Buying or Chartering a Business Jet - Which Option is Better?


Most people understand that a private jet comes with a high price tag. Many companies have purchased private jets and then lived to regret this purchase. From regular maintenance and upkeep to the cost of hiring a flight crew, the expenses can easily add up. This is why some are considering whether it's a better choice to rent rather than buy. These are a few considerations before deciding whether to purchase or charter a business jet.

High Overhead Expenses

A private jet is going to cost a company a significant amount, even if it's not being used on a regular basis. Most private jets will cost anywhere between $5-50 million as the purchase price. However, this is just the initial cost and doesn't factor in costs accrued over time.

Your company's jet will need to have a flight crew, maintenance team, scheduled safety inspections, storage space, and much more. Even if you don't use the plane more than a few times a year, these costs remain fairly constant. When going through the cost considerations, make sure to get a quote on how much it will cost to just have a jet for the company in addition to the cost per flight.

Obviously, private jet charter flights don't come with the overhead costs. The costs of a private jet hire are built into the flight price and may very well be less than the cost of purchasing and owning a jet. Even for companies that use a private aircraft on a regular basis, they may be able to work with private jet charter companies to get a better deal. Since the company's needs are going to be different when it comes to flying, review the costs for each option before making a decision.

Increased Versatility

One of the reasons why companies purchased their own jets was that they were available at a moment's notice. Since the business world is constantly running, having access to a flight at any time is important, especially for a large business that conducts meetings around the world. This doesn't rule out the potential benefit of a private jet rental though.

Companies that work with charter jets are able to schedule point-to-point aircraft charter flights in short amount of time. In some cases, it may even be faster than using the company jet. Since private jet charter companies such as Paramount Business Jets are in the flying business, they have the expertise to get people where they need to go efficiently. When considering a charter jet company, ask them about giving short notice prior to needing a charter flight. The answer may be surprising, so don't rule it out.

Consider Needs over Time

With more and more businesses doing their work electronically instead of in-person, businesses should also consider how their company is going to change over time. It's still fairly common for companies to fly their employees to different destinations for meetings or other events. However, don't be surprised if this changes over time.

Even today, more people are attending meetings via teleconference instead of showing up in person. Over time, this change is expected to continue. Advances in technology make it even easier to conduct business without having to send a team of people around the world. While it's unlikely that this need will ever disappear completely, consider whether the company's private jet will see more or less need over time.

If it's anticipated that the number of flights per year will decrease, then a chartered jet service may be the best option. Companies may want to consider how their private flight needs have changed over time to determine if the trend is up or down. They should also consider what their customers and partners expect from them in terms of in-person interaction. Once again, meeting in person can be important, but partnering companies may prefer fewer in-person meetings, which can also impact flight requirements. All of these variables should be considered when making a decision.

Other Travel Costs

There are many missed costs that companies don't consider when they're making a decision about purchasing a jet versus chartering a jet. Consider the time lost when moving personnel on trips. If they've lost a few hundred hours as part of the travel delays, then it's important to consider the value of that time. Although many people can work while traveling, there are still going to be costs associated with these time losses since traveling does not allow for normal productivity.

It's also important to consider the additional costs that are not directly related to the flight itself. For example, the hotel costs and dining costs can add up over time. Where companies have some control over these costs is if the flight arrives and leaves their destination as desired. Consider whether the company's jet is able to travel more efficiently or whether the charter company can make the trip faster. A charter jet company may have more efficient flying times and schedules, which can save some additional costs.

Similarly, is it possible to get the personnel as close to their desired location as possible? Renting a vehicle and traveling by car to and from the final destination is going to cost both time and money. A private charter company can often get key people closer to their final destination - and usually in a shorter amount of time since they don't have to connect through an airport and may have faster travel routes.

Consider Safety

Although most of the considerations mentioned place the focus on saving money, safety is also a key consideration. Private jet companies that do their due diligence when it comes to safety will offer a safe flight every day. They are often certified by independent safety consultants and have an excellent reputation. A private jet owned by the same company will have to follow the FAA safety and maintenance guidelines, but may not go much beyond the requirements.

Flying is regarded as a safe way to travel, and it certainly can be, but there are risks involved. A well-trained pilot, maintenance team, and flight crew offers the best opportunity to arrive without any safety concerns along the way. However, planes are always at risk of malfunction. Even if they are serviced properly, unexpected events can occur. When this happens, will the company jet's crew be able to respond as needed? This is one of the primary reasons why companies may want to consider a charter jet company.

There's certainly something to be said for experience. A charter jet company will have safety teams and their own set of standards, which are usually much more rigorous than those set by the FAA. They are knowledgeable on their jets, which makes them especially qualified in the case of an emergency. No company wants to be in a position where they put their personnel in harm's way. This consideration is less based on finances but should also be a part of the equation when making a decision.


Companies should use these factors when making a decision to purchase or charter a business jet. Consider not only the current needs but also the future of the company. Many businesses are surprised when they do an analysis, so review these areas to make the best decision.