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Cost Comparisons with NetJets

I think this thread is comparing two different propositions.

We are comparing owner flown private aircraft with a professionally crewed charter.
A crewed aircraft is good if you want to relax in the back with a gin and tonic, bad if you want to do the flying, which most of us on here want to do.

Ownership has risks from unscheduled maintenance, upgrades, etc and high fixed costs. You do the planning for all flights and aircraft maintenance.
Charter is a fixed price so no surprises there, it’s all taken care of.

I could go on but I don’t think a the two alternatives really are alternatives, they are radically different.

Last Edited by Neil at 08 Nov 11:27
Darley Moor, Gamston (UK)

Of course.

But it is interesting, because let’s be honest a TBM or upwards is really a travelling machine. You won’t be going Shoreham to Le Touquet in it. Obviously you could, but it’s unlikely. If you are a good pilot you might go to Zell am See or Courchevel in it, and that’s a plus, but I suspect few owner-pilots do.

And a bizjet even more so. No Zell am See or Courchevel

So, once you are using it as a travelling machine, the comparison is a worthwhile one, and if a chartered jet works out cheaper (for a particular flying pattern) I think that would shock a few people

A typical profile would be repeated flights, say 10 a year, from say Biggin Hill to Malaga, and no flights requiring short field etc.

For high duty cycle travelling, say 500 hrs a year, the charter jet must cost more because you are paying for the two crew plus the company profit margin, and with that many hours you might be its only user.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I got this from a full time bizjet pilot:

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

A few arguments why it still works:

Aircraft “ownership” comes with a high social status. And the NJ customer can say he owns it…

Buying aircraft comes with incredible tax benefits in the US unknown to us Europeans. Those do not apply to charter.

Having a fixed number of hours is great for management as they do not get a high invoice for every trip. Thus they do not have to justify every trip as they would have to with a charter. Take German manager Middelhoff who got in jail for charter flights. On a NJ hour budget that trial might have ended differently.

Probably NJ sells to aircraft owning companies and not to pedestrians. Then owning just a share sounds like a great deal compared to previously owning the whole airplane for just a few hours each year.

Sebastian_G wrote:

Probably NJ sells to aircraft owning companies

Some companies prevents their employees even pilots from flying their aircraft (they usually outsource pilots), so the comparison user+pilot does not make much sense as most of their users will never fly their own aircraft

Big companies will have their own “aviation department” or medium ones will have an “approved aviation provider”, as you mentioned to avoid justifying each trip, NJ is well placed and connected for the latter and sole versus fractional share it is just a matter of hours/year and your budget

For business owner & aircraft owner & pilot, I don’t think this will never make sense financially or emotionally !

EGSX, United Kingdom

Interesting posts. In working out the costings I think you’ve missed the monthly service charge at $9,600 which changes the economics considerably. Your 50 hours including this now comes to $4,266 per hour. Perhaps not so bad if you always fly with five others, but still a lot of money.

I think it is a reasonable comparison to make. From the posts I linked originally I was questioning if stepping up to the bigger toys makes sense financially or even practically. Take Peter’s example (I’m sure he won’t mind)… Should he buy a TBM? He likes flying himself and going places. He already has a very capable plane that is perfect for 90% of the trips he wants to make. He wants to make 100% of his trips so thinks about the TBM so he can go further, higher, faster etc. It would cost loads more than his TB20 AND he can still not do all his trips because the local flights now don’t work and you can’t take good pictures. Buying a TBM would involve lots of time in both initial type training and annual recurrancy; time is money too. So my point was, economically, would he be better off keeping the TB20 and using the money saved to pay for NetJets on the odd occasion to rent that extra capability and save all the extra hassle running a TBM would bring?

Farm Strip in Wales, United Kingdom

One will not be that current flying a TBM by himself if it is only to fill the 10% gap of a TB20, you can get currency by hiring a oilot to fly it tough

But I agree the same resoning can apply to other stuff on all GA levels: have a cheao microlight or tailwheel aircraft for day local and fun flights, save money for ocassional expensive rent of an IFR tourer for longer trips, yes overall you will fly more hours for the same budget…but it does not work very well due to lack of currency on the high end

Last Edited by Ibra at 08 Nov 23:44
EGSX, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

And a bizjet even more so. No Zell am See or Courchevel

Depends. There have been some Citations up there.

TBM’s go Courchevel all the time.

Actually Courchevel works out for many airplane types not normally associated with a 500m runway. Turboprops go there quite a lot, certainly PC12 and also Jetprops e.t.c. I guess the biggest one there was the Dash 7

I reckon a TBM should also be able to do Zell am See quite easily. There is a Citation 500 stationed at Grenchen airport, which is not that much longer so I wonder if there has ever been a Citation there.

LSZH, Switzerland

Well, yes, I regularly see a CJ4 bet airborne in about 300m, and I was in it once when it did. It doesn’t need much more than that to stop, either, having really good brakes. But it isn’t a type one would routinely use for 500m runways especially if wet, and loaded.

The $9.6k monthly does change the economics…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Mooney_Driver wrote:

And a bizjet even more so. No Zell am See or Courchevel

Depends. There have been some Citations up there.

I talked about that jet take off with a local instructor from Courchevel and he told me that it was a one off and the pilot apparently got into some trouble from the authorities later on and the airport no longer takes jets.
I have been to the old runway at Zell am See and also Lienz LOKL with the PA46 Meridian . It works out fine but it is no longer a practical form of transportation when you take off with crew and minimum fuel sufficient for a short VFR flight to the next bigger airport only.

That must be the reason why Pilatus sells so many crazy expensive PC12. Those provide amazing travelling capability out of short runways.
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