When you’ve decided that you want to buy your own jet to charter, one thing to remember is that you don’t have to do it yourself – there are aircraft buying consultants and aircraft management companies who specialize in helping you choose the right aircraft for your needs. Still, it’s important for you to be well aware of the different considerations that go into choosing the right aircraft.
Your costs will go well beyond the purchase price of the aircraft. You’ll also need to take into account the operating costs per hour, maintenance costs, and how much you’ll need to set aside in case certain crucial parts need replacements.
Once you’ve determined how much you’re willing to spend, plan out how you intend to pay for it. Ideally, you would be able to pay the full purchase price in cash, but when this is not possible, make sure you compare interest rates before committing to an aircraft loan.
3. Aircraft type and range
The types of flights you intend to offer (which would, in turn, be determined by your location and the clientele in your area) determine the type of aircraft you would need to purchase. Do you need a small plane for sightseeing trips at nearby tourist spots, or a longer-range jet for business trips across the world?
4. Aircraft fuel efficiency and operating costs
These determine whether that aircraft would allow you to price competitively, or is too expensive to profit from.
5. Aircraft condition
If you’re buying a used plane, make sure to complete a comprehensive pre-purchase evaluation. Check to make sure the maintenance logs are complete and be aware of its damage history. Purchasing a used plane that looks to be in better condition than it really is can set you up for huge repair expenses and negative profit.
Again, for used aircraft, determine the flight hours and life expectancy or TBO (time before overhaul) of the engine. While greater flight hours can mean a lower aircraft purchase price, make sure it isn’t completely negated by the large cost of having to overhaul your engine soon after purchase.
See how much corrosion is present, and whether or not the plane would require a complete paint job, which is costly. Also inspect the condition of the flight control surfaces (e.g., ailerons, elevators, rudder, spoilers) as well as landing gear.
The condition of the interiors should also be a major consideration, because a total cabin refurbishment, especially for luxury transport, can require large sums.
Hull and aircraft liability insurance are the two most costly ones, and they vary greatly depending on the type and value of your plane.
Consult with a tax professional, ideally one who is familiar with aviation business taxes, to determine just how much tax you would have to pay when purchasing the aircraft, and yearly taxes thereafter.
The salaries of the pilots you would have to hire will also depend on the aircraft type, so make sure you can actually afford to crew the particular jet you plan to buy.¬