Introduction to Fractional Jets
Although more and more people are becoming aware of fractional chartered jets, there remains some confusion. In this article, we wanted to address some of the confusion, providing answers that will help you understand what this is and why it is so beneficial. With fractional chartered jets, you actually have a contract for a specific timeframe during which time you own one/sixteenth of the aircraft. However, this share size is usually broken down as 50 flying hours annually but most often additional shares in one/sixteenth or one/thirty-two increments can be added on.
Another common question pertains to the locations where these chartered jets fly. Typically, these aircraft will go anywhere you want, of course within reason. For instance, you would not expect chartered aircraft to take you into a dangerous zone where travel warnings exist. In addition, if you were to fly further than North America, the company would need to know so the appropriate aircraft could be chosen and priced for you.
For hours used, a calculation is used for time when the plane's wheels are up after takeoff and then again, when the wheels hit the runway after landing. In addition, most companies will add six minutes before takeoff and six minutes after takeoff for taxing time. While some people compare fractional chartered service with a timeshare, there is a distinct difference. You see, timeshares only open to you a few weeks out of every year. However, with a fractional chartered jet, the aircraft is available to you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In most cases, only a four-hour notice is required for the plane to be waiting for you.
Of course, cost is always an important factor with flying. Typically, four separate things come into play for cost. Three of these are fixed while one can change. First, you have initial capital, which is much like your lease payment. This money is what pays for your ownership share, specific to the type of aircraft used. The second fixed price is the monthly management fee. This fee consists of the crew's training, as well as salary, insurance, and hangar space. Then, you have the base hourly rate, which is the cost of each hour flown to include normal catering, aircraft maintenance, and landing fees. The variable fee is for Fuel Component Adjustment. This particular fee is simply added to the base hourly rate.
Now, with commercial flights, you know the crew is specifically trained to FAA standards. Just as with this type of travel, fractional charter jet travel must also meet strict guidelines. For instance, pilots are required to maintain or exceed commercial airline counterparts. That means each pilot must pass a very tough process that relates to experience, along with intellectual and operative skills. Additionally, every pilot must have 2,500 hours of flying time, 500 hours turbine powered aircraft time, 500 hours multi-engine aircraft time, and an Air Transport Pilot certificate. When shopping around for a company to work with, use these numbers as the minimum needed.
Finally, since many people fly for pleasure, they want to take the family pet or children with them. Most fractional chartered jet companies allow this. However, you want to make sure the aircraft has a pet safety belt for any animals more than 25 pounds. If the animal is smaller, then you could use a pet carrier. For your children, if they are older than age five, but under the age of 18, they are allowed to travel unaccompanied. Just as with standard commercial flights remember that certain restrictions apply, which are based on FAA regulations so you will need to ask.