H. Lee Rohde

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    How to Rent a Private Jet: Everything You Need to Know About Private Jet Charter Services see more

    NAFA member, H. Lee Rohde, III, President and CEO of Essex Aviation, discusses private jet charter services. 

    Wouldn’t it be great to be able to just rent a jet? Well, with private jet charter services, you can.

    Private aircraft charter is an on-demand service that enables passengers to select the aircraft model that most closely meets their travel needs and book a flight in much the same way they’d book a seat on a commercial flight.

    Read on to explore private aircraft charter options, expenses, safety considerations and more.

    Table of Contents

    Different Types of Private Jet Charter Services

    Private jet charter services typically fall into one of two broad categories: private jets for business and private jets for leisure.

    Private aircraft charter is an attractive option to businesses because it enables them to:

    • Arrange flights to multiple cities within a single day according to your schedule, rather than a commercial airline’s
    • Bypass long check-in and security lines by boarding through private terminals
    • Arrive on-time to important meetings by flying to an airport closer to their final destination
    • Access airports often having less ground and air traffic, thereby reducing the potential for delays
    • Transport larger groups at a potentially lower overall cost than commercial airfare
    • Avoid costly downtime associated with commercial flight delays, layovers and connecting flights
    • Support in-flight productivity by eliminating unnecessary distractions and increasing overall travel efficiency
    • Conduct onboard business meetings without having to worry about other passengers listening in on sensitive conversations
    • Enable team members to travel in a comfortable, inviting atmosphere so that they arrive to their final destination refreshed and prepared

    Private air charter is similarly appealing to those who fly primarily for leisure purposes. Private aviation enables such individuals to effectively extend their holiday experience by flying aboard aircraft appointed with the finest luxury amenities, including full-service kitchens, state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment systems and dedicated bedrooms. Private terminals at commercial airports offer a secure, comfortable and relaxed environment, far from the hustle and bustle of the main commercial airport concourse. Local, non-commercially serviced airports enable travelers to arrive closer to their final destination, so they can start their holiday that much sooner. Ultimately, private jet charter can make even the longest haul flightfeel like an escape.

    Private Aircraft Charter Amenities

    We’ve already touched upon some of the amenities that travelers can expect when they charter a private jet aircraft, but let’s take a closer look at some of the comforts and conveniences passengers enjoy while onboard:

    • Open spaces designed with legroom, storage space and aesthetics in mind
    • Private lounges featuring plush seating arrangements upholstered with high-end materials
    • Personal flight attendant crew members ready to tend to each individual passenger’s needs
    • Full-service galleys stocked with a variety of fine foods and beverages
    • In-flight food and drink services, including meal catering or onboard personal chef services
    • State-of-the-art in-flight entertainment systems featuring cutting-edge audio and visual equipment
    • Full-size lavatories, including mirrors, storage and, depending on the aircraft, shower facilities
    • Depending on the aircraft, dedicated bedrooms replete with full master suite
    • Private conference rooms fitted with built-in video systems, surround sound and Wi-Fi access
    • Special accommodations for passengers who wish to fly with pets

    Every aspect of the private jet charter experience is designed to accommodate the passenger’s unique needs.

    When Does It Makes Sense to Rent a Jet?

    Private jet charter services have long been popular amongst travelers who want the experience of private aviation without the long-term commitment associated with dedicated or fractional aircraft ownership. It’s an especially practical option for those who are dealing with a smaller number of trips, or who require flexibility in terms of aircraft size and destination. Interest in private aircraft charter has also increased significantly in light of COVID-19, as travelers seek to find safer alternatives to commercial flights. Travelers who are curious about the prospect of chartering a private aircraft but unsure whether it makes the most sense based on their needs are encouraged to discuss their operations with a private aviation consultant.

    How Much Does It Cost to Charter an Airplane?

    Unfortunately, there is no one simple answer to this question — the expense of chartering a private aircraft varies substantially based on a number of factors:

    • Number of Passengers: This dictates the size of the aircraft (light jet, midsize jet, long range or ultra-long range) and, therefore, available aircraft models from which to choose.
    • Dates of Travel and Scheduling: If you primarily charter on holidays and during peak travel times, this can affect your cost. General limited availability and the location of available aircraft can also affect your ability to travel on your desired dates, so it’s best practice to book charter flights as far in advance as possible.
    • Flight Route and Destination: More distant destinations with longer flight routes require long range or ultra-long range aircraft models; longer journeys may also require stops to refuel and change crew if required per the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Pilot Fatigue Rules.
    • Length of Time on the Ground: Most private jet charter service providers require an equivalent of two hours per day of flight time. That said, it does not matter how this time is spread out. For example, if a traveler were to depart on a four day trip, they would be required to fly a minimum of eight hours during that trip; however, they could divvy this up by flying two hours each day of the trip, or four hours each during the first and last days of the trip with the aircraft parked during days two and three.
    • Round-trip vs. One-way: Round-trip flights are generally more cost effective than one-way trips. The reason for this is that a one-way trip typically requires the aircraft to complete additional flights in order to support a one-way trip request. As a result, most charter providers will actually quote the cost of a round-trip flight, even for a one-way trip. Charter providers that quote a one-way trip will effectively quote, in some form or another, the cost for the flight time of repositioning the aircraft back to its home base. For travelers interested in booking either a one-way or round-trip flight, a private aviation consultant is an invaluable resource because they can help you better understand pricing.
    • One-way Options: Although it’s certainly possible to request a one-way trip, from a traditional charter perspective, the cost will likely compare to the cost of a round-trip flight. Therefore, travelers who frequently make one-way trips would probably be best served by looking into a jet card program as opposed to chartering because jet cards tend to cater more to one-way requirements.

    That said, some charter providers offer one-way options in which the traveler can take advantage of a positioning flight (that has no passengers) required by another client’s scheduled trip. These opportunities utilize what are referred to as “deadhead flights,” while positioning the aircraft to its primary departure point or returning it to its home base at the end of a primary charter trip. Should your travel needs coincide with a deadhead flight — also known as an “empty leg flight” — this can be a good option, one that is often offered at a discounted rate. It’s important to note, though, that the cost savings associated with deadhead flights pose risks in terms of flexibility because these flights have a predetermined departure date, time and schedule, all based on the schedule — and sometimes changing needs — of the primary charter customer.

    On the whole, private jet charter services are less expensive than most other private aviation options because they’re booked on a trip-by-trip basis with no ongoing ownership or program costs.

    For private jet charter cost estimates, please refer to the chart below:

    Charter Operators vs. Charter Brokers 

    There are a few different ways to charter a private jet aircraft, including working directly with a charter operator or going through a charter broker.

    Charter operators are FAA Part 135 Certified Air Carriers who are directly responsible for the ongoing management and operation of the aircraft on their charter certificate, including staffing, and require FAA certification. Charter brokers are third-party agents that act as liaisons between a client and the FAA Part 135 charter operator chosen to be utilized for the trip. A charter broker will work with their client to secure representation for the booking of the trip and then work with different charter operators to determine which option they believe best meets the trip requirements.

    It’s important to note that, unlike Part 135 charter operators, charter brokers are not required to be FAA certified and operate with limited regulatory oversight. That isn’t to say that there aren’t reputable brokers in the market, rather that it’s important to thoroughly vet brokers before choosing to partner with one; a private aviation consultant can prove to be a valuable asset in this review and selection process.

    For a more detailed explanation of the difference between charter operators and charter brokers, please refer to our blog post on the subject.

    How to Identify a Private Jet to Charter

    When determining which type of private jet aircraft model to reserve for a trip, travelers are advised to consider the following:

    • How many passengers will be on the flight?
    • Do any of those passengers require special accommodations? (For example, a passenger with a wheelchair may need additional space.)
    • How much total luggage needs to carried?
    • Are there any larger luggage items (golf clubs, skis, bikes, etc.)?
    • What is the desired departure airport or location?
    • What is the desired arrival airport or destination?
    • What is the length of the trip?
    • Will the aircraft be repositioned on certain days during the trip? If so, where and for how long?
    • Do the passengers require any special amenities (internet service, certain floorplan seating options, etc.)?

    Each of these factors plays an important role in determining the necessary size, equipment capability and performance capabilities of the aircraft.

    Private Aircraft Charter Safety Considerations

    In addition to FAA regulations, there are numerous other industry standards and ratings designed to audit the safety of private aviation companies. The three most well-known are the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO), the Aviation Research Group/US (ARGUS) rating system and the Wyvern Wingman Certification program.

    IS-BAO was founded by the International Business Aviation Council in an effort to “build a culture that continuously strives for a better, safer way of operating by identifying areas where better risk management will improve safety.” The IS-BAO auditing process consists of three stages designed to verify that safety management activities are appropriately targeted and integrated within an operator’s business. IS-BAO was developed by operators, for operators and is based on the standards outlined by the Standards and Recommended Practices outlined by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

    Developed by ARGUS International, the ARGUS rating system is designed to confirm the legitimacy of a charter operator based on their safety record, whether they have liability insurance, pilot training, experience and certifications, pilot background checks and more.

    ARGUS ratings break down into four categories, shown in the table below:

    Some private jet charter providers will claim that they’re “ARGUS Rated,” but there’s a significant difference between being an ARGUS Gold Rated and ARGUS Platinum Rated operator, so it’s in the travelers’ best interest to partner with a private aviation consultant who can help them understand the difference.

    As the first private aircraft safety auditing firm in the country, WYVERN Consulting has garnered a great deal of respect, and its WYVERN Wingman Certification is considered one of the most reputable in the industry. WYVERN audits are governed by six principles: integrity, fair presentation, due professional care, confidentiality, independence and an evidence-based approach. Wingman Certified operators gain an exclusive listing on The Wingman Report, WYVERN’s directory of premier operators, access to WYVERN’s safety data platform and round-the-clock support from the WYVERN team.

    Any private aircraft charter company that boasts one or more of these ratings or certifications in addition to meeting FAA regulations would be a preferred option to consider, though it doesn’t hurt to consult a private aviation expert for peace of mind.

    Private Jet Charter Alternatives

    For those who aren’t sure whether renting a jet is right for them, there’s a world of other private aviation options in store, including:

    • Membership Programs: With a membership program, members agree to a fixed cost per hour charter rate at the start of the contract and are billed after each flight. Members typically pay either a monthly management or annual membership fee in addition to the cost per flight.
    • Jet Card Program: Jet card program members have their pick of a dedicated service with a predetermined number of hours on a specific aircraft type or size category or a debit card service in which they establish a travel fund account and pay on a trip-by-trip basis using that account.
    • Fractional Aircraft Ownership: Fractional owners purchase a share of a specific aircraft type and agree to an annual number of allotted flight hours. Most fractional aircraft ownership programs require a minimum size share of 50 hours of flight time per year, though this can vary depending on the provider.
    • Pre-Owned Aircraft Acquisition: Travelers who for a variety of reasons want their own private aircraft without the capital investment of a new aircraft acquisition are advised to consider purchasing pre-owned and investing in aircraft refurbishment services to breathe new life into an existing aircraft.
    • New Aircraft Acquisition: The ultimate in luxury, travelers can purchase a new aircraft tailored to their exact requirements and specifications.

    If you’re considering private jet charter services or evaluating alternatives, talk to the experts first — specifically, the experts at Essex Aviation Group. With a combined 95 years of aviation experience, we have longstanding private aviation industry connections that we can leverage to your advantage. We’re also intimately familiar with different private aircraft charter companies’ vetting processes, so we can help ensure that every flight you take is a safe flight.

    Ready to get started? Contact us today to let us know your unique travel requirements and we’ll help you determine whether private air charter services are right for you.

    This article was originally published by Essex Aviation on August 13, 2020.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Aircraft Share Options Explained: Fractional Jet Ownership vs. Charter vs. Jet Card see more

    NAFA member, H. Lee Rohde, III, President and CEO of Essex Aviation, discusses discusses private jet share options.  

    Flying private has long been a popular alternative to flying commercial due to the luxury, privacy, and convenience it affords — but now, in these uncertain times, flying private also provides a much-needed sense of security and peace of mind. As a result, a growing number of individuals are starting to explore private jet share options, particularly fractional ownership, charter programs, and jet card programs, each of which offer the same amenities as outright acquisition with less of a commitment.

    In this blog post, we’ll compare fractional jet ownership vs. charter program vs. jet card program to help you find the private jet share option that best meets your unique travel needs.

    Table of Contents

    • What is a Private Jet Share?
    • What is Fractional Jet Ownership?
    • When Does Fractional Jet Ownership Make Sense?
    • What is Private Jet Chartering?
    • When Does Private Jet Chartering Make Sense?
    • What Are Membership & Jet Card Programs?
    • When Do Membership & Jet Card Programs Make Sense?
    • At a Glance: Fractional Jet Ownership vs. Charter vs. Jet Card Programs
    • Fly Safer with Essex Aviation

    What is a Private Jet Share?

    As implied by its name, a private jet share refers to any private aviation program in which you own or lease a share of an aircraft rather than own it outright. There are multiple private jet share options to choose from, including fractional aircraft ownership, private jet membership or card programs and private jet chartering. How a private jet share is structured depends entirely on the program, aircraft model, and number of hours utilized.

    What is Fractional Jet Ownership?

    Those interested in fractional ownership purchase a share of a specific aircraft type and agree to an annual amount of allotted flight hours. Most fractional ownership programs require a minimum size share of 50 hours of flight time per year, though this can vary depending on the provider. The maximum share size is 800 hours of flight time per year, which is roughly equivalent to ownership of an entire aircraft.

    Fractional ownership shares are acquired from the company that operates the aircraft and that has a designed shared ownership program and services agreement in which all share owners participate. This company also employs pilots, cabin crew and flight operations coordinators, administers maintenance and covers airport and hangar fees and insurance, which can be attractive to individuals who want the benefits of aircraft ownership without the responsibility. Some fractional ownership programs even provide the option to upgrade or downgrade the size of the aircraft depending on your trip requirements.

    When Does Fractional Jet Ownership Make Sense?

    Although the total cost, including the share acquisition or lease, is more expensive than other alternatives, fractional ownership doesn’t require you to pay a “deadhead cost” — that is, any costs incurred from positioning the aircraft at your departure point. Additionally, it’s possible to sell fractional shares back to the program provider, though these shares tend to depreciate more due to their high level of annual utilization, resulting in lower residual values.

    Fractional ownership is a popular option among those who frequently travel for business-related reasons because it offers tax benefits. Frequent fliers also appreciate the consistency and continuity that fractional ownership offers. Most groups that operate fractional programs, such as NetJetsFlexJet and AirShare are highly reputable and have well-documented, standardized procedures for everything from how they vet operators to how they sanitize aircraft between one flight and the next.

    Fractional aircraft ownership is ideal for individuals who want the experience of flying with an organization with a dedicated fleet of aircraft, pilots, and crew, and who require the flexibility to avoid duty times and other restrictions.

    What is Private Jet Chartering?

    Private jet chartering is an on-demand service that enables you to compare pricing and amenities for various aircraft types and book the one that best meets your travel needs in much the same way as you’d book a seat on a commercial flight. Those interested in chartering have the option of working with either a charter operator or a charter broker, though it’s best practice to work with a private aviation consultant before considering either option.

    When Does Private Jet Chartering Make Sense?

    Of the three types of private jet share presented in article — fractional jet ownership vs. charter vs. jet card — private jet chartering requires the least commitment, both in terms of time and expense.

    In fact, chartering is the most popular private aviation option due to the fact that it doesn’t require a significant capital cost upfront or fixed costs associated with maintenance and staff salaries — all you have to pay for is the utilization of the aircraft on a trip-by-trip basis. This makes chartering ideal for anyone who wants the private aviation experience without any of the responsibility. It’s important to note, though, that what you save on chartering, you’ll make up for in terms of non-guaranteed availability in a specific aircraft type: It can sometimes be challenging to find an aircraft that meets both your specific needs and your schedule, so you may be forced to choose between one and the other.

    What Are Membership & Jet Card Programs?

    Membership and jet card programs, though often referred to interchangeably, are structurally unique. With a membership program, you agree to a fixed cost per hour at the start of the contract and are billed after each flight. You’re also typically subjected to either monthly management or annual membership fees.

    There are two types of jet card programs: a dedicated service with a predetermined number of hours on a specific aircraft type or size category, and a debit card service that enables you to fund an established travel account and select the aircraft category on a trip-by-trip basis with agreed-to hourly rates. Depending on the program, the provider will either quote you for a certain number of hours during booking and bill actual time upon completion of the trip or deduct the final total cost of the trip from your balance after it is completed.

    When Do Membership & Jet Card Programs Make Sense?

    Much like chartering, membership and jet card programs are best suited for individuals who want a short-term commitment and require a much lower investment than fractional ownership. Jet card programs, in particular, are appealing because they come at a fixed rate. There’s no need to negotiate the price for each flight — just add money to your jet card account and go. In some cases, you can even cancel your membership and get a refund for unused hours if you’re dissatisfied with your service, which makes jet card programs one of the most accessible points of entry to the private aviation market.

    Another compelling reason to consider a membership or jet card program is because most major private aviation companies offer them, making them a reliable option. When evaluating either membership or jet card programs, be sure to work with an experienced private aviation consultant who can steer you toward a reputable company and help you understand the relationship between the program provider and the aircraft you intend to utilize.

    If you’re interested in joining a membership or jet card program, keep in mind that they often come with a longer advance notice requirement to schedule an aircraft. This is less of an issue if you’re the type of traveler who books their trips well in advance but can be challenging if you frequently make last-minute travel arrangements, especially during peak periods such as holidays.

    At a Glance: Fractional Jet Ownership vs. Charter vs. Jet Card Programs

    Fly Safer with Essex Aviation

    If you’re in need of private aviation assistance, Essex Aviation Group is here for you. From private jet charter consulting to new aircraft acquisition to aircraft completion management, we offer a wide variety of services tailored to support the travel needs of each and every customer. Contact us today to let us know how we can help you find the private jet share option that’s right for you.

    This article was originally published by Essex Aviation.  

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Private Aviation Tax Considerations for Prospective Aircraft Buyers see more

    NAFA member, H. Lee Rohde, III, President & CEO of Essex Aviation Group, Inc., discusses tax considerations when purchasing an aircraft. 

    Acquiring a private aircraft for personal use is an exciting experience, one that opens innumerable doors for frequent travelers — however, to ultimately realize the benefits of your investment, you must first ensure that you’ve fully accounted for all financial considerations, especially aviation taxes.

    Too often, private aircraft owners aren’t fully informed of certain taxes that are involved in the ownership and operation of the aircraft; which are important as it relates to their operating budget and the overall aircraft ownership experience. That’s because tax considerations should be structured not only during the initial transaction, but throughout the ownership lifecycle, and can affect how you decide to utilize your aircraft.

    Read the recommendations below to avoid being blindsided by private aviation taxes.

    Location, Location, Location

    You might be surprised to learn just how many soon-to-be private aircraft owners ignore the opportunity to create even the most basic tax plan in advance of a transaction. Generally speaking, this isn’t for lack of interest but, rather, lack of understanding. Many buyers simply lack the awareness and experience to appreciate how seemingly minor factors, such as the physical location of the aircraft at closing or the location of the hangar where they intend to house their aircraft, can affect taxes.

    For example, some states place a substantial sales tax on aircraft, while others have fly-away exemptions with strict timelines and requirements. Certain states also apply use and property taxes to aircraft purchases or transactions, which can vary and are affected by a number of factors. As federal and state tax laws change over time, working with an experienced aviation advisory team during your transaction will only become more valuable and necessary.

    Plan in Advance

    It’s unreasonable to expect potential buyers to automatically be familiar with state aviation tax regulations and laws, especially as they pertain to private aircraft, which is why it’s important to work with a qualified aircraft consultant and aviation tax advisory firm. Although private aviation consultants aren’t able to provide complete tax advice, they can help you determine the following in advance of your purchase date:

    • What your regular usage will be
    • Where you intend to fly (and for how long)
    • Where you intend to store your aircraft
    • How tax considerations affect your ownership structure
    • How to identify aviation tax counsel

    Your consultant can also act as a liaison between you and the seller, representing you throughout the transaction, as well as managing the process of positioning your aircraft at the right location during the time of closing for tax purposes.

    Consult a Tax Attorney

    In addition to determining your private aircraft usage and handling your acquisition, an aviation consultant can set you up with experienced aviation tax advisors and tax attorneys to round out your team. Aviation tax advisors and tax attorneys are well-versed in aircraft-specific tax codes and have the expertise to identify possible deductions or opportunities to maximize your tax savings by reducing the amount you pay for sales, property and ongoing use taxes. It’s impossible to emphasize enough just how important it is to work with aviation-experienced tax advisors and attorneys — only professionals with extensive industry experience will have the unique knowledge to properly address all of your tax considerations.

    Your private aviation consultant should work closely with your tax team every step of the way. Even if you do your due diligence from a tax perspective, there’s a possibility that, at some point, you’ll be audited. Should this occur, your consultant, tax advisor and aviation attorney will collaborate and help represent you during the audit.

    The right aviation advisory team will consistently go above and beyond for its clients, whether that entails figuring out which private aviation travel option best meets their unique needs, helping them understand how tax considerations affect their cost of ownership and operation, or tirelessly advocating on their behalf. With a collective 70 years of experience in the aviation industry under their belt and a vast network of connections, the consultants at Essex Aviation Group are uniquely qualified to usher clients through every step of the private aircraft acquisition process, as well as put them in touch with some of the best aviation tax advisors and attorneys in the industry.

    This article was originally published by Essex Aviation.  

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    The Aircraft Buyer’s Guide to Private Jet Financing see more

    NAFA member, H. Lee Rohde, III, founder, President and CEO of Essex Aviation Group, Inc., shares tips on private jet financing.

    Even for high-net-worth individuals, whether to purchase a private aircraft might rank as one of the most expensive — and, potentially, lifestyle-changing — decisions they’ll ever make. From upfront costs to the ongoing costs of maintenance, hangarage and direct operating costs, private aircraft ownership requires a significant capital investment but, for those who frequently fly for business or personal reasons, it provides unparalleled travel experiences.

    The fact of the matter is that the comfort, convenience, luxury and freedom that private aviation offers would be compelling to just about anyone and considered well worth the cost by those who can afford it — so let’s talk about the options to best structure it through private jet financing.

    Let’s Talk Costs

    Before a buyer kickstarts their search for a private aviation lender, they’ll first want to thoroughly consider the costs of purchasing a private jet. Conservative estimates place the cost of a brand-new private jet between $7 million and $75 million, while the most expensive private aircraft in the world — those of commercial size but modified for private use — cost well above that range.

    For those buyers hoping to minimize their capital investment in an aircraft, acquiring a pre-owned aircraft can offer many of the same benefits as a new model with a reduced capital cost. However, for the following new aircraft, current industry data included in the VREF Aircraft Value Reference Guide offers some perspective on pricing and just how expansive the private jet financing industry is.


    Aircraft Manufacturer Model & Retail Price in Millions
    Bombardier • Lear 75: $13.8m
    • Challenger 650: $32.4m
    • Global 5000: $50.4m
    • Global 6000: $62.3m
    • Global 7500: $72.8m
    Cessna • Citation M2: $5m
    • Citation CJ3+: $8.6m
    • Citation CJ4: $9.6m
    • Citation XLS+: $13.6m
    • Citation Latitude: $17.3m
    • Citation Sovereign 680+: $18.8m
    Embraer • Phenom 100 EV: $4.5m
    • Phenom 300: $9m
    • Legacy 450: $16.6m
    • Praetor 500: $17m
    • Praetor 600: $21m
    • Legacy 650E: $26m
    • Lineage: $50m
    Dassault • Falcon 2000S: $30m
    • Falcon 2000LXS: $35.1m
    • Falcon 900LX: $44.8m
    • Falcon 7X: $53.8m
    • Falcon 8X: $59.3m
    Gulfstream • G500: $46.5m
    • G600: $57.9m
    • G650: $69.5m
    Pilatus • PC-24: $9.5m

    Choosing the Right Lender

    The road to private aircraft ownership should begin with the decision to retain the services of an aviation consultant or a jet financing broker. It is the responsibility of an aviation consultant to understand the buyer’s needs and situation to direct them to an appropriate tax attorney and, ultimately viable lenders and financing structures. Once the consultant has completed these steps, the process of researching lenders, requesting and reviewing lender proposals and working with the client or the client’s team is fairly straightforward. A consultant’s primary contribution is to apply their knowledge and considerable network of industry connections to facilitate the financing solution that best serves the client’s unique needs and requirements.

    High-net-worth individuals often partner with aviation consultants and finance brokers through their private wealth advisors or in-house finance team in order to identify the best options available. Clients in different segments of the market who might not have the same level of in-house financing staff to support their needs can also benefit from assembling a team of third-party experts within the private aviation industry. Whether they’re working with an in-house finance team, a third-party private aviation consultant or an aircraft finance broker to evaluate lenders, buyers have three private jet financing options from which to choose:

    1. Traditional Banks: For most buyers, utilizing their current bank can be the most efficient choice for jet financing due to their existing relationship. The bank already has a complete portfolio of the buyer’s finances, which can make the loan process that much more efficient.
    2. Banks With Aircraft Finance Groups: In the event that a buyer’s current bank cannot provide jet financing, it may still be able to use its industry connections to put the buyer in touch with a different bank that has a dedicated aircraft finance group. These institutions specifically have a vested interest in private jet financing and already manage a large aircraft portfolio and would therefore be more inclined to offer private jet financing to a buyer without an existing relationship.
    3. Private Lending Groups: This type of lender is able to provide private jet financing by raising capital within equity markets to support their portfolio growth. Though private aircraft lenders are less common than their traditional banking counterparts, they are a viable option for buyers who, for whatever reason, wish to avoid securing a loan with their primary bank or a traditional bank. Buyers who choose to pursue this private jet financing option are still advised to work with a private aviation consultant and tax attorney to confirm the lender’s position in the market and whether it’s a suitable option for the buyer in question.

    Criteria for Private Jet Financing Evaluation

    It is, understandably, in a lender’s best interest to be highly discerning about who it grants private jet financing to and how much it lends. Therefore, similar to home mortgage lenders, private aircraft lenders have strict criteria for evaluating potential borrowers, as well as additional portfolio parameters based on the age and models of aircraft they’re able to finance.

    For buyers who want a better understanding of this criteria, look no further than the “5 Cs” of credit: character, capital, capacity, collateral and conditions.

    • Character refers to the borrower’s reputation and the stability of their credit.
    • Capital refers to the borrower’s net worth and the types of capital assets they currently own.
    • Capacity refers to the borrower’s ability to pay on the loan, as well as their current debt-to-income ratio.
    • Collateral refers to the assets that the borrower is able to pledge to secure the loan.
    • And, finally, conditions refer to how the borrower intends to use the aircraft, as well as external factors such as pending legislation that could affect the loan and the current state of the economy.

    Buyers should be aware that most lenders have specific loan covenants, and that their lender of choice might require periodic reviews of the aircraft’s market value and also organize third-party inspections to determine whether the aircraft is being kept in the proper condition.

    Alternatives to Private Jet Ownership

    For individuals who want to replicate the experience of owning their own aircraft without having to worry about securing private jet financing, there are multiple alternatives to outright ownership:

    • Private Jet Lease: The individual leases an aircraft from the owner for a specified period of time and assumes full operational control — similar to direct ownership — without transferring the aircraft title. Private jet leasing offers similar operational benefits, which can make it a viable option for buyers who are not able to take advantage of the tax benefits that direct ownership can provide. In some cases, however, private jet leasing agreements preclude the lessee from using the aircraft for third-party charter (FAR Part 135).
    • Fractional Aircraft Ownership: The individual invests in partial ownership by purchasing a share of a specific aircraft type and agrees to an annual amount of flight hours depending on their specific travel needs. Fractional ownership often comes with significant upfront acquisition and monthly operational costs, but fractional owners save on deadhead costs.
    • Private Jet Membership: The individual agrees to a fixed cost per hour at the start of the contract and is billed after each flight. Members are also expected to pay monthly management or annual membership fees.
    • Jet Card Program: The individual either agrees to a predetermined number of hours on a specific aircraft type or size category (dedicated service) or funds an established travel account and chooses the aircraft category on a trip-by-trip basis, after which the cost of trip is calculated and deducted from the account’s balance (debit card service).
    • Private Jet Charter: The individual charters — that is, rents — an aircraft for each specific trip they wish to take. Private jet chartering can be well-suited for individuals with relatively low annual travel requirements, but who fly to areas that cannot be easily reached by scheduled airline service.

    A Final Note

    Buyers interested in purchasing a private jet should assemble a team of professionals to assist them at every step of the process. From sorting out aircraft-specific tax considerationsto hiring an aircraft management company to handle day-to-day operations and support once the purchase is complete, buyers will want to have qualified and capable industry experts on their side — starting with a private aviation consultant.

    At Essex Aviation, we have a combined 70 years of aviation experience; in that time, we’ve had the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the private aviation industry, as well as develop strong relationships with service providers and other vendors. We’re able to leverage this knowledge and our vast network of industry connections in order to ensure that our clients’ unique private aviation requirements are met with unbiased guidance and that they have a quality client experience, from start to finish.

    This article was originally published by Essex Aviation Group, Inc.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Private Aviation Case Study: Finding the Right Combination of Services see more

    NAFA member, H. Lee Rohde, III, President & CEO of Essex Aviation, shares a private aviation case study on finding the right combination of services for your aviation needs..

    The Client

    The client, an executive in the venture capital division of a global asset management firm, spends a significant amount of time traveling, for both professional and personal reasons. A longtime private flyer, the client also frequently makes use of private aviation services for his family.

    Prior to working with a dedicated private aviation consultancy, the client utilized the services of a number of different jet carriers on a charter basis, quoting and scheduling each flight individually with help from his executive assistant.

    The Challenge

    Following a move from Massachusetts to Vermont, the client saw a significant increase in his volume of travel, both personally and professionally. Since the client continued to work in Boston, he began to use small light jet charters to commute from Vermont to Massachusetts on a weekly basis. As the number of charters began to add up, the client realized he needed a more practical solution to his private aviation needs.

    In addition to an increased volume of travel, the client also increased his use of other charter aircraft instead of his charter provider’s fleet of aircraft; this prompted the client to look at alternative or supplemental lift options for his ongoing travel.

    The Solution

    Based on a referral from his wealth management firm, which has worked with Essex in the past to handle other clients’ travel requirements, the client turned to Essex Aviation Group for dedicated private aviation consulting services.

    The consultants at Essex immediately set to work conducting a comprehensive flight history analysis for the client, examining key metrics such as the average duration of the client’s flights, mileage, frequency, aircraft type, etc. Based on the results of this analysis, Lee Rohde, President and CEO of Essex Aviation, crafted a multiple service provider program that would best meet the client’s various business and personal travel needs. The program Lee developed included a combination of a membership program, card program and fractional share provider, which reduced some of the overall flight costs by as much as 50 percent.

    By working with Essex Aviation the client was able to reduce some of the overall flight costs by as much as 50%

    The Conclusion

    Essex Aviation’s ability to adapt to the client’s changing private aviation needs has contributed to a positive, ongoing relationship.

    Recently, Essex facilitated the sale of the client’s shares in the fractional share program, processed renewals with his business aviation services provider and re-evaluated his usage, helping him shift from a 25-hour jet travel card to a 50-hour renewal. According to the client’s executive assistant, the client continues to rely on Essex for tracking analysis and fully intends to engage Essex’s services in the future for an updated usage analysis.

    “Lee’s always ready with the next step and the next idea — he often points out options I might not think of or see,” said the client’s executive assistant. “He’s also patient with us as our needs change, especially since we don’t always have time to delve into things ourselves.”

    Together, the client and the team at Essex have developed an efficient system for exchanging and updating information, as well as demarcating professional and personal usage, all of which allow for more in-depth ongoing usage analysis.

    Said the client’s executive assistant, “It’s been a pleasure all along to work with Lee. He’s extremely responsive and has been able to provide a quick turnaround on everything we’ve asked for. Everything’s running like a well-oiled machine.”

    To download the full case study, click here.

    This article was originally published on Essex Aviation's blog.


  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    H. Lee Rohde, President of Essex Aviation, discusses options to consider when aviation needs change. see more

    NAFA member H. Lee Rohde, founder, President, and CEO of Essex Aviation, advises on a few different options to consider when your aviation needs change. 

    When your aviation needs change, there are a few options to consider, such as total aircraft replacement, refurbishment or utilizing third party supplemental lift services. Lee Rohde, President & CEO of Essex Aviation recently shared three avenues to consider with Business Aviation Advisor in their featured cover story, Time for a New Aircraft – or Not? 

    An experienced and unbiased aviation advisor can help you weigh the different options and make a choice that is right for you or your client’s unique needs. Read the full article to learn more about the alternatives to aircraft replacement and then contact Lee Rohde or Tom Mitchell who can help answer any of your questions.

    This article has been publish as it appeared in the March/April issue of Business Aviation Advisor.