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Full aircraft ownership vs short-term leasing

Aircraft ownership has been receiving a lot of bad press in recent years, some of which is justified. For the right type of ultra-high net worth individual (UHNWI) or corporation, ownership can save time, and time equals money.


Like owning a house, owning a plane means you have a large down payment, a monthly mortgage and taxes to cover. You have to find a crew, management company, insurance company, and of course you need to maintain it. The good news is it’s yours to fly, whenever and wherever you want, whether it’s for 50 hours or 1,200 hours a year, is entirely up to you.

Positives: You can choose everything, down to the colour of the seats. You can also have a personalised registration and it is always ready for you to fly. Under private flight rules you also have the benefit of fewer restrictions on aircraft and runway performance as well as permissions to fly.

Negatives: You are committed to the asset and the monthly and annual cost of ownership. Also, like a house the buying and/or selling process is not always straight forward and it can take several years to sell an aircraft and they depreciate in value relatively quickly.


Like renting a house, you can lease a jet for short periods when you have the requirement and are only committed to your monthly payments and costs of use. When you need to move on, it is quick and straight forward. In recent years’ the commitment period for a lease has reduced to as little as three months.

Positives: You can choose the aircraft to suit your budget and timeframe to match your requirements. The lead time to start can be as short as one month, and you also have much greater control of the assets without the selling concerns and having to disband the crew and management of the aircraft.

Negatives: If you fly less than the guaranteed monthly commitment of hours you don’t receive a refund. Also, under commercial flight rules, you have the same restrictions on aircraft and runway performance as you would by chartering a jet, though in many ways this is also a positive as you are subject to higher regulations.

When looking at a longer commitment to flying privately, the best solution for you will depend largely on a few factors including the annual costs and expected usage. When considering the options, be realistic about what you need it for, how often you will need it and what you are able to pay per month or per year. Be prepared to charter a couple of aircraft to compare them before committing to ownership or leasing, this will ensure you get the right aircraft that works for you. Contact Air Charter Service for assistance with a private jet charter for your next journey.



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