Common Issues About Corporate Aircraft Ownership

If you’re buying a plane simply for your own enjoyment and convenience, it’s a bit like buying a car. While the specs and the budget considerations are always important, you can’t help but feel an emotional tug when you’re buying a used airplane for sale.

But such an attitude won’t work if you’re buying a used aircraft for sale for your business. You need open eyes and a clear mind. And you also need to anticipate whatever issues that may come up as a result of owning an airplane.

So what kind of issues are we talking about here? Take a look:

Does Owning an Airplane Really Help a Business?

Owning an airplane is an investment, but the ROI is not all that easy to figure out. As a business owner, you have to buy the plane, and then you need to pay for its maintenance. It will be a constant drain on your finances, whether you use the plane or not.

But what do you get in return? Here are some of the benefits:

  • You save a lot of time. This is the most obvious advantage, and you can even measure it. Take note of how much time it takes you to reserve tickets, go to the airport, wait for boarding and takeoff, getting your luggage, and then driving from the airport to your hotel.

    With your own airplane, the entire process is simply shorter. Take note, you’ll like waste less time because delays and flight cancellations are rare when you’re in charge of your own airplane maintenance. You don’t get bumped off your seat because the airline is overbooked.

    You can even maximize productivity because you can use the flight time for work as well. And if you want to change course or change your schedule, you can do so without worrying about how you’ll need to inform the airlines about your changes.

  • It also saves you from aggravation. When you have your own plane, you can be fresh and well-rested afterwards. When you get off the plane, you’re in a better frame of mind to do business. That’s not the case when you fly commercial.

    Aside from the delays and flight cancellations which can be aggravating too, a commercial flight is full of inconveniences that can turn a journey into a nightmare. Your co-passengers may be unruly or annoying, and the seats may contort you into awful positions. Even your luggage may disappear.

    With your own plane, you have a certain means of getting where you want to go on time, and you can do so with privacy and comfort.

  • You can also boost your business efficiency. The plane expands the reach of your sales force, and your negotiators can go anywhere at a moment’s notice. You can even use the plane to bring in people such as customers whom you want to impress.

It’s up to you to determine whether all these advantages are worth the expense. You may also want to consult with an accountant who may be able to get some tax breaks when you buy used aircraft for sale.

If ownership is not generating enough benefits but you still want to avoid using commercial airlines, you still have options. For example, you can charter a plane instead. That helps you avoid the irritating parts of flying commercial and you also avoid the hassles of maintaining your own plane.

Should You Hire a Pilot or Fly the Plane Yourself?

This is a question you need to address even before you buy an aircraft. After all, if you buy an airplane you don’t know how to fly then you have no choice but to hire a pilot.

It may even be a good idea to hire a pilot even if you can fly the plane yourself. At the very least, you’ll need an aviation manager. Their duties will include setting operational standards for:

  • crew flight and duty time limits
  • minimum weather operating standards
  • training and experience criteria for all personnel
  • drug and alcohol use guidelines
  • drug and alcohol use guidelines

You may even want to consider using the services of a professional aircraft management company. These experts can handle all the details of operation of the aircraft, and can include overseeing the maintenance.

In other words, you can fly the plane yourself and here’s a video that will show you the basics. But for all the other aspects of aircraft management, you’ll need someone else to do it if you want to have time to actually run your own business.

Should You Lease the Plane When It’s Not in Use?

You can let third parties charter your plane, as it is a very good way to recover some of the costs of its upkeep. After all, if you’re using it for business then you have to maximize the returns on your investment. Keep in mind that maintenance expenses will still pile up even when you don’t use the plane, and a long time of inactivity can be very detrimental for the engine’s condition.

You also don’t have to worry about the condition of your airplane when you have other people riding it. For the most part, the people who tend to charter planes are quite responsible folks, and it’s very rare to hear about any incidents of abuse.

To make things simple for you, you’re better off partnering with an established charter operation than to go at it on your own. The charter operator takes care of the advertising, billing, and bill collection process.

The downside, of course, is that there will be times when you need your airplane and it’s not available. So you should consider whether such a drawback is serious enough for you to forego the revenues from chartering your plane.

Discuss these matters with your managers, accountants, and lawyers before you buy a used airplane for sale. With the answers to these questions, you can determine for sure whether or not buying a used aircraft makes sense in the first place.


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