Aircraft Ownership

The Real Costs Behind Owning a Private Jet in 2020

There’s a big difference between buying a private jet and owning one. Like any vehicle, the sticker price you pay for a plane is just the start of the cost of ownership. Next comes upkeep and maintenance, fuel, and repairs. To really get the most out of a private jet, there are even more costs to consider, including the cost of licensing the craft, registering it, staffing crew, and more. All told, a private jet isn’t just a big investment; it’s a big ongoing investment.

A lifetime commitment

There’s a certain undeniable romance in purchasing a private jet. The idea of having a way to travel thousands of miles from home at the drop of a hat — to explore new environments, eat new cuisine and meet exciting, new people — is alluring. Before you make the leap, however, you should be aware of the costs associated with actually owning a private plane.

Let’s put it this way. If you bought a new car — even a gorgeous, new BMW — you wouldn’t expect it to run forever without breaking down. You’d need to take your car saw a mechanic from time to time to ensure it was in good working order. That miracle of German engineering is a blast to drive, but it doesn’t run on magic. You need fuel to keep it going. A private plane is no different. In fact, there are costs associated with a private plane that you’d never see associated with a car or truck.

Private planes, by the numbers

Let’s start with the entry-level price of a reliable private jet. For a plane that seats seven, like the Cirrus Vision SF50, you can expect to spend $2 million on a plane just off the assembly line. Once the plane is in the hangar, owners can expect to spend up to $400,000 on overall fuel and maintenance costs. If you go one tier higher, those annual fees can begin to triple, to $1.2 million.

Not impressed? Maybe you need a little more room. The Gulfstream 450 seats up to 19 people and can be bought brand-new for the bargain price of $40 million (give or take). You can find it for roughly half of that price on the refurbished market. Once you’ve got your gorgeous new (or new-to-you) G450 in the hangar, the annual cost of operating is the same: about $4 million every year.

That’s not the end of your costs, however. There’s insurance ($40,000 a year), hangar fees (between $80,000 and $160,000 a year) and state-of-the-art, must-have add-ons. Plus, you’ll need a crew to operate that private jet, too. The costs keep climbing.

Ideal for the right consumer

With all the costs associated with owning a private jet, you may wonder why anyone would invest the money. The answer is simple: convenience and comfort. You’ve heard the expression, “time is money.” The people who have discovered success in their line of work understand this maxim to be undoubtedly true.

As a result, when your business consistently takes you to the far-flung corners of the country or the world, you must get there quickly and with minimal hassle. What’s more, a private jet can reach an untold number of airstrips, cities, and countries that are all-but inaccessible to commercial flights. That’s why countless companies and successful entrepreneurs rely on a stand-by private jet to ensure they’re getting where they need to go, when they need to get there — regardless of the high costs of ownership.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

Lingering Fears Over Coronavirus Push Private Jets Back into the Skies

The United States, like much of the world, is beginning to transition back to some semblance of normalcy as the COVID-19 pandemic comes under control. But the threat of the virus is far from gone, and it lingers fresh in many people’s minds. This is part of the reason commercial aviation is still suffering and why private aviation is beginning to pick up. Signs seem to indicate that while devastating for a quarter or two, COVID-19 won’t necessarily lead to the economic crisis many predicted. Instead, it continues to be a prominent health concern.

Business skyrockets in the midst of a pandemic

For private charters, the coronavirus outbreak has proven to be more of a health concern than an economic one. Since March, companies have seen record-breaking numbers of new customers — and they’re not business executives. Wealthy families and individuals are purchasing flight hours due to lingering fears about the safety of commercial airlines. Although business is only a fraction of what it was last year, the private aviation industry is faring much better than its commercial counterpart.

For those who can afford it, the high price of flying privately is not a factor when their health is on the line. It’s well worth spending tens of thousands of dollars on jet cards if it means protecting families and business partners in high age brackets and with underlying health concerns. And, with countries reopening their borders, private aviation is sure to take off as customers launch their business and vacation plans.

Private aviation expands its client base

With business ventures in a lull, corporations aren’t scheduling private flights for their associates. Instead, the private aviation industry is now catering to athletes who normally would have flown commercial.

Another key demographic includes wealthy individuals looking to stay domestic for their summer vacations. Appealing to vacationers also helps breathe life back into the hotel industry. Some jet brokers are even partnering with hotel chains to score client discounts. And it’s working. Companies like SmartFlyer have seen a huge spike in domestic charters since March — as much as 400-500% increases in bookings.

Private jet owners also are encouraged to take to the skies. Keeping a jet in its hangar can actually be more costly than flying it. A jet that grows cold on the ground means its pilot has to be recertified once it’s time to fly again. Plus, owners can rent their plane to clients to gain revenue and keep their pilots employed.

Private jets are cheaper than ever

The global pandemic isn’t the only factor luring people towards private jets. Companies have started offering deals that are hard to pass up. Many employ a matchmaking method where two customers with similar destinations consent to sharing a private jet. In addition to COVID-19 discounts, flyers can enjoy paying half the price for a flight thanks to this matchmaking.

An even more popular tactic for bolstering the balance sheet has been the sale of special jet cards or flex-spending cards. These options garner cash up front, allowing jetsetters to fly later with varying stipulations. For individuals bullish on a return to normalcy before the end of the year, it’s a great investment.

At the bottom of it all is one clear trend: private jets are getting back into the sky with unanticipated rapidity. While commercial airliners continue to suffer, private jets are set to thrive in the post-COVID-19 travel environment, primarily for health-related reasons.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

Your Private Jet Isn’t Airworthy Anymore. Now What?

The service life of private jets can reach up to 50 years, or 27,500 flight hours. But that’s only with proper maintenance and the assurance your plane doesn’t encounter any major airworthiness issues.

All it takes is lackluster maintenance, out-of-date equipment, or even a particularly bad bird strike to keep a plane grounded. If enough problems accumulate, your aircraft’s end of life date may come well before it reaches the 50-year mark. It leaves you asking the simple question of what you can or should do with an aircraft that’s reached the end of its serviceable life.

Option 1: Sell it to someone else

Not every airworthiness issue is a death sentence. In fact, “airworthiness” is an extremely subjective term that’s only recently been defined in a legal sense, as “in a condition for safe operation.” A blown engine is a clear airworthiness issue, but under the recognized definition, you might argue that a defective seatbelt is as well. The severity of an issue doesn’t necessarily correlate to plane airworthiness.

Take the recent ADS-B mandate, for example. The cost to upgrade can vary based on the plane model and year. For some aircraft owners, it’s just not worth it. Non-compliance with ADS-B might keep them grounded, but it’s a problem someone else might be willing to make the investment in. Here, the natural solution is to sell the plane.

Likewise, an accumulation of squawks on an airworthiness report might give some owners a headache. They sell the plane to get any remaining value out of it, and pass it off to someone willing to make a moderate investment in its airworthiness.

Option 2: Sell it for parts

If your aircraft is truly down for the count, it may still have some life left to give — in the form of spare parts. The engines of a midsized jet can sell for up to $20,000 alone! In fact, engine parts and components represent about 90% of the value of a jet’s salable parts. This isn’t to say there isn’t value in other essential components, though. Cockpit technology, furniture, and landing gear all represent lucrative opportunities for resale parts.

What can a jet fetch if broken down for parts? Based on available data, a $12 million, 8-passenger, midsized jet sold in the 2000s might fetch about $100,000 if broken down into parts. It may seem like a minuscule return on investment — especially if you’re the original owner — but it’s better than declaring a total loss or spending that and more to remedy airworthiness issues.

Option 3: Scrap and recycle it

Let’s say your jet is a wash. An engine fire has destroyed the most valuable component of the plane, the fuselage is 30 years old, and the interior is nothing spectacular. It’s going to take hundreds of thousands to get it up and running again, and at this point you’d rather just buy a new jet. What do you do?

The answer is to scrap it and recycle it. This option involves selling off usable parts — which might fetch a nominal fee — and getting scrap value for the rest. Again, avionics and vital components tend to fetch good per-part rates. Additionally, cockpits and fuselages can be broken down and sold off for a variety of purposes, or recycled into their lowest common elements (usually aluminum alloy).

When it’s time to part ways with a plane, there are several options depending on the condition of the craft. The better the condition or the more viable the parts, the more opportunity to squeeze some small value from it before it goes.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

The Biggest Boon to BizAv Isn’t Boomers — It’s Millennials

Millennials ruin everything — at least that’s what news headlines might have you believe. The truth is, millennials aren’t harbingers of doom for traditional industries — they’re disruptors. The industries falling by the wayside aren’t being banished by millennials, they’re just failing to adapt to their needs. It won’t be long before BizAv faces a make-or-break reckoning with millennials. Thankfully, the industry is already undergoing early-stage transformations to accommodate them.

Millennials embrace BizAv on their terms

Millennials are typically defined as people born in the early-to-mid 1980s, who grew up in the 1990s and entered the workforce in the mid-to-late 2000s. Now, this group is starting to settle into their careers, achieving higher positions in companies and assuming more responsibility for how modern businesses run.

With millennials at the wheel as decision-makers, business is changing. Millennials have embraced private aviation, but on their own terms. They’re more likely to charter a private aircraft but less likely to pay exorbitant fees to do so. This example and many others have put BizAv in a position for change.

A look at the disruptors

What do millennials want from BizAv? All it takes is one look at the industry trends driving it (and holding it back) to see what their priorities are:

  • Fractional flights — As decision-makers, millennials are less likely to make the expensive purchase of a new corporate jet. A cost they’re more willing to absorb is fractional ownership of a jet. Fiscal responsibility meets accessibility to flights. And with flexibility, productivity, and timeliness the top three factors millennials look for in flying, fractional flights are a natural fit.
  • Flying as a service — Similar to fractional flights, on-demand flights or flying as a service (FaaS) is ripe for potential in the new BizAv market. Following software as a service (SaaS) models, FaaS provides on-demand service where and when it’s needed, without the massive costs of full-time jet ownership.
  • Skiplagging — Nothing shows the disdain for high-cost flights and complicated commercial logistics like the skiplagging trend. This practice involves booking a flight with multiple layovers, with one of the layovers being the ultimate destination. By skipping the last leg of the flight, passengers get to their destination cheaper.
  • Jet cards — Customization and flexibility are two traits millennials demand more than anything else. They want solutions that fit their problems. Jet cards have proven themselves as a tailorable solution to the problem of chartering flights. With hundreds of options and infinitely customizable variables, jet cards have made BizAv more accessible to millennials.

Millennials are overwhelmingly driving change in the BizAv industry. They’re doing so by demanding a higher caliber of service, for a lower rate, with more options. It’s the same way they’ve disrupted most other traditional industries.

BizAv has time to adapt

Sweeping change to BizAv won’t come overnight — but make no mistake, it’s already begun. Industry leaders have been keen to recognize it. Companies such as Surf Air, Wheels Up, JetSuiteX, and others have positioned themselves to meet the demands of millennials booking private charters. Their entire value proposition focuses on meeting the criteria millennials have set down: customization, affordability, convenience, and timeliness.

Millennials are still rising the ranks of the workforce and accumulating personal wealth. We may still be as far off as a decade from seeing their real impact on BizAv. But, as is the case with all forms of change, early adaptation is proactive. It’s why many private air charter companies have already begun answering the demands of their growing millennial customer base.

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring or selling a private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at sales@L-Lint.com, call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.

A Pro-and-Con Breakdown of Buying vs. Leasing Private Aircraft


If your business has recognized the need for a private aircraft, the question becomes whether to buy or lease one. There are pros and cons to both, dictated primarily by your business’s access to capital and its attitude toward having an asset (or liability) of this magnitude on the balance sheet. Should you buy an aircraft or lease one? It depends!

The case for leasing

Did you know that more than a third of all aircraft operated by airlines are leased? In the past decade, there has actually been a rising trend in aircraft leases, as opposed to purchases. Even buyers who have the cash on hand to purchase a jet are choosing to lease. Why?

Leasing an aircraft has several clear benefits, chief among them affordability. Not only do you forgo the upfront cost of purchasing a jet outright, but the cost of ongoing ownership is also much lower. This means more cash on hand in the immediate, as well as over the long-term. Businesses can take the capital they may have spent on an aircraft and put it to work elsewhere, growing the business or paying down debt.

Speaking of debt, buying a jet outright automatically adds a burden to the balance sheet. Because aircraft depreciate so quickly, your aircraft will weigh down the wrong side of the books as a liability if you purchase outright. Leasing keeps it off of the balance sheet.

Another bonus to leasing? You’re not stuck with a jet you don’t want. Depending on whether you choose a capital or operating lease, it’s easy to walk away from a jet when the terms of your lease are up. No finding a buyer; no writing off depreciated costs.

Why to buy?

There’s a saying: “If it floats or flies, rent it.” This is in reference to the high cost of ownership that comes with boats and aircraft. However, what’s not represented in that quippy saying is the major convenience that comes in addition to this cost. Sure, you’ll spend more to maintain your aircraft, but you’ll also get maximum convenience from it.

The first and best reason to buy a jet is to turn it into a revenue stream. Hiring a jet management company and chartering your jet privately is a great way to make money for your business or recoup the cost of your jet. Because you financially own the aircraft, any money it makes flows directly into your books.

Owning a jet that makes money also means being able to list it as an asset on your balance sheet, not just a costly liability. Couple this with depreciation write-downs over time and you’ve got an asset that keeps getting more and more valuable to your operations! And if you’re ever in a tight spot and need the cash, there’s always a secondary sales market for well-maintained aircraft.

Which is right for you?

Do you have $3-90 million to put into a jet? How about a plan for turning your investment into a revenue stream? Is there any exit strategy for your jet if you no longer need or want it?

Observing your situation and understanding the pros and cons of both leasing and buying an aircraft can help level out the landscape for making your decision. It all depends on your financial stability, demand for private air travel, and time horizon for ownership.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

Your Guide to Aircraft Inspections: When, Why, and What’s Involved

Like any other mode of transportation, aircraft are subject to inspections and testing to ensure safety and general compliance. Jets require focused, specialized inspections that check everything from equipment function to regulatory compliance to the condition of the aircraft before a sale. Every inspection is important — and none of them are optional.

Get to know the various aircraft inspections

Aircraft are subject to several key types of inspections, which are used to ensure their safety. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires the following aircraft inspections to ensure that jets remain in working order and meet applicable safety standards. These inspections don’t only promote safer aviation, they also improve compliance with guidelines concerning emissions, technology, and intended aircraft usage.

  • 100-hour inspection — Any aircraft that’s used to give instruction to or carry any person, other than a crew member, requires a 100-hour inspection. As the name implies, this type of inspection occurs after every 100-hour interval the aircraft is in service.
  • Annual inspection — The FAA requires all aircraft to undergo an annual inspection. Except for a few select cases, you’re not permitted to operate any aircraft unless it has received an annual inspection within the preceding 12 calendar months. A mechanic with an Inspection Authorization (IA) from the FAA must complete this inspection.
  • Progressive inspection — A progressive inspection offers flexibility to owners of high-use aircraft. These inspections take place in shorter intervals, periodically, rather than in a single comprehensive inspection. Aircraft owners who wish to minimize downtime with progressive inspections must request permission from the FAA.
  • Special inspections — Several major systems and parts in an aircraft require special attention to ensure consistent, safe operation. Special inspections of the altimeter and transponders require consideration every 24 months, and every 12 months an inspection of installed emergency locator transmitters must be done.

Keeping your aircraft on a routine schedule with these inspections planned far in advance will help you avoid various fines, fees, and compliance issues.

Scheduling inspections

Repair and maintenance of aircraftTimely inspections are essential for maintaining FAA compliance. Failing to meet strict inspection guidelines leaves you vulnerable to fees and citations that can prevent you from operating your aircraft.

To avoid the cost, inconvenience, and risks associated with delayed inspections, it’s important to be as consistent as possible with all of your required inspections. Resolve any identifiable issues found during an inspection as quickly as possible to maintain compliance.

The best way to maintain a consistent inspection schedule and to achieve timely aircraft repairs is to establish a relationship with a company that offers comprehensive inspections, maintenance, and repairs. By working with the same company regularly, you benefit from consistent service, uniform records, and transparent communication.

Regardless of whether you need an aircraft inspection or you’re looking for a new jet, a consultation with a reputable professional is the best place to start.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. We pride ourselves on our extensive knowledge of the aviation industry and our commitment to exceptional customer service. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.