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True Cost of Private Jet Ownership

6 Common Misconceptions Demystified

Having been in the business of private aviation for more than 50 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 #1

“It costs less to own my own plane than to participate in fractional jet ownership.”
The Reality:
If you fly fewer than 300 hours per year, whole aircraft ownership is not a sound business investment.1

How much does a private jet cost?

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

Myth #2

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

Additional Investments

Whether a single plane or a fleet, time and money are invested in:
  • Hiring/firing of pilots and crew during the current pilot shortage2
  • Scheduling of maintenance and operations, as well as costs of unplanned incidents
  • Ensuring adherence to audit and regulatory schedules
  • Managing the legal responsibilities associated with owning your own aircraft
  • Procuring alternative travel options during scheduled maintenance events
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Myth #3

“I can go anywhere I want, any time I want.”
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’re 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 traveling 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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Hear why Jeff Gordon made the switch

Jeff Gordon, NASCAR icon and previous whole aircraft owner, discusses how NetJets allows the same access and elevated safety with fewer challenges and time commitments than owning his own aircraft. Arrow Right Icon

Myth #4

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

Marketplace Challenges

There is overcapacity in the marketplace—decreasing the residual value of planes:
  • Sale price should account for brokerage fees, inspection, and refurbishment
  • At NetJets, if at any point after three years you choose to opt out of our ownership program, we will buy back your share

Myth #5

“I’ll use my plane all the time.”
The Reality:
On average, 90% of privately owned aircraft go underutilized.3

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’ll only pay for the time you’re on your aircraft—not for repositioning
  • With access to a fleet of more than 750 aircraft,4 you can upgrade or downgrade to accommodate your travel needs
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Myth #6

“Flying my own aircraft ensures privacy”
The Reality:
Private aviation has long been used by companies and individuals who wish to travel discreetly, however, ownership information and flight data is readily accessible to the public and can be easily exploited for competitive intelligence.

Preserving anonymity

  • As 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 utilize private aviation for business use

Whole Aircraft vs. NetJets Fractional Jet Ownership

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 cabin aircraft, including acquisition, operating, and capital costs over a 5-year ownership period.
2 AIN, June 2017.
3 ARGUS flight-volume data with aircraft flying less than 300 hours per year.
4 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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