Owning an aircraft can be the goal of many companies, but it can be an expensive
endeavor and without adequate cash or access to financing, owning an airplane can
become impossible. Fractional aircraft ownership makes the possibility of having
control over transportation more realistic. Participants do not gain complete control
over a plane and will rarely ride on the same aircraft with every trip; however,
fractional participation entitles a business access to a particular type of plane
on a coordinated schedule with other participants. What one has to very careful
about is the company, aircraft and crew that is picking up the trip for you if
your type of airplane is not available that day. The trip gets brokered to a company
that you may not know anything about, but meets the fractional company’s standards.
Make sure you know who they are partnering with. With some companies, you may be
not as happy with their choices as you are with them.
JRAL has audited the major fractional programs including NetJets in both the USA and Europe, Vista Jet in Europe and China, Flex Jet, Flight Options, and Sikorsky Shares. All have experienced staff and major funding behind them and their safety records are admirable, but you need to understand some of the pitfalls of fractional participation. Knowing which ones have the right mix of aircraft, operating standards and histories is tantamount to your success. If you don’t understand how their back-up plans are functioning and who they trust to do your bidding, you may be in for some big surprises.