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What Are The Hidden Costs of Private Jet Ownership?

There are many different jet companies that are providing the aircraft for ownership.  The differences in the jets available depend on the size and the needs of each individual owner of the aircraft.  A private jet can be owned and operated by anyone that finds their needs are met by the ownership of a private jet, but what are some of the hidden costs of ownership.

Fuel: Fuel costs are as volatile as any market.  According to the Energy Information Administration, the average nationwide cost of jet fuel across the United States in November of 2009 was $4.24 per gallon. Assuming the average private jet gets three miles per gallon, the fuel cost would be $1.41 per mile.  That is much higher than your average vehicle on the road, but you have to remember that time is a factor when taking a private jet over a more traditional road vehicle.

Pilots: A pilot for your aircraft can cost anywhere from $20,000 per year to $120,000 per year.  There are factors such as benefits and other costs that factor into hiring a single pilot. The other factor is of course a co-pilot that can also be a part of the crew. Experience and ratings of the pilot are factors that will increase or decrease their salary.

Catering: Catering costs can vary depending on your needs and the number of people or passengers.  Some of the management companies out there can provide these services.

Many management companies can put together an overall management package price from $100,000 to $200,000 per year depending on the needs of each individual or company.

Corporate Jet Aviation Market Healing

I have been reading a number of articles lately about the pros and cons of owning a corporate jet or why companies should be using corporate jets in their budgets and plans for 2010 and 2011.  I am seeing that it seems to be a trend that the bottom has been reached and the slide has stopped.  What does this mean for corporate jet manufacturers and private jet users?  It means the market will begin to heal.

Kate Sarsfield recently wrote about the lifting of the gloom and reported about The Teal Group study about business aviation:

“Business aircraft have been hit harder by the economic crisis than any other aerospace market,” says Richard Aboulafia, aerospace analyst with the US Teal Group. “After unprecedented growth [in 2006 and 2007], the market fell by 24.3% [in value of deliveries], he says. Aboulafia is confident, however, that the decline is over. “The good news is that the market has stopped falling, and some of the leading indicators offer encouragement.”

With the bottom reached and the outlook about to be stronger, the sales of corporate jets will be on the rise.  Looking through more of the Teal Groups report, it appears that the biggest battle is going to be in some of the public perception of the use of corporate jets.  The benefits of using a corporate jet is one of the missions of the No Plane No Gain site.  I looked through some of the facts that they list for the benefits of using a corporate jet for your company and some of them are not as obvious as benefits.  One of the facts that I thought stood out as a reason businesses should consider using private company jets is:

When using a business airplane, employees can meet, plan and work en route. Employees can discuss proprietary information in a secure environment and without fear of eavesdropping, industrial espionage or physical threat.

Many jets can be used as offices in the skies and when on sales trips and meetings or other uses that may not be so obvious to the public.  The benefits of using a private corporate jet need to be more evangelized among the companies that are using them and certainly worked into their plans for the future as more and more travel is becoming restrictive.  The market it healing.  Now while the market is still down is the perfect time to begin thinking of adding a corporate jet to your plans for the future.

The dream private plane …. Mysterious Airbus A380

Last June The Daily Mail in the UK ran a story about what is projected to be the world’s largest, most luxurious private aircraft in the world–it’s a converted Airbus A380 and due for delivery sometime within the next two years.  In some ways, from the descriptions, this makes riding on Air Force One look like riding in coach on your least favorite carrier.

Here, we won’t leave you to your imagination about what will be on this fabled plane, which according to the Daily Mail, the owner has yet to be identified but is presumed to be a Saudi prince.

The plane comes with a pull up garage, a large window on the bottom so you can look out at the ground immediately below your feet.  There’s five suites, a prayer room that has mats that always rotate toward Mecca.  Oh, and don’t forget the private concert hall, Turkish marble tub, and a board room with holographic projecting screens for conference calls with those back on the ground.  There are even 20 sleepers for guests.  And did we mention the suites also have king-sized beds?

This is an amazing design and the features are incredible.

But we all know from having ridden in coach at one time or another, that not all private aircraft are like this one.  Still, what this aircraft will offer that other private jets offer that you can’t get in coach, is convenience, privacy and the ability to go when necessary.  And that’s so critical to executives in this day of 24/365 motion around the world.  Business deals can be secured and closed with an in-person meeting.  Few things matter more than the genuine warmth of a handshake and a look in the eye of another to help ensure trust in a deal.

So now that you’ve seen pie in the sky (you know there’s a bakery in this plane) what features would you prefer in your own private plane?  Obviously, we’re talking about the more practical features, but surely some day, some of the features on the Airbus A380 pictured above might make their way into the standard features category.  If that were the case, would you be hoping for the glass flooring or the bath with Turkish marble to come first?

Iceland Volcano Eruption Closing Down Air Travel Across Europe

In case you’ve missed it, a volcano in Iceland erupted on Wednesday blowing ash and fine particles high into the atmosphere. The news media is reporting that these particles are flour like, but the size of sugar grains and that’s very bad for jet engines. As a result, several countries in Europe have shut down their airports. England and parts of Europe have restricted air flight to emergency flights only.

If you’re on the way to Europe or trying to fly through it, please check with your country’s flight information systems. There are of course alternatives to travel such or trains and ferries, however, CNN is reporting those are largely full.

Heathrow Airport in London is near silent. CNN in Paris says their airport is closed until 8 p.m. tonight and Air France says it’s not going to fly until 8 a.m. Saturday morning.