For the regular user, full ownership may be far more economic than either charter or a fractional share. Benefits are constant availability and relative economy. Critically, operating standards and security are also brought totally within the control of the owner.
Cost of capital and depreciation become major considerations. Leasing options are also available, certain of which provide ‘off balance sheet‘ benefits.
Advantages of ownership are:
Disadvantages are the possible lack of back-up aircraft and also non-availability when on maintenance, and non-availability to the owner if charter is permitted to third parties. To alleviate such issues, maintenance can be scheduled at times so to have minimum impact on the owner.
Many owners elect to place their aircraft under the control of a management company, which will provide all the necessary support (crews, training, maintenance, etc.) and which can potentially offset some costs by offering the aircraft to others for charter should the owner so wish. However, revenues may not be relied upon as being predictable over a period of time as availability for charter depends entirely upon the owner’s personal pattern of use. The revenue from chartering is related directly to the availability of the aircraft in the wider market and, most importantly, effective marketing and management of the charter process which may be in an operator’s interest and not that of the owner. In many cases, projected charter revenues are therefore highly subjective and placing an aircraft for charter adds substantially to overall costs in terms of increased crewing, increased maintenance and spares requirements, undue and increased wear and tear, and ultimately a major reduction in aircraft residual value. However, there may be advantages for an owner to lease an aircraft to an operator and chartering it when required.
Where immediate availability is required, or there are specific security, safety monitoring and service quality concerns, third-party charter operations are not recommended.