What you need to know about private flying

Vinci Aviation Learjet 45


Owning a private plane has long been seen as a guarantee of success: private aviation saves you time and offers you privacy, security, efficiency and access to the world on your own terms. But for the past few years, not all the ultra-rich have opted to buy!


There is indeed a portfolio of options in the private aviation domain around the world.


1- Buying a private plane


When you buy a plane, you have to hire a company to manage it. In addition to a basic fee per year, all necessary services are increased with a commission. So we are witnessing a reality that makes owning a private plane difficult and very expensive. Unless you fly this plane for personal use for about about 400 hours a year, you will likely lose money with this option.


A private brand new plane could cost between $3 million and $90 million to purchase. Typically, you can expect to pay around $300,000 to $3 million in operating, maintenance and repair costs per year.

* Several companies in Quebec offer aircraft management services.


2- Fractional ownership


This option allows multiple owners to share the costs and benefits of an aircraft. You therefore buy a part of a specific aircraft, the purchase being proportional to the number of flying hours you need during the year. This option normally requires a three to five year agreement. In addition to the purchase price, there are monthly fees and an additional hourly rate. On peak days, there may be additional costs and limited availability.


For a fractional ownership representing 50 hours per year, you can expect to pay a minimum of $300,000 depending on the type of aircraft selected.

* No company in Quebec offers a service similar to that offered by other companies in the United States and Europe.


3- Jet cards


You deposit an initial amount on the card, then the operator withdraws an amount from this sum when you use different planes at different hourly rates. A great attraction of these prepaid cards is that the operator does not normally charge for repositioning the aircraft when you book a one-way flight. In addition to the hours billed and deducted from the card, there may be monthly membership fees and additional charges for flight hours.


Generally, jet cards start between 10 and 25 hours and require a cash deposit between $50,000 and $150,000.

* No company in Quebec offers a service similar to that offered by other companies in the United States and Europe.


4- Buying a seat in a shared flight


This option is often considered for those traveling solo because it is relatively affordable. Unfortunately, the destinations offered are extremely limited in this kind of situation. This option offers no flexibility and no privacy, which is the antithesis of flying private.


In most cases, the membership fee is around $3,000 per year and each seat purchased on a flight is payable per unit.

* No company in Quebec offers a service similar to that offered by other companies in the United States and Europe.


5- Private jet charters


This option is the simplest of all and without surprises. With a charter, you pay only for what you use, no membership fees, no long-term investment and no capital commitment is required.


For a one-demand charter, you will pay between $2,000 an hour for a single-engine aircraft and around $9,000 an hour for a large cabin business jet. 

* Several companies in Quebec offer charter of the planes they manage or own planes they charter.


6- Empty legs


Sometimes an aircraft must return empty to position itself for the next customer or to return to its home base after a flight. Some operators sell these empty legs with a large discount.


These flight segments cannot be booked more than 24 to 48 hours in advance as they are linked directly to the previous customer. The destinations offered and the availability of empty legs are extremely unpredictable and are offered one-way only.

* Several companies in Quebec market their empty flights.


Contact us to organize your first private flight! And while you save a lot of time by avoiding the nightmares of commercial airports, you stay safe!