The cost of second-hand private jets has plummeted as a result of the economic downturn, making it a good time to buy, an aviation industry figure has claimed.
Khalid Al Mutawa, chairman of Dubai-based global flight support company, Palm Aviation, has revealed that buyers can acquire jets for bargain prices in the wake of the global financial crisis.
Multinational companies and private jet owners were clamouring to sell off their jets in a desperate bid to reduce their outgoings, he added.
“For those in the market for pre-owned aircraft, prices are very attractive, compared to 2008 levels,” Mutawa said.
“In a softening market for aircraft sales and charter, the charter client and aircraft buyer now have an even greater choice and opportunity to continue to fly privately, with all the benefits of speed, convenience, flexibility, safety and privacy that are uniquely apparent,” he added.
The drop in fuel price from $147 a barrel last summer to around $40 made private jets more attractive to potential buyers, Mutawa said.
“With the drop in fuel and charter prices, private jet travel compares even more favourably to the standard first class products offered by the commercial airlines,” he said.
“The jet fuel cost of a typical business jet charter flight in the GCC may have been as high as $3.80 per gallon in 2008; in 2009 that cost has dropped to $1.60 per gallon and fuel has become a much lower percentage of the overall cost of a charter flight, which has also declined," Mutawa said.
Hourly rates for chartering an aircraft in 2008 was approximately $10,000 when oil prices were $147, where as the rate today is closer to $7,500.
“Add the impact of recession in 2009, softening charter rates means the hourly rate drops to around $6,500 per flying hour,” he said.
For 12 hours flying divided by 10 passengers, this means a cost of $7,800 return per passenger, which compares very favourably to first class commercial seats – if you can get them.
"And flying to your own schedule, there is no need for an expensive overnight stay, reducing the overall costs even further.,” he added.