Private Jets: One of the Least Understood Tools in Corporate America’s Arsenal

Currently, businesses can cut a deal for short, medium or long-term leases, with three-year buy-back guarantees and “incredible flexibility,” adds Riegel. The bottom line? If your current service is up for renewal or you’re considering business aviation service for the first time, there’s never been a better time to shop the market.

“Prospective customers are doing their homework and looking at not only cost, but efficiency and rethinking what type of aircraft they are using for different missions,” says Santo. “They want to ensure they are receiving the best value with a provider that is focused on their specific needs.”

“It’s safe to say that every consumer of business aviation, irrespective of the solution they’re currently in, is asking themselves, ‘Is there a smarter way now?’” says Flexjet’s Knebel, who encourages business leaders to make deliberate evaluations of the services available. “They should be wondering, ‘Would a different solution or different set of products serve me more cost effectively?’”

Preparing for Take off
The rub is knowing which business aviation solution best suits your specific needs. “You need to know what destination(s) you will travel to, how many passengers will be traveling, how often will you travel and how long will you stay away,” says Riegel. “Of equal importance is knowing your budget, how you will expense it and whether it’s a short or long term solution.”

For instance, if you need to travel from New York to St. Charles or Moline or Chattanooga, it’s tough to get to any of them in one day via commercial airlines, says Knebel. “A charter solution may be more cost effective than other solutions, as long as it’s available. But if the other 75 percent of your trips are to other difficult-to-reach places and you tend to stay there for two to four days at a time, a jet card or fractional program might be more cost effective,” he says. “The solution must fit the need.”