If god had meant us to fly he’d have given us more money. Buying a jet is expensive. Even an ‘entry-level’ jet like the lovely Cessna Citation Mustang is just under $3m.
This is where fractional ownership operators like NetJets come in. (Full disclosure, NetJets is a client of my company Articulate Marketing.) Like timeshare holidays, you don’t pay for the whole plane, just a share of it and you get to use all the planes in the network. If you’re flying less than 300-400 hours a year, this makes a lot of sense.
But you still have to stump up a big chunk of capital to buy your share plus fixed costs and per-hours costs like fuel. Cheaper but still not cheap. Now, NetJets Europe has launched a direct financing product that lets companies and individuals bridge the gap between leasing and acquisition with a 25% deposit and competitive interest rates.
This approach could cut the capital cost of buying a fractional share in a jet and sidestep potential problem in an illiquid lending market by going to the vendor for finance rather than the banks.
I asked my bank manager if he’d lend me $58m for a new Gulfstream G650. He just laughed. So I know what I’m talking about.