Fractional Aircraft Ownership

We provide high-net-worth individuals, corporations and family offices with the insight and expertise they need to confidently navigate the purchase or lease of a fractional share.

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What is Fractional Aircraft Ownership?

With fractional ownership, you purchase a share of a specific aircraft type, which provides you with an annual amount of allotted flight hours. Typically, fractional programs require a minimum share size of 50 hours of flight time per year to acquire a share. Fractional shares can especially be cost effective if you plan to stay at your destination for a long period of time, since you only pay for your occupied flight time, not the positioning flights.

Key Considerations for Fractional Ownership

Any client considering fractional jet ownership should ask themselves a few questions before making a decision:

  1. How many hours per year do I fly?

  2. How frequently do my travel needs change?

  3. How long are my trips, usually?

  4. Do I predominately fly for personal or business reasons?

  5. How many people do I typically travel with?

  6. What is my budget?

The Cost of Fractional Ownership

There are three basic costs associated with fractional aircraft ownership:

  1. Acquisition Cost

    The initial cost to purchase a share. This varies depending on the aircraft type and size of the share.

  2. Monthly Management Fees

    These fees cover your ownership’s portion of the fixed costs, including maintenance, pilot’s salary, crew salaries, insurance, hangar fees and other administrative costs.

  3. Hourly Operating Fee

    This fee covers your hourly operational costs for each hour flown.

Commonly Used Aircraft

Clients interested in fractional aircraft ownership have a wide variety of aircraft types to choose from. From turbo-props to light jets and heavy jets, Essex Aviation can help identify the most suitable aircraft to meet any client’s specific personal or business travel requirements.

Fractional Share Options

There are, at present, two options when purchasing a fractional share. Traditional share sizes are based on annual flight hours per contract, per year. Other programs offer share sizes based on annual days of utilization per contract year.

The hours-per-year model is based on shares totaling 800 occupied hours per year sold for each aircraft. The newer days-per-year model enables owners to fly as many hours as they need per day with the only limitation being standard crew duty times. Understanding the pros and cons of each model and how it fits into your travel needs is an essential part of any fractional program analysis.

The Path to Fractional Aircraft Ownership

There are several key considerations that factor into fractional jet ownership. We assist clients through the entire fractional share purchase or lease process, starting with an initial evaluation and review of the available options. We represent our clients with the selected fractional provider during the analysis, negotiations, final contracting with the selected fractional provider and delivery of the share.

  1. Perform Initial Evaluation

    Clients considering fractional aircraft ownership often have different expectations and have varying needs. For those new to private aviation, or those simply looking to make a change, the initial evaluation of the various private aircraft programs is an important step made easier by working with Essex Aviation. Our team assists clients in comparing options based on their specific needs and desires, starting with a technical and financial analysis to ensure that the right aircraft and aviation utilization models are considered.

  2. Oversee the Proposal

    Once the client has selected an aircraft type and assessments are complete, we assist them with understanding the differences between the various proposals from the identified providers to determine which will most effectively meet their defined needs and requirements.

  3. Oversee Negotiations and Contracting

    Once the client has selected a provider, Essex will provide ongoing representation during the review, including the negotiation of terms, final contracting and closing on the share.

  4. Ongoing Financial Monitoring

    While the billing process for fractional providers is well-defined, with fixed monthly management fees, along with invoices for variable costs based on hours flown during the prior month, we often provide routine statement monitoring and review on an as-requested basis.

Alternatives to Fractional Ownership

Should a client decide that fractional aircraft ownership isn’t the right option for their situation, or should their needs change, there are a number of other private aviation options available that Essex can offer guidance on, such as:

Exiting a Fractional Share

Most fractional share contracts are in place for three to five years. If a client wanted to exit their share early, the experienced counsel at Essex Aviation can assist them in determining the best strategy to exit their plan in the most cost-effective manner and manage the final repurchase transaction of the share with the program provider.

Why Essex Aviation?

Unbiased

Essex Aviation is not a brokerage firm and does not list aircraft for sale. We made this choice in order to avoid any conflicts of interest by representing both a buyer and seller. We accept no commissions, referral fees or any other forms of compensation from any third parties. At Essex, we work solely for our clients, offering unbiased and uncompromised advice.

Unparalleled Experience

Lee Rohde and Tom Mitchell have been working in the aviation business for a combined 70+ years. Passionate about aviation since they were in their teens, Lee and Tom provide a unique combination of experience and a wealth of unparalleled knowledge while advocating for their clients’ interests.

Confidential

We are committed to protecting the privacy of our clients. Every agreement we enter into includes privacy and confidentiality clauses, which are strictly adhered to by every member of Essex Aviation.

Honest and Fair

Essex is a well-respected consumer advocate within the aviation industry, known for our character and honesty. It is our desire to form and maintain long-term relationships with our clients and remain accountable for the analysis and support of past and ongoing decisions.

Our Testimonials

Our Clients Say It Best

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“Knowledgeable. Informed. Competent. Thorough. Practical. Candid. Professional. Responsive. Efficient.”

5 Star Rating

Tony R., CFO

Northeast Based Family Office

“Lee, Tom and the team at Essex have worked with us over the years on a variety of fixed wing, rotor and other special projects, performing to superior standards throughout. We initially went through an industry downselect to compete them against their peers and they surfaced as the best fit for us. We continue to be very happy with the relationship.”

5 Star Rating

Mike D.

Northeast Based Family Office

“Essex Aviation facilitated an end-of-lease process for a large aircraft and assisted us with structuring a subsequent lease extension. The transactions had several challenging issues that required expert counseling and negotiation. The Essex team is friendly, prompt, easy to work with, and most importantly, simply the best at what they do. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”

5 Star Rating

Joe Stone, CFO

Sartini Enterprises, Inc.

“Lee and Tom are the dynamic duo you've been looking for. Their collective skills provide exacting coverage on every detail needed when considering an airplane purchase or refurbishment. I worked with them on a lengthy process, from identification of plane, purchase, full refurbishment, staff assignments thru delivery. I was never once disappointed. Perfect personalities for even the pickiest of clients!”

5 Star Rating

Heidi M.

“Essex Aviation’s guidance and data analysis was crucial to our successful first CJ3 lease and later our CJ4 purchase. The expertise of Essex allowed us to understand more fully our flight metrics, history, costs and how to match our future aviation needs with available options in a way that would not have been possible on our own.”

5 Star Rating

Alexandra Glazier, President and CEO

New England Donor Services

“Throughout my career as a family office executive, Essex Aviation has been my go to aviation expert. Lee and Tom have guided me through the most complex aircraft acquisition while being able to meet difficult client deadlines. The Essex team has provided key analysis ranging from the mundane, such as the interpretation of the placement of a placard on an aircraft to negotiations relating to an engine care program. Lee and Tom are key partners in all aspects of family office aviation matters.”

5 Star Rating

John Castrucci, Family Office Executive & Founder

Global Family Office Advisors

“I engaged Essex Aviation to prepare an analysis of large cabin aircraft that best met my needs. Their process was comprehensive and thorough. After an exhaustive search of available aircraft, they represented me on the acquisition, negotiation and importation of a long range aircraft and then oversaw a comprehensive customization of the entire plane. Throughout the process, Essex was a knowledgeable, trustworthy and detail oriented partner.”

5 Star Rating

Daniel R.

Ask These Questions Before Making Your Next Aviation Decision

Private aviation offers numerous benefits, but each service option comes with its pros and cons. Find out whether a membership/card program, charter, fractional or dedicated aircraft model is right for you — and how a private aviation consultant can help you make an informed decision — in this free eBook.