Aircraft Operator Deposit Charter Programs
Many aircraft operators created a way to capture the attention and funds of their "bulk charter" program or service. These programs hit the market in ways of guaranteed pricing for a set number of hours in a specific aircraft cabin, all the way to a simple deposit program that provided a discount on the listed hourly rates. These programs are geared towards retail charter clients who typically fly more than $200,000 a year. The real question we find ourselves asking is: "Do these programs actually reduce the cost of flying privately with that operator?" The short answer is, it depends. The hourly rates that many aircraft operators provide are a listed rate. However, behind the scenes there are variables that allow that rate to adjust for each aircraft, each route and you will typically see a variance of 5% - 10%. The difficulty with a deposit program as compared to jet card, is that the aircraft or specific rate may not be guaranteed. A jet card provider is contractually obligated to offer a like type or better aircraft at the rate mutually agreed to. So, when you consider an operator-based program, the discount amount may provide less clarity and consistency than you are hoping for. There is also a difference between account segregation and general deposit. One of the questions we like to ask is if a program is 1- interest bearing and 2- segregated. This is a great way to avoid any confusion of what your funds are used for, other than your specific flights.
We have navigated and understand the nuances to many of the top programs offered today. If you have any questions or would like to discuss what program may make sense for your travel profile, please reach out to The PJC for any of your aviation advisory needs.