If possible, almost everyone would want to fly via a private jet rather than the commercial airlines. Thankfully, there are a number of options available to individuals who would like to honestly explore private aviation travel. This exploration starts with the two most obvious forms of having access to a private aircraft- ownership and charters.
Private jet ownership does have it benefits. One can customize their aircraft to suit their specific needs. Meaning if the jet was to be used for business, it can be formed to that end. Or if the jet is to be used primarily for group transport, then it can be outfitted that way too. A private jet has the benefit of being available in a moment’s notice. The primary downside to full ownership is the cost, which starts in the multi-millions of dollars. Then there are the ongoing costs, which could run millions of dollars per year.
The other form most people use for flying in a private aircraft is to charter a jet. A jet charter can take you pretty much anywhere in the world. The upside is that the cost of a charter versus ownership are extremely low. As a matter of fact, when taking a group on a trip, the charter cost compared to commercial travel can become competitive. Some charter companies can provide an aircraft within four to seven hours notice.
There are other options to using a private aircraft beyond ownership or chartering, but they are usually some form of hybrid of the two.
Fractional ownership is where one buys a partial share of a jet with others. Access to the jet is usually given on a first come first serve basis. However, this is rarely utilized because most fractional jet companies provide owners access to their entire fleet of jets. This means an owner can use different jets for different needs or trips. An owner pays for an hourly fuel cost and fees to use the jets beyond purchase price.
Jet cards is tightly associated with fractional programs because the same access is given to the jet fleets. But instead of buying a fractional share of a jet, the program participants purchase a jet card which is essentially a prepaid debit card for private jet travel. Then each flight is deducted from the card at an established hourly rate.
Air taxis are the latest entrant to private aviation. Some operate a set schedule like an airline. Other provide ready take-off at a very discounted rate. Air taxis are able to provide a much lower rate than standard charters by using very light jets (VLJ). Very light jets have a lower initial purchase price, so the company can charge less for each trip. However, VLJ’s have limited capacity (fewer passengers) and range.
As one can see there are options that can make flying aboard a private aircraft more accessible to interested parties.