There’s no question that private air travel is booming among both business and leisure travelers: aviation data firm Wingx reported that travelers took 3.3 million business jet flights in 2021, the most for a single year. The COVID-19 pandemic and its ongoing ramifications have driven more travelers than ever before to consider flying private for the first time.
The business aviation industry is a crowded one, and deciphering what each option offers can be intimidating to someone new. However, there’s no need to feel overwhelmed – keep reading for our breakdown of the most common ways to fly private and the benefits of each.
Shared private flights (aka scheduled service on Tradewind) are the ideal entry point into discovering the ease of flying private. This service offers the comfort and convenience of flying private for the cost of a single seat (or however many seats your party requires.) Tradewind’s fleet of Pilatus PC-12s seats 8 passengers, ensuring even a shared flight feels personal and exclusive.
Tradewind’s scheduled service flights to destinations such as Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Anguilla, or St Barths are the fastest and most convenient way to arrive at historically hard-to-reach destinations.
The shared private model offers the benefits of private air travel—lack of security lines and delays, private terminal access, and a more cost-effective price tag than others on this list. For regular commuters, Tradewind offers ticket books on select routes that provide significant discounts on the flight cost based on the number you purchase.
Booking a private charter is the ideal option for those who are traveling with a large group, need to adhere to a specific timetable, or are flying into an airport with limited commercial flights. Utilizing a private charter does not require an upfront investment like some of the other options on this list—everything is booked on demand. A private charter is the most efficient way to get somewhere quickly on your schedule for a sports game, last-minute business meeting, or other urgent matters. With a private charter, you can indicate your preferred departure and arrival airport, as well as your desired departure time. In addition, Tradewind’s charter specialists are always happy to provide their expertise about how to best get you to your destination.
Frequent charter flyers may find pre-purchased jet cards appealing, such as Tradewind’s Goodspeed Program. The Goodspeed Card offers significant savings and simplified pricing on private charter within the Tradewind Pilatus PC-12 fleet in the Northeast U.S. and the Caribbean. While some company’s jet cards may require an initiation fee or a hefty minimum buy-in, the Goodspeed Card does not have any membership fees and block time discounts start at just 10 hours. Additionally there are no repositioning fees, peak day surcharges, or blackout dates.
Many fans of private air travel quickly grow used to the ease and benefits of avoiding commercial flights, but they often don’t feel the need to charter a whole plane when they’re flying solo or with a small group. That’s where crowdfunded flights enter the conversation. They’ve grown increasingly common on popular routes like New York to South Florida, for example. On a crowdfunded flight, each passenger pays for a share of chartering the plane. However, many companies that offer this type of flight require the first client to commit to paying for the whole plane if others do not book.
This business model pioneered by NetJets is ideal for travelers who typically fly private more than 50 hours per year. With this option, owners pay to own a portion of a plane, and the higher the portion they own, the more hours they’re entitled to fly it per year. It’s a popular alternative to purchasing a plane outright, but it still requires a significant capital outlay. Owners also pay hourly rates, fuel costs, and federal excise taxes.
Purchasing a plane outright is significantly more costly than any of the other options on this list, but it offers conveniences that no other option can—the plane is designed to your preferences, and it’s available to you, whenever you need to use it. However, beyond the initial outlay of capital (ranging from several million dollars to upwards of $65 million for a Gulfstream G650, for example), the cost of operating a plane of your own requires keeping pilots and flight attendants (if applicable) on staff and finding hangar space to store the aircraft.
If this is of interest, Tradewind offers a turn-key solution to owning an aircraft. Our dedicated team will assist you through the selection and purchasing process of your aircraft, and then you will gain access to our storage options, scheduling, dispatch, maintenance, and crew teams. Tradewind also offers the option to optimize your aircraft ownership with air charter revenue.
To learn more about the different private charter offerings, or to book a private charter flight with Tradewind, please visit our website. To receive a private charter quote, please submit an inquiry here or contact our specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-376-7922 option 2. To learn more about Ownership Solutions, please visit our website or contact email@example.com.