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

The argument for using business aviation has never been stronger, and prices have never been better.

Once you’ve decided which type of service you need, you can drill down to the companies that provide those services, and choose from the various plane types. “Then you need to start asking the more difficult questions about financials and liabilities to minimize your risk and exposure,” says Riegel, who cautions that buyers need to consider the fine print when contracting for aviation shares. “Start by asking each provider where the hidden costs are, and how they can guarantee that you won’t exceed [your expected costs].”

Careful negotiation is critical, particularly in the fractional marketplace, where deals are “very nuanced and mismatches can be costly,” he adds. For example, all providers increase hourly fees as aircraft get older often hiding those increases among obscure footnotes which means used aircraft shares can look attractive at first glance, but actually be more costly than shares in a brand new or younger aircraft.

Despite this caveat emptor marketplace, businesses that shop carefully can reap the rewards of finding good value. “You can spend a lot of money and waste it but the right deal can be worth many hundreds of thousands of dollars,” says Riegel. And that’s not counting any additional productivity and comfort gained.


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