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The Truth About Aircraft Ownership

6 Common Misconceptions Demystified

Being in the business of private aviation for more than 55 years, we’ve encountered many misconceptions about aircraft ownership. To help you evaluate your private travel investment, we’ve outlined the six, most common jet ownership myths.

Myth No. 1

The Reality:
If you fly fewer than 300 hours per year, whole aircraft ownership is not a sound business investment.1


  • Most cost evaluations do not account for depreciation
  • Variable costs for maintaining and operating a private plane are considerable
  • Even fixed costs can be difficult to estimate. For example, the fixed annual costs for a Midsize Cabin Aircraft were estimated by JETNET to be $599,550 and estimated by Conklin & de Decker to be $460,000; however, the actual total fixed annual costs reported by Executive Jet Management were $1.2M

Myth No. 2

“I have freedom with my own aircraft.”
The Reality:
Owning your own aircraft means you are managing a business.


Whether a single plane or a fleet, time and money are invested in:
  • The hiring/firing of pilots and crew through current pilot shortage2
  • The scheduling of maintenance and operations as well as costs of unplanned incidents
  • Ensuring audit and regulatory schedules are adhered to
  • Managing the legal responsibilities associated with owning your own aircraft
  • Procuring alternative travel options during scheduled maintenance events
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Myth No. 3

“I will use my aircraft all the time.”
The Reality:
On average, 90% of privately owned aircraft go underutilised.2

Benefits of Fractional Jet Ownership

  • With NetJets, efficiency is key. You only buy what you need. Share prices and fixed costs are scaled to match the number of flight hours you plan to use, freeing up capital for other investments
  • You will only pay for the time you’re on your aircraft – not for repositioning. The average repositioning fee is $14,500
  • With access to a fleet of more than 760 aircraft,3 you can upgrade or downgrade to accommodate your travel needs
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Myth No. 4

The Reality:
When you have one aircraft, you fly on its schedule.

Operational + Logistical Needs

  • Aircraft are typically down for at least one week each year for regularly scheduled maintenance, with any unscheduled maintenance in addition to that. Most aircraft typically have even larger inspections that occur every few years, which can result in multiple weeks of downtime
  • Crew vacation and sick days result in more downtime
  • If you are sharing your aircraft, there will be inevitable scheduling issues
  • Depending on the size of your aircraft, you may not have the range or capacity to fly where you need to go
  • Not all aircraft can fly in to all FBOs
  • Unscheduled maintenance leads to interrupted travel or travelling via a questionable charter operator, unless you have a Supplemental Lift arrangement in place
  • In business, aircraft downtime means missed meetings, lost opportunities, and, in some cases, lost business
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Myth No. 5

“If I ever change my mind, I can just sell my aircraft.”
The Reality:
Selling certain aircraft types, especially older ones, can be difficult.

Marketplace Challenges

  • Sale price should account for brokerage fees, inspection, and refurbishment
  • Full aircraft average 400 days on market. At NetJets, if at any point after three years you choose to opt out of our ownership program, we will buy back your share with 90 days’ notice

Myth No. 6

“Flying my own aircraft ensures privacy”
The Reality:
Unfortunately, ownership information and flight data is readily accessible to the public and can be easily exploited for competitive intelligence.

Preserving anonymity

  • At NetJets, tail numbers are never directly associated with the passengers on board a given flight; anonymity and discretion are protected, which may be a significant advantage to those who utilise private aviation for business use

Understand the Difference


From safety standards and accessibility to privacy and cost, there are significant differences between owning a whole aircraft and NetJets’ fractional jet ownership model.Arrow Right Icon
1 When comparing whole versus shared ownership of a 5-year-old large aircraft, including acquisition, operating, and capital costs over a five-year ownership period.
2 ARGUS flight-volume data with aircraft flying fewer than 300 hours per year.
3 Total number of aircraft includes aircraft under management by NetJets and Executive Jet Management.

Explore the Possibilities

We have the right solution to fit your unique travel needs. Become a NetJets Owner today!
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