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In 2018, buying a private jet plane has never been easier. Well, the transaction of purchasing an aircraft itself may have never been easier, but coming up with the “chump change” for the purchase is no small task. Private jets cost anywhere from $3 to $90 million upfront, plus an additional $700,000 to $4 million per year to run it depending on the size of the aircraft.

In London, aircraft businesses opened to serve clients outside of the U.S. Within America, there is already a lot of competition for buying private planes, and the industry has only recently begun tapping into the international market. Recognizing the underserved market of multi-millionaires who are tired of traveling first class, but aren’t interested in making a purchase that will cost millions of dollars for years, an alternative was realized: the membership scheme at the approximate cost of first-class airfare.

Each membership allows passengers a certain number of trips per year on charter aircraft. One company, Jumpjet, offers trips on an aircraft serving 40+ cities in the U.S. Jumpjet’s Flexible Upper Club Membership costs around $1500/month or $18,000 annually with a one-time registration fee of $550. The membership guarantees ten round-trip flights, complimentary frequent flyer trips, and guests for an extra $1,000 each.

Before jumping into a decision, here a few things to consider.

  • According to estimations, if you have an annual flight time of over 240 hours annually, you will achieve the lowest operating costs, per flight-hour overall, by outright purchasing a private jet.
  • Your travel routine can significantly impact the benefits of buying an aircraft. If you typically fly one way, you’d be responsible for the crew and plane reaching its original destination. On the other hand, if you do a week-long round-trip, you’d be responsible for accommodating the pilots, crew, and plane for the entire period. Depending on the costs, the benefits could be outweighed.
  • Within Europe alone, there are about 500 airports served by commercial airlines. However, for private aircraft, there are around 5,000 accessible airports and aerodromes. This means you will be able to land closer to your destination, rather than making a transfer upon landing.
  • A top advantage of owning a private jet is the amount of freedom it provides. You can arrive at the terminal right before departure; you can choose your flight times, and make short-notice changes. Any issues within the airport, such as strikes, waits, cancellations, or baggage, are avoided.