When flying privately when is on demand private jet charter better value than the fractional?
Generally speaking, the on-demand private jet charter model offers better value. This is only true, however, if you have a broker who prepares a backup option on every trip. This makes your flight just as reliable as a fractional model, but much more cost-effective.
Fractional models are more expensive, often charging as much as twice the rate of a charter. Fractional flights may also arrive as much as six hours late, which makes the fractional model both more expensive and less convenient in many cases.
The fractional model also gives clients less flexibility, as clients are locked into a certain aircraft model and must pay for it until they are ready to return. When chartering a private jet, the minimum trip time starts at just two hours. This means better value for money.
For example, a client who regularly flies with seven passengers books a midsized jet on a fractional model. On this occasion, however, they have 10 passengers – and they’ll have to pay extra for a large jet plus a penalty for changing the flight category.
However, the client could charter the same aircraft without paying a penalty. They are not locked into one aircraft. If they like, they could even fly the large aircraft to the destination and return on a smaller one.
For international flights, is it better to charter a private jet or use a fractional model?
Chartering is usually the cheaper option, thanks to the availability. This is because of empty leg flights and floating fleets.
An empty leg flight only requires a client to pay for the direct journey. They do not include the cost of the return. A floating fleet uses multiple aircraft flying on a point-to-point basis, and the crew is switched out, which saves money on return flights. The operator will charge you for flight time plus 40%.
Both of the above methods are cheaper than the fractional model. For example, flying from New York to London on a Gulfstream G-IV SP would typically cost $60,000 – $65,000 on a floating fleet. Through the fractional model, that same flight could cost well over $100,000.
Which provides access to more aircraft: private jet charter or fractional model?
Chartering offers much more flexibility. When you charter an aircraft, you can request a specific model or one that is only a few years old or less. In fact, there are more aircraft available under Part 135 charter than all the fractional model fleets combined.
How does the quality of charter aircraft compare to fractional aircraft?
Most fractional aircraft operate fleets that are five years or younger. Chartering offers aircraft of all ages. However, clients are free to request an aircraft of any age they prefer.
When chartering, you can tailor your aircraft’s features to your flight. For example, if you request a large jet on the fractional model, you may fly on the Challenger 604. If you want to sleep, you’ll need to sleep in front of other passengers. On a chartered flight, you could choose the G-IV SP with an enclosed rear cabin, allowing you to. This way, you can rest in complete privacy.
What’s the difference in the initial investment for on-demand private jet charter and fractional?
Fractional models require a large deposit upfront to buy into the aircraft. For example, a light jet fractional with NetJets will cost you:
- $500,000 initial investment
- $2,200 – $2,300 per occupancy fee for every hour that you fly
- $2,200 – $2,300 per hour maintenance fee whether you fly or not
- Five-year commitment
Under the Jet Card membership model for frequent fliers, clients pay a $100,000 deposit. These funds go towards all flight costs and can be topped up at any time. With membership models such as Paramount’s Jet Card, there are no upfront costs or penalties. Plus, clients can withdraw at any time and get a full refund of any unused funds.
What are the advantages of owning a fraction of the jet?
Clients pay more to fly using the fractional model because there are tax advantages to owning an aircraft. However, at the end of the five years, when the fractional owner decides to leave the fractional, they are caught in a situation where it makes sense for them to renew and buy into another model for another five years to avoid the taxes.
If you frequently fly for less than two hours at a time, buying your own jet fractional share in a jet can be advantageous. Or, if you only prefer a specific type of aircraft, the fractional model is more likely to provide your aircraft consistently.
Fractional models are often viewed as more reliable. However, with a good broker providing backup flights, chartering a flight will be just as reliable.
How does client experience vary from on-demand private jet charter to fractional?
Fractional models are less personal, as you’ll often be directed to a call center when scheduling your trip. This means you’ll need to repeat your details and preferences, as you will likely speak to a new person each time.
When you charter a flight through Paramount Business Jets, you are assigned a personal aviation expert. They learn all about yours, your family's and your business needs. From aircraft age to Wi-Fi needs, your chartered flight will be much more personalized.
There is typically no difference in the crew experience or service quality between the charter and fractional models.
How do the food, safety, and amenities compare in on-demand private jet charter vs. fractional?
Fractional models include perks such as car service – but this is built into the cost of the model. Charters offer better value via itemized billing. Plus, a chartered flight offers more flexibility with amenities as they can be sourced precisely to your liking. Fractional models are restricted to whatever the fleet uses.
Catering is identical for both models, as they both use the same catering companies. In Europe, you’ll receive meals based on the time of the day. In the U.S., you’ll get snacks and drinks. Extras will incur an additional charge.
Safety is also identical for both models. When using a charter within the U.S., make sure to ask your broker for ARGUS Gold, ARGUS Platinum, or Wyvern-rated operators to ensure high quality. There’s no need to ask this at Paramount Business Jets, as all of our trips meet these high standards.
Lastly, beware of operators who may not do their due diligence. Some brokers may offer temptingly low prices, but their pilots are not sufficiently experienced.