$10,000

Total Annual Cost

$ 488,879

$ 747, 699

 

What escapes addition is the monthly installment of the loan if you have depended on lending agencies associated with aviation industries as financial source. This too will add to the total operating cost. 

Following the same process, you can find out the operating cost of a mid size jet, and large jet of your preference. Go through this article for more in-depth information on the operating costs various types and sizes of private jet.

Buying Private Jet

Now, you have seen what the overall cost would amount and you can afford a private jet ownership being a billionaire (average net worth of jet owners 1.3 billion) and even being a higher multi-millionaire. But you have to have the full picture of buying a plane – new and use.

Purchasing of new and used planes share both common and totally different factors not to take lightly as either option is a million dollar investment. And a tiny wrong decision can cost you dearly grounding your dream jet. The next two sections will walk you through the A-Z of buying pre-owned and new jets separately.

How to buy a brand new private jet?

You have reached this part of the article, so it is evident that you have already learned about the huge cost that entails owning a private jet. Whether you need it for convenience and privacy your frequent air travel demands or want to buy one for sheer luxury that you can afford, the financial cost picture will not change.

But the full knowledge on the crucial factors can give you the ability to rationalize the method. Therefore, we have put forward a buying guide covering the basics to enable you to make an informed decision.

Before going for the buying basics, two caveats deserve your intensive attention. As for the first, If you appoint an Airforce management company and a veteran buying consultant of the private jet; they themselves will coordinate the purchase up to you fly with the plane successfully. That will obviously cost you a certain fee. 

Secondly, reconsidering the ownership and opting for other economical alternatives – fractional ownership and jet card club membership – can save you money and time both. Whatever your requirement at present, I will suggest that you gather in-depth knowledge on the process of buying an aircraft. And the process entails following steps or activities: 

Cost-effective Analysis: A private ownership or purchase of jet should be your consideration if your minimum air travel hours go far above the 100 hours a year. But the experts say that given the economy private flight alternative are around, full ownership of an aircraft will be sensible against 350-400 hours of yearly flight time. 

The consideration also should include the hidden costs payable for insurance, fuel, crew salary and training, catering, upgrades, storage, parking, and landing. Besides, the maintenance and repair expense will cause a heavy toll on the dollars. 

Count on Your Needs: If the overall expense is affordable, it’s time to ponder over the size you need. The size of a plane refers to the interior space to accommodate the travelers. Going by the accommodating ability, private jets range three sizes – small, medium, and large. 

Flying range is another crucial consideration to count upon in this stage. GAS, a private jet seller, has reported that light jets capable of accommodating 5-8 passengers up to 2000 miles will cost between $3-$8 million.

And a medium ability jet carrying 9 passengers up to 2000-3000 miles will sell at $9-$16 million. The bigger executive jets that can fly more than 4000 miles with 12 people will range $17-$45 million as purchasing cost. 

This is just to give a general idea but you can go as high as you can afford to. For example, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal took Airbus A380 model at$300 million. 

New vs. Pre-owned: It’s a great time to get a pre-owned jet at a cut-down price for the down market Aerospace industry has been going through. You can choose from used jets on the sale cue not only for the down economy but a new order requires several years to deliver the jet. Still, pre-owned jets tend to be not a great deal most often.

Moreover, it is a long arduous process to go through if you decide in favor of a used plane purchase.

On the contrary, new planes are expensive but come with at least a five-year long tip-to-tail warranty. Despite the warranty cover, you will need to pay for certain factors – such as inspection, overhaul, and engine program.

On the Search: Unlike private car purchase, you will require to consult a sales consultant associated with aviation vehicle selling. On its top, your management representative will be of great help along with the consultant.

There are numerous crucial factors to decide upon and one or two are likely to go wrong. Therefore, depend fully on your management agency to make sure you reach the right jet. 

If you want to do it on your own and when you are yet to make up your mind finally, you can dig through the factors by hitting these two websites – controller.com & aerotrader.com. 

A Test drive: You are planning to purchase a private jet means you have had hundreds of air travel hours and you know the jet after your mind. So at reaching the target plane to buy, never miss to have a test flight.

Manufacturers will only allow you to hover over the airport area to a potential buyer but to have a full-range flight; you may have to pay the escrow money. Do that because a test drive is a must for both the amateur and frequent passengers. 

Thorough Professional Inspection: It is a fervent suggestion on the part of the expert that you make a thorough check-up to ensure whether the plane is in flying condition or not. It is crucial both for money and security. It can decipher any loopholes staying hidden in older aircraft not maintained so well. 

It can really save you million dollars that otherwise will cost you as a big-ticket maintenance. Do the needful to have the intended jet inspected thoroughly before signing process is on.

Viable Financial Source: Taking loan is the viable financial source except you can afford to pay it from your liquid worth. And the ideal loan terms are 3-5 years with 15-20 years of repayment tenure for the newer jet purchase. While the older ones can avail 10-12 years of amortization period. You can learn in-depth on the financial source from relevant sites.

Hire A Lawyer: Once the finance is arranged, it’s time to hire an expert lawyer who has been dealing with the task for years. None but a learned legal advisor involved in this sector for long will be versed enough to know deeply of the law regarding aviation tax and insurance.

Moreover, he must be an expert of the rules of the sky.  The FAA compliance issues, tax planning, and more are fairly involved process to stand flawless. 

Upgrades/Add-ons: After the successful completion of the legal procedure, you should redo the interior as per your ability and taste. Because there are virtually overwhelming upgrades you can make. It is up to you whether you go with the jaw-dropping add-ons or the bare minimum to keep you safe and connected on the space.

If you can afford a luxury, you can spend a million dollars to install golden shower handle, whirlpool bathtubs, full dining-rooms, and the mini-movie theatre.

Another ad-on associated more with security issue is to install an anti-weapon system to get sealed from missile attacks. This one you cannot opt for even if you can afford to. Only the elected personnel are entitled to that amenity. If you are eligible, it will cost you around $1 million. 

Hiring A Management Team: Now, this is the time to be on the air. So you need a pilot, co-pilot, and a crew to the least. If you are an individual, you have to get help from a management company in this stage.

They will do a whole lot for you and they can even manage charter trip if you want to earn to compensate for the operating cost when you are not flying. Why not? Unlike moving on cars, flying on jet is not that frequent to happen.

Moreover, a jet on the fly keeps its parts lubricated to lower your maintenance costs and increase the resale value. And the staff will cost you either way by taking salary and receiving training whether idling away or surfing on the space.

How to buy a pre-owned private jet?

Pre-owned private jets save a huge lot of your upfront price but other costs remain the same with an additional investment of millions as renovating cost.

But when you have decided in favor of taking a use private aircraft, you should be more careful in the pre-purchase procedures. The industry experts recommend the would-be buyer to consider the following steps to make a successful deal.

Consider Your Needs

The frequent mistake committed by the potential private jet buyers is that they make haste or go impulsive while encountering a preferable jet. You must take your time to ponder over the requirements realistically. Before considering which jet you will buy, think about speed, range, and fuel cost. 

Now come to the most crucial point to understand the conditions of the flight. Inspecting the major factors of the intended jet intensely will give you the overall picture of the exact condition the aircraft is in.

Finding the Market/Pre-owned Jets

AOPA Pilot is the authority source to get you potential use planes to purchase. Apart from it, Trade-A-Plane and Aircraft Bluebook-Price Digest are the other sources to meet the jet you are after. Whereas the former will give you free access, the later one doesn’t allow the general public access. 

The qualified subscribers who can order with their identifications include aircraft dealers, service providers, manufacturers, aviation financing officials, insurance officials, affiliated consultants, and government agencies.

Understanding the Ads

You will come across frequent technical terminology and abbreviations in the classified ads to put you aptly into confusion. You have to decipher those as clearly as it warrants and the management team comes very instrumental here. You yourself can know them and do the needful but it involves risks as there are too many considerations to be right in every single factor.

Factors to Evaluate Intensely Before buying a Private Jet

There are really prime factors to check and recheck when the question is to buy a used jet for your private use. They are the factor to measure your resale value. Go in-depth about them.   

Engine Hours: Engine hours is the most important factor to affect the resale value. The nearer the jet engine is to the prescribed Time Between Overhaul, the less would be its value.

Another two records associated with the engine to reckon is whether the jet was consistent and the maintenance program was accurately done or not. Flight with regular interval will keep the engine parts in good shape as they will get lubricated regularly. 

Existing Equipment: All the interior equipment to furnish the cabin along with the most crucial avionics, deicing gear, and air conditioning increase the value of the jet. But too old equipment will only add to the expenses of maintenance. 

Airworthiness Directives/Ads: These are the directives ordained by the FAA as safety clauses and most aircraft have them. What matter serious is to check if the owner complies with the issued directives within the stipulated time. The logbook will tell you all about the Airworthiness Ads history. The FAA website also will show you all the Ads records. 

Damage Records: To check damage history is very significant as it can cost you dearly if not spotted earlier. If you encounter any proof of damage and its subsequent repair, you should double check several things.

They include the type and degree of damage, major or minor components, and how the repair is done. Any damage should be Okayed in accordance with what FAA recommends in this connection. Any accident and improper fixing of the aircraft will severely affect the resale value. 

Interior: The common practice is to paint the interior of the jet cabin to make a facelift of overused or abused aircraft. Therefore, check fresh painting with care to come across any crack or corrosion under the skin. 

Moreover, all the interior items should go through a strict scrutiny to guess the actual condition of the plane. If they come out fit and proper, the purchase cost will be higher. 

Overhauls/ (TBO): This is the terminology to be very careful while scrutinizing the jet engine. You may come across mentioning of two types of overhauls – top overhaul & major overhaul.

While the former refers to the inferior parts repairmen out of the crankcase, the later one stands for the complete disassembly and reassembly after the inspection and repair. The logbook will tell you what type of time between overhaul the aircraft passed. The logbook will give you an update of the maintenance also.

If you encounter “zero-time” written anywhere, you consider it a positive sign. It tells that repair or maintenance has been done by the original company. In that case, you will have new logbook stripped of all the previous history and a pre-owned jet coupled with a zero-time engine is just of superior value to any overhaul engine.

Pre-purchase Flight & Inspection: Whether it is a brand new plane or use one, you must fly before you buy it and have thoroughly inspected. While having a pre-purchase flight is the same both for a new and use jet, the inspection steps and level are a bit different when it comes to scrutinize a use aircraft under consideration. 

You must consult your trusted mechanic to conduct this process. A thorough inspection will entail both mechanical and manual inspection. The mechanical inspection includes the differential compression check and other urgent tests of various parts.

And the manual check includes going through the logbook, FAA Form, AD compliance certificate, service bulletins along with letters, aircraft serial number, and more. 

What you must understand is that none but an experienced mechanic can do such a thorough inspection and it will require you a certain cost.

A pre-purchase inspection will remain utterly incomplete if you do not check the availability of spare parts in the market. This is an inescapable task when the matter is to take a pre-owned aircraft.

If you miss this part and require a part to install which is not available, it will not only waste your time rather it may lead to ground your million dollar jet wasting the full investment. Therefore, be extremely careful and take time in this section.

Ownership & Protection: If the target aircraft well pass the inspection phase and deem fit for the purchase, now it’s time to check the ownership of the jet. It’s a crucial pre-purchase task to avoid surprise claim after you have purchased. Aero-Space Report is a reliable channel for accomplishing the title search and other services related to the ownership. 

Once you afford the protection from the buyer, you should materialize the reclamation by insuring the ownership at nominal fee. It will stand strongly against any shocking ownership claim afterwards. 

Sales Contract: So far a used jet purchases involved, you should be very careful mentioning the terms and conditions clearly in black and white. You should always avoid unambiguous and complicated terms. But take proper care so that the intentions of the parties involved and warranty clauses get clear. There too, you seek assistance from a local attorney as the state law will act instrumentals to interpret the contract.

Insurance: Both the over-insuring and under-insuring may affect you in the long run. Therefore, to secure a proper insurance coverage you need an experienced underwriter involved in aviation purchases for long. And while ensuring such a huge property, don’t go only by the cost of the premium offered by the company rather the reputation of the company should come under serious consideration.

Registration: If you want to register your valued plane with any particular state, you need the help of a professional. The registration requirements may come in the form of a fee or the taxpaying documents against your personal property may allow you a registration.

Tax: A professional individual or your personal endeavor to learn the information can determine sales and use taxes you are entitled to pay.

Further Inspection: It will take a considerable time to complete the purchasing procedure after the professional inspection of the plane. And anything malign can happen to the jet that calls for a second visual inspection to be sure if everything remains intact after the first inspection.

Bill of Sale & Aircraft Registration: You must obtain a bill of sale from the seller with all information provided as per the directives of FAA. You can check FAA Form 8050-2 for the necessary instructions you need to provide. The bill must bear the seller sign in ink as it was done in the original or previous bill. 

Aircraft registration is mandatory and a copy of this should be always in the plane when on the fly. This will allow your private flight legally for 90 days in the U. S. To avail this, you have to submit the Aircraft Registration Application (FAA Form 8050-1) coupled with the Bill of Sale, $5 as recording fee, and the State Registration certificate to FAA office. The application must have both the signers’ names typed and printed in the related block. The appropriate state office will respond to you within the stipulated term.

FCC Forms and Paperwork: The final step to complete the course of the ownership of a private jet is the necessary paperwork. You can take online help to find the required paperwork guidelines for purchasing a jet.

FCC form is the “station license” not that mandatory in the U.S. and the adjoining countries. But the international flight must be backed by this as the ICAO signature countries strictly maintain this law.

These are all about the process of buying a used private jet. Only knowing the mentioned procedures will not serve the purpose to the fullest rather you have to master all the tricks to come out with success in dealing of pre-owned jet.

So better to hire an aviation management agency to accomplish the buying process from scratch to the ultimate paperwork. But whether you dare to head on your own or engage a professional team, you must be informed of the whole process in-depth to keep track if the process is advancing in the right direction or not. Never forget that it is you who should never relax until the jolly end as any untoward incident will bleed just you.

Average Net worth of the Private jet owners

Owning private jet is both a necessity for the billionaires whose budget allows them to afford one and their busy schedule leave no other air travel than flying private with privacy and safety.

But you will come across hundreds of billionaires who own a private jet what they want to have more than they need it. Because private jet is one of the lavish and luxurious items to attract the ultra-wealthy.  

However, whether it is just a lifestyle or urgency, you must have a certain amount of cash flow to afford this. We will now look into the net worth several billionaires owning and running private jet. They include the tech giants, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and not so famous wealthy individuals from around the world.

Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban

The owner of the Dallas Mavericks has a net worth of $4 billion and owns three private aircraft. To go by his opinion, he runs the jets to save his precious time and time is wealth for him.

He bought his maiden private jet the Gulfstream V jet in 1999 creating a record of the largest single online transaction of $40 million. Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 are the other two jets he owns. 

With a net worth of $4 billion, he is running three jets is evident of the fact that you can maintain a luxury private jet on your 1 billion dollar worth.

Richard Branson

He is an entrepreneur who owns a private jet for his personal use and a commercial aviation company named Virgin Atlantic. Known as daredevil Richard Branson uses his private jet to make round trip of his privately owned island in Caribbean – the Necker Island. But he too board on commercial flight for longer range on his own company. He can well afford that perks of lifestyle with $5.1 billion as net worth.

Richardson giving you the impression that it is not necessary to board the luxury jet in private sole for you can afford it. The owner of a commercial aviation company can fly private internationally but he desn’t do that.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is the famous CEO who had been flying private for nearly two decades. Now, he travels on his favourite Gulfstream G650ER worth $70 million. He travelled a huge distance of 150,000 miles airspace on this private jet. He runs lavish lifestyle on his net worth of $19 billion. 

The multi-billionaire CEO travels extensively on board his fabulous Gulfstream because he is to. His nature of job has made him opt for a multi-billion dollar jet doesn’t mean that you cannot fly on a plane worth lesser.

Bill Gates

He is perhaps the only celebrity billionaire to have enjoyed the status of the richest person in the world longer than all others before him. He fondly calls his private Bombardier BD-700 Global Express the “big splurge” and also “guilty pleasure”. Compared to his uphill net worth of $96 billion, his pet jet costs pretty affordable at $40 million if not cheap.  

His calling it a guilty pleasure and flying with a huge team refers to the fact that he can’t help riding private. But he can afford what not.

Jeff Bezos

He is not only the new richest man in the world but perhaps the most talked about corporate celebrity in 2018. He owns a Gulfstream costing $65 million that can fly with eight people. He owns this via his holding company Poplar Glen. This is a perspective that flying on private is not preferable luxury for all who can afford it or all the ultra-wealthy people may not like extreme luxury.

The list can go on adding celebrities from other fields owning private airplanes. But to understand the trend who can and are maintaining private jets they are enough. Mark Cuban is the lowest scoring ultra-wealthy in the list running the highest number of private jets. From this perspective we can understand that maintaining private jets are not proportionate to the amount or size of net worth of the owner.

Rather it is the nature of the tasks one has to accomplish on his given time. Jeff Bezos the richest man in the world uses one as it suffices to load of work he is to handle.

More Insights

If you go beyond the celebrity ownership of private jet mostly from North America and Middle East, we will come across private jet owners having average net worth of around $1 billion.

And going through the reviews of some of the most affordable private jets, we will witness that even wealthy people having less than $1 billion as total worth can well maintain a private jet.

Frequently Asked Questions

How rich should you be to own a private jet?

Again it depends on the various features of the intended jet. So far industry experts, opinion on the part of the veterans go, and articles regarding the industry go, wealthy people having around 1 billion dollar as their net worth are maintaining a private jet. But what our analysis shows that individuals earning around $1 million a year can very well maintain a jet of his own. 

To own a private jet, just be as rich as to earn minimum 1 million a year whatever is your net worth.

What should be your monthly income to own a private jet? 

Answer to this question is now a no-brainer task given such clear break down of the total annual operating cost of a private jet. Going by the aforesaid survey, you need to make around $ 45000/month (including a monthly loan installment of around $3000) to own a very light private jet. 

Not only the inherited and self-made billionaire rather the professional individual making between $50000-$1,00000 can afford a lighter jet.

Can you own a jet before 50?

This question arises as the average age of the private jet owners are 61 years to the least. The brightest exceptions in this case are some celebrities like Mark Zuckerberg.

However, there is no age restriction in owning or purchasing a jet. What matters is your net worth that can generate the buck of dollars needed to operate the jet you prefer to board on.   

What matters is to reach the six figure income per month that will well qualify you to own a private jet.

Hangar vs. Tie-down Storage

One of the most crucial after-purchase responsibilities of owning a private jet is to store it the secured most way. There are two options to store a private jet – Hangar and Tie-down. Either way you can secure your million dollar possession.

But the question is which one is the preferable alternative. So far security and sealing from damage are concerned; I will prefer the hangar option of storing a jet. Obviously that will cost a bit higher than the rival alternative. But not that higher compared to the total value of the plane or harm the other alternative can cause.

By tying down a jet, you can save several thousand dollars a year but an open-sky stay for luxury items like private jet can prove too expensive in the long run. Not to ignore, if the weather in the state your storage location exists remains hostile, tying down outside can damage worth million dollars.

Conversely, as an indoor storage option hangar space will protect the jet in any weather and you can rest assured of your jet safety. But a state with moderate weather (New York) all the year round can save you buck of dollars by storing in tie-down space.

Conclusion

It is more than clear that you as only a 1 billion dollar rich man can well afford a private jet. To say further in this connection will sound repetitive and distracting.

But some repetitions worth it. You can own a plane if you need the minimal required hours of being on the fly and it calls no clarification that if you need to fly that frequent you can more than afford it.

For a change, you can own a private plane if merely you want it even when you are not in a busy schedule to fly and when the call of the sky is intense enough to respond with the income worth it. 

Just follow every step while buying one not to regret later. And the alternative ways of flying private give guaranty of privacy and security as a wealthy person or celebrity status deserves to have. Therefore, give a damn in that direction too. 

All that said, the side of owning a private jet solely by you is heavier as you can earn a lion share of the operating cost by utilizing the time you are not on flying schedule. So go private on the fly and rule the sky when you are entitled to as 1 billion dollars is enough to own a private jet.

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