We often receive calls from potential buyers about aircraft we are selling or to discuss our acquisition services. Many of them believe that charter revenue can pay for their use of the aircraft. Other times we hear from disenfranchised owners who want to sell because the actual cost to own and operate their aircraft far exceeds what they initially expected before they bought. Unfortunately, you can’t earn enough through charter to pay for all of your own use, but only offset the total cost of ownership. And, aircraft are expensive to own, operate and maintain.
When we work with buyers (half of our total business) we work hard to establish accurate expectations before we really start. In conjunction with our clients, their financial advisors, tax consultants and aviation attorneys we build detailed budgets. We work to understand what kind of future maintenance, refurbishment and upgrades specific aircraft will require over the course of our client’s ownership. We complete thorough due diligence on the aircraft we are pursuing before our clients ever send an aircraft to a pre-purchase inspection. We are committed to making sure that our clients start a project eyes wide-open.
Buyers need to understand the total cost, tax ramifications and process of owning, operating and maintaining prior to buying. And, if someone goes into the process with accurate expectations and good information then owning and operating a corporate aircraft will be a positive experience. So, I am writing this blog post as a warning to ask good questions and build a team of experts to help you establish accurate expectations before you buy. Then, step in, complete your acquisition and enjoy your aircraft and the experience.