Fractional Jet Ownership, Jet Cards & Private Jet Charter

At PrivateFly we often get asked: "What's the difference between fractional private jet ownership, jet cards and chartering a private jet for each flight?"

Here's the PrivateFly comparison guide to fractional jet ownership, jet cards, jet sharing and private jet charter.

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Prices | Fractional Flying | Flexibility | Jet Sharing | Availability | Comparison

What is fractional jet ownership?

Fractional jet ownership was pioneered in 1986 by NetJets. The basic model is that you own a share of a private jet rather than having to own the entire aircraft - whether this is a quarter, an eighth, etc. A sixteenth share typically would give you 50 hours of flying time.

Fractional ownership, jet card & jet charter prices

The most cost effective way to fly by private jet depends on the type of flight, and the amount of flying that you do in a year.

Some private jet customers will compare the price for each flight through their fractional ownership, jet card and on the private jet charter marketplace. In the large majority of cases, it is more cost effective to charter private aircraft as and when you need it, rather than use fractional jet ownership. Use our private jet quote challenge to compare flight prices.

However, if you find yourself chartering a private jet multiple times a year, it may be worth investing in a jet card. Check out our new PrivateFly Jet Card and see how it could benefit you.

When is it better to use fractional ownership flights?

The majority of private flights are more cost effective by private charter. That's because it can be difficult to get a bottom line price for fractional jet ownership, depending on the operator and your contract which may have additional charges and fees, such as fuel surcharges.

However if you fly a lot of one way journeys or fly from regions on the extreme edges of continents (eg Greenland) it can sometimes be more cost effective to use fractional jet ownership, as you only pay for the time you are in the air.

Remember when you are comparing the private jet marketplace (if you are prepared to be flexible) you can find empty legs for your flight, which could be up to 75% off the standard jet charter price.

Fractional & jet card restrictions

You need to be aware of your fractional ownership or jet card's conditions, but some common issues to consider are:

  • Availability of plane - Contract agreements vary between 4-48 hours notice before flying
  • Short leg waivers - Most contracts require a minimum charge of 1 hour flight time
  • Contracted type of aircraft - Extra charges may be added if you need a different aircraft type for your flight
  • Overfly rules - If you want to fly more hours than your contract allows, check for additional charges or if you can use hours from the next year's allowance
  • Underfly rules - If you don't use up your contract hours, check if you can roll the hours over to the next year
  • Peak / busy flight periods - Smaller fractional jet ownership shares may have more restrictions during these times
  • Ferry waivers - Some contracts may only offer this if you are flying within certain regions - defined as a primary service area
  • Selling on fractional jet shares - If you decide that you want to sell a fractional jet share (contracts can be up to 5 years) then depending on the operator you may not be able to sell this on the open market and are obliged to sell this back to the operator based on their own valuation, resulting in a lower than expected price being given.

Jet Sharing

Some private jet companies are now offering the "jet share" concept, flyers can buy spare seats on a private aircraft which has already been chartered.

Whilst this can offer a cost effective way of travelling by private jet, it does mean that users can't take advantage of the flexibility of private jet flight. You have to travel when and where the original flight charterer has arranged. If the flight ends up being cancelled or delayed your flight will no longer be available.

Chartering a private jet empty leg (at prices up to 75% off a standard charter) can offer you cost effectiveness and you still retain the control of the flight route and time.

Aircraft availability

Fractional jet operators guarantee that you will get the aircraft type that you have purchased or you will be upgraded.
Through PrivateFly's private jet charter network of 7000+ global accredited aircraft, your required aircraft type should always be available, or we can recommend a suitable alternative.

Fractional ownership schemes and jet cards will normally guarantee you an aircraft within a specified amount of time. Ad hoc private jet charter means you could charter an aircraft from any local airport and be in the air within an hour.

Fractional ownership, jet card & charter comparison

  Fractional Jet Card Charter
Cash Commitment Initial large payment followed by
annual management fees and flight costs
Initial large payment Pay as you go
Price comparison Fixed rates Fixed rates Lowest market rates
Aircraft type Fixed by contract Fixed by contract Most suitable aircraft for the flight
Contract length Normally 2-3 years Normally 1 year No tie in or long term commitment required
Guaranteed response time Subject to contract Subject to contract Immediate flights subject to nearest available aircraft
Aircraft positioning charges None within a restricted contract service area None within a restricted contract service area Included in charter price

Private Jet Charter

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