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How to Charter a Private Jet

Air travel is the quickest method of getting from point-A to point-B, but it doesn’t have to be a purely functional experience. Choosing to travel by private jet offers a wide spectrum of benefits. In short, a trip taken with a private jet can be enjoyable, relaxing, comfortable, and efficient. By flying on a private jet, you are ensuring your travel needs will be met at every turn. You will not need to navigate commercial airport traffic or hassle with security, and private jet services can also be personalized for your individual requirements.

The option of owning your own plane is certainly appealing and there are a few different ways you can pursue ownership. Fractional ownership, for example, is buying a share of a plane and does not require as much of a commitment as full ownership.

Chartering a plane is a great alternative to purchasing; it is simply making a reservation to use a jet for your private use. All of the same benefits of flying privately apply to private chartered flights and are quite attractive, but if you have never chartered your own jet before, it can seem a bit daunting. We will review here, in three steps, how to charter a private jet, hopefully simplifying the process for you.

01. DETERMINE YOUR NEEDS FOR FLYING

Determining your needs for flying is the first step. This will help to determine what type of company to reach out to, what type of plane you need, and the way you will want to charter (this is addressed in Step 03). Clarifying your private jet needs is easily accomplished by asking yourself a series of questions. You can then relay your specific travel needs to the charter company.

  • Are you going to be traveling frequently for business, and will your destinations often change, or will you be consistently flying to the same few places?
  • Are you looking for a last-minute flight?
  • Are you looking for an international flight?
  • How many people are you flying with?
  • How much luggage will you be bringing and will you have specialty luggage such as skis or golf clubs? (Keep in mind that the range is shortened with more weight, so it may be advantageous to ship larger luggage items to your destination ahead of time.)
  • Do you need a bed to rest in, Wi-Fi, or a larger cabin to fully stand up in?

After you have determined your needs for flying, ask for a detailed quote that includes additional fees (cancellation, overnight, de-icing, taxes, etc.).

02. UNDERSTAND THE LINGO

If you have never flown private before, it helps to know the lingo/keywords the industry frequently uses. Some general keywords to become familiar with are “prop planes,” “turboprop planes,” and “light jets.” Turboprop planes are roomy with seats arranged like commercial business class, while turbojets will be six to eight seaters, fly faster than prop planes, and feel more like a jet. Light jets are sleeker, more streamlined, and better for slightly longer trips.

Some more details to be aware of as you search for the charter jet that meets your needs will be the number of seats and the travel range. Now, instead of learning every single manufacturer and aircraft type out there, you can simply learn the different sizes of aircraft to get a good idea of what you’ll need. Important terms to learn are the frequently used aircraft categories:

Latitude 33 Aviation offers a wide variety of aircraft located throughout the nation. It is important to remember, though, that each jet can be decorated and set up to its owner’s specifications, so you should expect some variety as you do your research.

SAFETY RATINGS

Based on the type of aircraft that fits the needs of your trip, safety becomes your next determining factor. Private jet travel is extremely safe, but not all companies invest in the same level of standards. A key differentiator between charter companies is their safety rating. Wyvern Consulting and Aviation Research Group International, Inc. (ARGUS) are two independent aviation safety organizations. The more reliable charter operators hold the Wyvern Wingman and ARGUS Platinum certifications. Latitude 33 Aviation is part of the top five percent of U.S. private jet charter operators, and the only one in San Diego, to achieve the stringent ARGUS Platinum safety rating. To view the operator registry and their safety ratings, please visit the ARGUS website.

All private jets are regulated by the FAA, which sets minimum standards for maintenance as well as pilots’ experience and training. The best charter operators go above and beyond to exceed those minimum standards. As you are narrowing your search, ask for the operator’s FAA Air Carrier Certificate and D085. A current Air Carrier Certificate proves the company is authorized by the FAA to offer private jets for charter to the public. If they cannot provide this certificate, they are either an illegal charter company or a broker working as a middleman – as a travel agent does with an airline. The D085 is a page from the company’s FAA-approved scope of operations. It lists each aircraft the company operates, with registration (tail) number and serial number. If they quote an aircraft not listed on their D085, they are acting as a broker and another company operates that aircraft. This is normal within industry practice but should be disclosed with the client so the client is able to view the certificate holder.

03. CHOOSE YOUR COMPANY

Once you’ve determined your needs for flying and understand a little more about the industry, you can start looking into different companies that specialize in various types of private jet charters. Here are five different ways you can charter a private jet:

Private jet brokers have a great understanding of the industry and can use their connections to outsource the right plane to fit your needs. Brokers reach out to charter operators and do most of the work for you, in regard to finding an aircraft and arranging the contract details for your trip. (It should be noted that brokers are not required to hold any formal licenses, so it is important to ask about their background and ensure they have qualified knowledge of the industry. Many do belong to professional organizations; however, such as the Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) or the Air Charter Association of North America (ACANA), all of which act to elevate professional standards.) Once hired, a broker is able to walk you through the process and tell you what to expect while booking your chartered flight. Brokers do not own or operate any aircraft; they are essentially just a middleman resource who locate aircraft from operators all over the country or globe.
Like Latitude 33 Aviation, many companies are fixed-fleet operators, which means that the company either owns or manages/operates a fleet of planes that they charter out to people. Charter operators have full control over the aircraft and are the ones that will actually fly the passengers. You can reach out directly to the company and they will help you schedule your flight from their own fleet of planes. The personalized service will often include help scheduling your transportation to and from the airport, as well as any catering or special requests you have while onboard. This is when familiarity with the lingo of the industry comes in handy. Chartering a jet through a fixed-fleet operator is a great option for getaway weekends to exotic locations for the family and won’t tie up any capital or leave you to fret over logistics. In that way, it is very much like renting a car. There may be a repositioning charge, though, which is the cost of paying for the jet to return to its home base. The price you pay will be to charter the entire aircraft, not per passenger, and charged hourly. Ask plenty of questions to ascertain the fees involved, such as daily minimums and taxi fees. Don’t forget to ask about safety: any reputable private jet operator will have safety information readily available (perhaps even featured on their website), and they can also tell you about the possible incident history of their jets and experience of their pilots.
Jet cards are great for high-volume flyers who have repetitive traveling needs. This option allows you to buy a set number of hours (generally starting at 25 hours) from a company and then use those hours towards a specified selection of planes. Essentially, this is similar to receiving a “bulk” discount – purchasing a large number of flight hours upfront in exchange for slightly lower rates. If you travel often for business and need consistent flights, having a jet card would be great for you. Often, you don’t get to choose from a large variety of aircraft, so jet cards work better for consistently similar trips using the same aircraft type. This option for chartering can be a great way to “test run” a few different types of jets, though, to help you discern which you prefer and can be valuable if you are considering private jet ownership.
Another option for those who travel by air regularly is a flight membership. This opportunity will require an initiation fee along with annual dues. Membership benefits range widely by company and program, with some providing access to book aircraft at reduced rates and other memberships providing an unlimited number of flights on pre-determined routes and schedules. A wonderful benefit of having a membership is that you are guaranteed access to a certain fleet of aircraft. Flight memberships, like jet cards, are best for frequent flyers who usually have consistently similar traveling needs.
If you are looking for a last-minute flight, you can check to see if any company has an empty leg/one-way flight for you. One-way flights occur when an aircraft needs to be repositioned, which means they plan to fly empty to a certain location. Most companies will sell these flights at a discount and, although these flights are pre-determined on set days, there could be a flight that works perfectly for your schedule. Some companies offer email notification lists, which you can join to be notified about their upcoming one-way flights. These flights can provide significant discounts when compared to traditional charter flights. For those who are pre-existing members, some companies will even offer unlimited, free access to their empty-leg repositioning flights once you’ve paid your initiation and annual membership fees. One significant drawback to this option is that, if the trip is canceled or changed, you no longer have a way to get to your destination; but if your schedule allows for last-minute flexibility then this is a great bargain, with the bonus of lessening your carbon footprint!

CHARTER A PRIVATE JET WITH LATITUDE 33 AVIATION

Overall, chartering a private jet for pleasure or corporate travel can be a gratifying experience! Your enjoyment of air travel will certainly increase and through chartering a jet you have the opportunity to try various aircraft models, increasing both your familiarity with your preferences, as well as your confidence for future charter bookings. Latitude 33 Aviation’s charter department is available 24/7 for your custom flights and trips. Contact our concierge charter department at 1-800-840-0310 or email Charter@L33Jets.com.

Request a quote for a flight with Latitude 33 Aviation.
Keep up-to-date with Latitude 33 Aviation news, fleet additions, and one-way empty leg flights.
Read our latest blog posts ranging from private aviation trends to tips on how to reduce your jet ownership costs.
It’s a Hot Summer for Private Aircraft Sales

There are many reasons why you or your company may be considering aircraft ownership if you are flying more than you anticipated this year. Summer travel continues to be a hot topic with all the uncertainty as the world opens back up. Major airlines continue to change schedules and drop routes. Commercial flights are fully booked with hundreds of passengers and thousands of touch-points you come in contact with during your entire flight process. Private jet charter welcomed many first-time flyers during 2020. Brokers, operators, and jet cards are introducing more blackout days, fully booked schedules on peak charter days, and higher fees. Increased booking windows and less availability of select aircraft are making an impact on the type of plane and experience you have come to expect. As the demand for travel significantly increased, so have private aircraft sales.

As a private jet owner, you are in control of the schedule, destination, and passengers on board – all without the wasted time waiting in long queues or navigating through crowded major airports.

Your aircraft is available whenever you want it, on your schedule.

BENEFITS OF OWNERSHIP

Tax Benefits

Potential for significant tax savings, including up to 100% bonus depreciation.

Privacy/Safety/Accessibility

Enjoy minimal touch-points, travel with only the passengers you choose, and have control over your aircraft’s schedule and availability.

Cost of Ownership

Managing your asset and planning for the future.

Tax Benefits

 

If your plan is to use your jet primarily for business, there are some potential tax benefits that can help offset the costs of the initial investment. On average, these deductions go above and beyond to help justify the sizable upfront purchase price.

Previously, businesses were able to recover up to 70% of a factory-new jet’s initial cost within three years time, based upon a disparity between the asset’s real-life rate of depreciation and accounting. In addition, a “bonus depreciation” was possible to speed up defined depreciation rates upwards of 50%. However, tax reform passed in late 2017 allows the potential for 100% bonus depreciation for the aircraft in the first year and applies to both new and used aircraft – a key benefit to those who can take advantage of the change. This means that after a business purchases a private jet, it can potentially depreciate the full purchase price of the aircraft immediately. Keep in mind, these potential tax deductions don’t apply to recreational/personal use of the aircraft. It is uncertain how long these tax incentives will remain in place, so many would-be aircraft buyers are choosing to take advantage of these current benefits before they go away.*

Privacy/Safety/Accessibility

Privacy

With the purchase of your own private jet, you can ensure a level of confidentiality and security above all other forms of personal or business travel. Whether it’s required due to your industry or a personal preference, owning your own aircraft places you in control of your personal and private travel requirements. Normally common among high-profile business professionals and celebrities, private jet travel is now becoming more widespread as privacy and personal information concerns are on the rise.

Safety

Private jet travel is extremely safe, but not all companies invest in the same level of standards. You want to work with a company like Latitude 33 Aviation who is among the top five percent of U.S. private jet charter operators to achieve the stringent ARGUS Platinum safety rating. However, safety concerns expand beyond the aircraft. You may have allergies or want to ensure a completely risk-free environment. You may experience sensitivities to perfumes or strong odors or have a compromised immune system. Perhaps you are concerned about your pet’s safety during flights or wary of not having the freedom to bring them along with you when traveling. Private jet ownership offers you the safety and convenience of controlling your surroundings by traveling consistently on your aircraft which is important for those with health concerns.

Accessibility

Accessibility is a huge deciding factor and an added plus for private aircraft owners. Are you having a difficult time securing an aircraft for your private charter flights? Are your charter rates or jet card rates continuing to climb? Are holiday and peak travel period surcharges exceeding your planned budget? Then ownership of a private aircraft is a perfect solution to remove limitations of accessibility for your personal or business life. Whatever your reason, owning a private aircraft will always supply the greatest opportunity for privacy, comfort, and flexibility. These preferences are major factors influencing the decision for many clients to move from chartering to private jet ownership.

Cost of Ownership

 

Attempting to become a jet expert overnight and purchasing an aircraft unassisted alone can be risky. Latitude 33 Aviation will help you select the perfect aircraft for your specific needs and introduce you to the latest aircraft models by industry-leading manufacturers. Whether you are looking for an all-new private jet or pre-owned aircraft for sale, our aviation company based out of Southern California walks you through the selection process to maximize your investment and minimize your risk. In some cases, the cost of ownership could possibly cost less than chartering or being a jet card member depending on your amount of travel.

When purchasing an aircraft, there are five primary categories of planes to choose from. The category is determined by factors like maximum range and passenger-carrying capacity:

Determining which aircraft category is right for you depends on various factors of your travel requirements. Are you traveling for business or pleasure? How many passengers do you normally travel with? How far away are your frequently traveled destinations?

 For example, if you fly shorter local trips between 100-600 miles, a turboprop is a good choice. However, if you travel with a larger party of 11 or more passengers and want to cover longer distances nonstop, then a heavy jet is best-suited for that mission.

If you are thinking about buying a jet to charter out or for personal use, it’s best to include the following in your thought process: average trip length, typical and maximum number of passengers that will be flying, potential savings from chartering, factory-new or pre-owned aircraft, desired acquisition budget, etc.

Finding a private jet to purchase can be a daunting task to pursue alone. It will most likely have you wondering if you’re vetting out all the best aircraft on market or getting a good deal as there are few aircraft valuation tools that are easily accessible. Latitude 33 Aviation makes the entire aircraft purchase process seamless and enjoyable for a buyer. Our dedicated in-house aircraft market intelligence team will build a custom aircraft market report with curated jet options aligned to your specific needs and preferences. Our data is based on a proven mix of real-time market updates, industry trends, market reports, realistic cost of ownership, aircraft history, and comprehensive investigative research. This allows you to make an informed and confident decision on the purchase of a factory direct acquisition or a pre-owned private jet. Information in these reports include the aircraft’s manufacture year, serial number and registration, aircraft location, total number of airframe hours, days on market, condition of paint and interior, pricing expectations, and more. Our experts are upfront about the condition of each aircraft for sale, as we closely analyze maintenance history and inspection reports for a sound purchase. We will also assist with negotiations, inspections, FAA documentation, closing, and delivery of your new aircraft. 

After purchasing an aircraft, there are ongoing costs for managing your private jet. These costs include but are not limited to hangar fees, fuel, landing fees, catering, hull insurance, liability insurance, crew and/or crew training, and average maintenance for parts and labor. When purchasing an aircraft, it is important to understand the total cost of ownership by evaluating not just the acquisition cost but also those for ongoing operations.

PARTNERING WITH AN EXPERT IN PRIVATE AIRCRAFT SALES

Latitude 33 Aviation is a fixed-fleet operator – not a broker, jet card, or app on your phone. We manage one of the newest and largest fleets of light, midsize, super-midsize, and heavy jets in North America. With over 120,000 hours of operational experience, we leverage our expertise to help you acquire the right aircraft that aligns with your mission profile and helps you gain the most out of your private jet asset for your business, family, and lifestyle. Deploying our management services will simplify the ownership experience and reduce your costs with fleet discounts, significant buying power to save on fuel, maintenance, subscriptions, and more. We understand details matter at each phase of the process – cash flows, account reporting, fuel savings, training, maintenance, and a flight crew that allow you to focus on what matters most to you. Let Latitude 33 Aviation help you make the most of your valuable time.

 Ready to purchase an aircraft?

At Latitude 33 Aviation, we are glad to help you through this process. Leverage an industry-recognized group of experts delivering professional, full-service private aircraft sales and acquisition services. Latitude 33 will handle every aspect of the private jet acquisition process for you including market analysis, aircraft selection, contract negotiations, legal and tax referrals, facility selection, on-site pre-buy representation, and jet pilot mentoring. We will gladly answer any questions and help you through the acquisition process. There has never been a better time to start the buying process than right now.

Already have a jet you’re ready to sell? Learn more about our private aircraft sales services.
Keep up-to-date with Latitude 33 Aviation news, fleet additions, and one-way empty leg flights.
Read our latest blog posts ranging from private aviation trends to the top five tips for private jet summer travel.