It’s the ultimate status symbol for a busy executive on the go. But at a price of some $10 million, the business jet can be awfully tough to justify to cost-conscious stockholders.
Welcome to jet timesharing, where executives can enjoy all the perks of business jet travel at a fraction of what it would cost their company to own its own plane.
“We’re appealing to a lot of people who never took a close look at owning a jet before,” said Robert D. Gillespie, president of Business JetSolutions. “They assumed it was out of reach financially before this.”
For as little as $330,000, companies can buy the right to 100 hours a year of flying time from Business JetSolutions and NetJets, which founded the jet timesharing industry in 1987.
NetJets has 47 jets with more than 300 timeshare owners, while Business Jet Solutions has expanded to 14 jets since launching operations earlier this year.
“We haven’t scratched the surface of the market,” said Scott Liston, vice president of customer service and sales for NetJets. “We estimate there are 50,000 prospects in the United States alone that fit the profile of a NetJets customer.”
The planes have no fixed base, so can be guaranteed to be at a company’s disposal within four to eight hours of call, ready to transport top company executives or customers almost anywhere in the world.
Customers run the gamut from wealthy individuals to top 10 corporations, and almost everyone in between.
“There are a lot of people out there who need business jet service but haven’t had the product packaged in a way most useful for them,” Gillespie said. “We do that by making the costs fixed and by having the planes at their disposal when they are needed.”