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Have you ever wondered how the world’s wealthiest people manage to afford flying all over the world in high-end private jets? The truth is, most of these people don’t have their own aircraft. They’re actually a member of an aircraft management company, like NetJets.
NetJets offers multiple ownership models and flight programs that can get you in the air in no time. You’re in the right place if you’re seriously considering private air travel.
In this guide, we’re going to highlight everything NetJets has to offer. We’ll go over the different types of NetJets flight programs, the pros and cons of using NetJets, and how you can start flying in style.
- What Is NetJets?
- How Does Fractional Ownership Work?
- Pros of the NetJets Fractional Ownership Program
- Cons of the NetJets Fractional Ownership Program
- Types of NetJets Programs
- How Much Does NetJets Cost?
- Types of Jets in the NetJets Fleet
- How to Book a Private Jet With NetJets
What Is NetJets?
NetJets is an aviation company that gives its customers access to a fleet of private jets all over the world. NetJets members can fly in luxurious private jets with little hassle and at a reduced cost compared to a charter company.
The world of private aviation can be complicated and expensive. NetJets simplifies private jet ownership and air travel by taking care of all the intricacies and headaches that come along with it. You’ll never have to worry about maintaining your jet, hiring a flight crew, or negotiating fuel costs.
NetJets was created in 1964 in Columbus, Ohio, by former United States Air Force and Army veterans. The company was initially known as Executive Jet Aviation and was one of the first private aviation management companies in the world. NetJets is now owned by Warren Buffett’s investment group — Berkshire Hathaway — and is the predominant private aviation management company worldwide.
A key factor in NetJets’ success was an innovation it pioneered in 1984 that shook up the entire aviation industry — fractional ownership. Fractional ownership was a radical new concept at the time, but soon became the norm for people who owned or chartered private jets.
How Does Fractional Ownership Work?
Fractional ownership is the shared ownership of the entire fleet of jets. NetJets customers purchase a share of the entire fleet instead of owning one personal jet.
Members decide how big of a fraction they’d like to purchase — somewhere in the range of 1/16 or 1/8 of a single jet. The size of this fraction is directly correlated with how many flight hours per year you’d like to take. For example, if you purchase a 1/16 share of a jet within the fleet, you can be guaranteed 50 hours of flight time per year.
You then decide how long you want to set your ownership contract. Contracts typically last from two to three years. Since you’ll technically be a part-owner of a jet fleet, you can opt to sell your share at the end of this contract.
You’ll need to pay the initial investment into the fractional ownership program which can range from $500,000 to nearly $5 million. This will depend on the type of jet you’re interested in and how many hours you plan on flying. Shares are purchased in increments of 25 hours with the minimum amount being 50 hours.
But what are the benefits of NetJets’ fractional ownership program? And what are its limitations?
Pros of the NetJets Fractional Ownership Program
NetJets offers private travelers a convenient ownership model while saving you cash along the way. It also gives you the option of flying on different types of jets and the ability to book whenever you’d like. Here are some of the benefits of fractional ownership.
It’s Cheaper Than Private Jet Ownership
Aircraft ownership has high overhead costs and expenses that can be avoided through a fractional ownership program like NetJets.
Sole ownership requires a hefty initial capital investment to secure an asset like a jet. After that, you’re responsible for the extra costs and fees associated with jet ownership, which includes storage fees, routine maintenance, and hiring a flight crew.
With NetJets, the costs and expenses tied to private jet ownership are spread out across the large network of other owners. This gives you the benefits and conveniences of owning a private jet while reducing overhead costs and providing additional amenities like aircraft maintenance, storage, and upkeep.
Access to Different Types of Jets
Just because you purchased a share of a certain type of jet doesn’t mean you can only use this exact jet. You’ll have access to all of the jets in the fleet. You will be able to use your type of jet whenever you’d like. If your jet isn’t available, you can upgrade to a larger and more expensive jet without an additional charge.
This can be useful if there are unforeseen circumstances that arise or if your plans suddenly change. Let’s say there’s a mechanical problem with one of the jets you were planning on taking. NetJets can give you access to other jets within the fleet so you won’t have to worry about last-minute flight cancellations.
You Fly When You Want
Availability isn’t a problem if you’re a private jet owner with NetJets. You can use your jet whenever you please with as little as four-hours lead time.
On the other hand, those who book private chartered flights sometimes have to deal with limited availability. This can mean having to move your travel dates around to secure the flight you’d like.
Now let’s take a look at some of the downsides of NetJets.
Cons of the NetJets Fractional Ownership Program
NetJets does have some disadvantages compared to other flight options. This includes limited flexibility with a long-term contract, a low resale value of your share, and hidden fees you may not have thought about. Here’s a look at each drawback.
Not Nearly as Flexible as Private Jet Charters
NetJets requires a two to three-year contract if you’d like to join their service. You’ll be locked in with NetJets for the duration of your contract whether you like the program or not. This provides limited flexibility compared to on-demand private jet charters.
On-demand private jet charters allow you to reserve flights with multiple providers. You can easily switch providers if you decide you like one company more than the other. The choice is yours since you’re not locked in to a long-term contract.
Your Share May Have a Low Resale Value
You have ownership of an asset as a NetJets member. You can decide to sell your share at the end of your contract if you no longer wish to be part of the program. Unfortunately, the resale value can be on the lower end of the scale — especially if you fly frequently and use up your flight hours.
You’re Still Responsible for Extra Fees
A majority of what you’ll pay is incurred in your initial investment into the NetJets program. However, you’re not completely in the clear after that. You’ll also be responsible for paying additional fees like jet fuel surcharges and flight crew fees on international trips. Plus, you’ll need to cover a monthly management fee that goes toward managing the fleet of jets.
However, NetJets offers additional flight options beyond the fractional ownership model, so living with these cons isn’t your only option.
Types of NetJets Programs
The NetJets fractional ownership model isn’t the only option NetJets offers. There are two more flight programs you can choose from including lease and jet card programs.
The NetJets Share program is the fractional ownership model we highlighted above. It’s NetJets’ signature option that gives you the benefits of owning your own jet without having to worry about the operational side of things — like negotiating fuel costs, hiring flight crews, and maintaining your jet throughout the year.
This is the right pick for you if you fly at least 50 hours per year, you’re interested in a long-term commitment, and you want the benefits of owning an asset.
NetJets Lease gives you nearly everything the NetJets Share program does except for ownership of an asset. This program requires a long-term commitment of at least two years and follows a different payment schedule than the Share program. You may end up spending slightly more on flight hours but you won’t have the large initial investment that the NetJets Share program requires.
This option is the right choice if you fly over 50 hours per year, you want a long-term commitment, and would rather not purchase an asset.
NetJets Marquis Card
The NetJets Marquis Card is a prepaid card that gives you a set number of flight hours with the NetJets fleet. Cards are purchased in 25-hour increments with a minimum commitment of 25-hours over two years. There will be some restrictions with a Marquis Jet Card that the Share and Lease programs don’t have, like a longer lead time of 10-hours for last-minute bookings and peak day fees.
Jet cards are perfect for those who don’t want a long-term commitment and are flying less than 50 hours per year.
How Much Does NetJets Cost?
Private air travel isn’t for everyone. It’s going to cost a pretty penny if you want to use NetJets. But for those who have the means to afford private air travel, NetJets can end up saving you money in the long run.
The cost of NetJets largely depends on the type of program or ownership you’d like. The more you plan on flying and the larger the aircraft you want to fly on, the more you’ll end up paying.
Unfortunately, NetJets provides few financial figures unless you set up a personal consultation with one of their sales advisers. However, they are transparent about the prices of the Marquis Jet Card program.
You can purchase a 25-hour jet card — the minimum purchase amount — for the following prices:
- Light Jets: $172,000 or less
- Mid-Size Jets: $210,000 or less
- Heavy Jets: $364,000 or less
Beyond that, pricing details are few and far between. You can expect the Share and Lease program to range from the $500,000 to $5 million range. You’ll also be responsible for monthly management fees throughout the duration of your contract.
Before you make your final decision, take a look at the aircrafts NetJets has in its fleet to decide if the service meets your needs.
Types of Jets in the NetJets Fleet
NetJets has more than 750 aircrafts in its fleet. NetJets aircrafts are carefully managed by an industry-leading team of maintenance crews, owner services personnel, and NetJets pilots.
Here are some of the different flight options and aircraft types you can choose from.
- Light Cabin
- Embraer Phenom 300
- Cessna Citation XLS
- Midsize Cabin
- Cessna Citation Sovereign
- Cessna Citation Latitude
- Super Midsize Cabin
- Bombardier Challenger 350
- Cessna Citation Longitude
- Large Cabin
- Bombardier Challenger 650
- Gulfstream G450
- Bombardier Global 5000
- Bombardier Global 6000
- Bombardier Global 7500
If this is what you’re looking for, here’s how to get started with NetJets.
How to Book a Private Jet With NetJets
Booking a private jet with NetJets isn’t as simple as picking up the phone and having a jet reserved the next morning. NetJets carefully vets prospects before letting them join their program.
You will need to set up a personalized consultation with one of their private aviation experts. You can reach out to set up a consultation with the NetJets.com contact form.
This sales adviser will ask you a series of questions like how much you plan on flying, what you’re willing to spend, and whether you’d like to have shared ownership of a jet.
They’ll then determine which NetJets program is right for you. Once you’ve decided which program you’d like to join, the only thing left to do is pay for your membership and start planning your next trip.
Choose Your Flight Program and Clear the Runway
Private air travel is a massive investment that you can’t afford to take lightly. You should fully understand the ins and outs of NetJets and what the fractional ownership model has to offer.
It might be the right choice for you — or it might not. You may find that the NetJets Lease or Marquis Card programs are a better fit for you.
Hop on a call with a NetJets sales adviser so you can figure out which private jet option will work best with your budget and preferences. You can be flying through the clouds in luxury in no time.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.