“Help me, Oh Lord, to become chaste–but not yet.”
While this prayer is attributed to St. Augustine, a prominent businessman of the modern age used this quote to sum up his feelings about private jets. That man is Warren Buffett. A critic of private air travel for many years, Buffet’s company Berkshire Hathaway bought its first corporate jet in 1986. By 1989, Buffett had been converted.
672 new private jets were sold in 2012. While that was a slight decrease from the previous year, the opulence and convenience of a private jet are draws for many, including Hollywood celebrities. The number of celebrities who own private jets is high. They include:
- Oprah Winfrey (Bombardier Global Express XRS)
- Jackie Chan (Embraer Legacy 650)
- Jay-Z (Bombardier Challenger 850)
Some celebrities even fly their own jet:
- Tom Cruise (Gulfstream IV)
- Jimmy Buffett (Dassalt Falcon 900)
- John Travolta (owns 11 jets, including a Boeing 707)
The U.S. makes up nearly 50% of the market for private jets, with Europe a distant 21%. The U.S. also has the busiest airport for private jets–Van Nuys, in Los Angeles, California. The Van Nuys airport does not take major airlines, making it relatively anonymous for celebrities coming into or leaving the city.
When you’re choosing a private jet, either for purchase or a private jet charter, it’s important to consider the models. The most popular private jet in the U.S. is the Cessna Citation Excel, which is also known as the Cessna XLS or XLS+. It is a medium-sized business jet that had around 145,000 take-offs in 2012.
To get an idea of aircraft charter prices, the Cessna XLS had an average charter rate of nearly $3,400 an hour. A light jet has an average hourly price of $2,300, while a medium-sized jet averages $2,900. A large jet runs $4,800 an hour.
There are numerous options when searching for a private jet. A quick search on jet charters or aircraft charters in your region can lead to a promising result. If you are looking to buy a private jet, a nationwide search may delineate between different models and give you the price point you want.
While the initial price of the jet may be the biggest concern, just like any major purchase, consider the maintenance that is involved. Jet maintenance is important for keeping your jet running smoothly. Malfunctions in a jet can range from the innocuous to the critical, endangering the your life and the lives of your passengers.
Finding the right company who specializes in jet maintenance takes some time. Building a trusted relationship with them is important for safety and for ease of mind. If you know someone who has bought a private jet and is satisfied with their provider of jet maintenance services, consider checking them out yourself.
The key with any purchase of this amount is to find the model you are looking for and making sure it stays in tip-top shape for the duration of its lifespan.