The jury is in on commercial air travel, yet the thought of owning your own jet is nothing more than a comforting fantasy as you wait out another flight delay. But more companies are finding they can own a fraction of a jet, say one- sixteenth, and enjoy the convenience without crushing up-front costs.
The fractional jet industry can't claim it's cheaper than commercial air travel, but when time is computed into money, the industry can make a strong argument, says Michael Riegel, vice president of Dallas-based Bombardier Business Jet Solutions Inc., a firm that offers partial jet ownership. One- sixteenth of a Lear Jet 31A costs about $400,000 (plus hourly and monthly fees) and provides 50 hours of flying time per year. But the efficiency that private jets deliver, including management teams working en route and the ability to reliably make meetings, creates a valid return, says Riegel.