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Aircraft Charter or Ownership?

Aircraft Charter, Aircraft Ownership, or Fractional Ownership?

At Sunwest Aviation, we’re often asked about different private aviation options. These include aircraft charter through on-demand charter or charter memberships (jet cards), fractional ownership (where you own a share of an aircraft), or aircraft ownership (where you own the entire aircraft).

We’ve summarized the advantages, considerations, and investment requirements for each of these private aviation options below. And we have also included a few useful questions to consider while you review your options:

  • What distance will you be travelling?
    • Different aircraft have different ranges. If you require flexibility, charter (or a combination of charter and ownership) might be the best option for you.
  • How many people will you fly with?
    • Aircraft with larger cabins and capacity can accommodate more passengers but are also more costly. Chartering mitigates this risk by allowing you to select an aircraft that matches your passenger needs.
  • Will you need access to short airstrips?
    • Certain airports can only accommodate aircraft under a certain size. Finding a single aircraft that meets all these check-boxes can be challenging.

Summary

Aircraft Charter

  • Access to the entire fleet. Select the aircraft that best fits your needs.
  • Charter memberships provide additional benefits and improved rates.

Aircraft Ownership

  • You own the aircraft and contract a management company to operate and maintain your aircraft.

Fractional Ownership

  • You purchase a share of an aircraft. Typically a quarter, an eight, or a sixteenth.

Advantages

Aircraft Charter

  • No capital expenditure.
  • Pay for actual utilization.
  • Access multiple aircraft types; select best aircraft for your trip.
  • You do not overpay for larger aircraft than required.
  • Aircraft available in as little as 3 hours.

Aircraft Ownership

  • Select and own your preferred aircraft type and personalize to your taste.
  • Access to your jet any time.
  • Appropriate for high utilization requirements.
  • Fly under private aviation rules which allows for greater flexibility for international trips.
  • Potential tax advantages.

Fractional Ownership

  • Charged for occupied hours only.
  • Standardized aircraft and fleet.
  • Fly under private aviation rules which allows for greater flexibility for international trips.

Considerations

Aircraft Charter

  • You may not always have access to the specific aircraft desired.
  • On-demand charter does not require an upfront long-term commitment.
  • Charter memberships require a one year commitment.

Aircraft Ownership

  • High capital expenditure.
  • Aircraft will be unavailable when maintenance is required. This gap can be filled with charter.
  • Long-term commitment.

Fractional Ownership

  • High effective hourly flight cost.
  • Highly utilized aircraft will see increased depreciation and can experience difficulty in future share resale.
  • You are not guaranteed the exact aircraft of your choice; another owner might be flying when you need to.
  • Long-term commitment.

Investment

Aircraft Charter

  • Your expenses will be based on your flight time.
  • Charter memberships require annual deposit levels to match expected utilization.
  • The Sunwest charter membership allows you to carry over a portion of unused deposit.

Aircraft Ownership

  • Owner is responsible for fixed and variable costs.
  • Owners who manage with Sunwest Aviation, can opt to charter their aircraft when they’re not flying to offset costs.
  • Managing with Sunwest also allows you to benefit from our economies of scale. We have the facilities, equipment, safety protocols, and trained professionals to manage your aircraft appropriately and cost effectively.

Fractional Ownership

  • Purchase price and fixed costs based on fraction of ownership.
  • Also responsible for variable costs.

Interested in learning more about private aviation and which option will work best for you? Please contact us to speak with one of our aviation consultants.

Additional information can also be found here: