Comparing JetCard and Fractional Ownership Programs

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Please note: this article has been updated on Jan 21, 2022.

While jet card memberships and fractional ownership are both more economically viable than investing in owning your own aircraft, it can be difficult to understand which flying model will best suit your travel requirements. When deciding how to fly by private jet, it is important to understand the key financial and commitment differences between jet card programs and fractional ownership. We compare these private jet charter options so you can understand what would best suit you or your business.   



In a time of fluctuating economies, a jet card offers the short-term commitment many conscientious consumers are looking for. Fractional ownerships, on the other hand, require around a three to five-year minimum contractual commitment, which is a substantial obligation unless a buyer can predict their travel requirements for the next five years or so. In comparison, the JetCard program we offer is an agreement rather than a contract. This means should your travel requirements or financial priorities change at any point, you have the flexibility to leave the program when you need without penalty. You will even receive all your remaining funds back.  



Fractional ownership greatly reduces the cost of aircraft ownership, but regardless of whether you use your flight hours or not, monthly management costs for fuel, staff and other hidden expenses still apply, as well as the possibility of a remarketing fee when you eventually sell your share. You must also consider the effects of having capital tied up in a depreciating asset as the aircraft ages. The initial investment for 1/16 of a jet is a minimum of hundreds of thousands of pounds. On the other hand, jet cards generally are paid for by the hour. In the case of our JetCard program, the hourly rates are fully inclusive, which means there are no additional management, membership or running costs, such as positioning, peak day or high-density-airport charges. You only pay a fixed flying time plus 6 minutes taxi time either end. The hourly rates are fixed for the longevity of your agreement with no annual increases. Unused hours in a fractional owner contract usually expire after 18 months, whereas jet cards offer the flexibility for the hours to be valid in perpetuity as well as being able to fully refund your account’s unused hours if you ever wish to withdraw from the agreement. As a public company, our JetCard costs are innately transparent and clear.   



One of the most prominent concerns with fractional ownership is the competition between partner owners for usage during peak seasons. Bidding for availability is a waste of valuable time; that’s why our JetCard guarantees availability within 72 hours of notice, as well as no blackout dates. Jet cards also offer the advantage of being able to tailor the jet type and experience to each specific journey as you have no commitment to any specific aircraft. With our program, you can choose between six categories of aircraft, with no penalty charges to interchange between them. As opposed to fractional ownership, where your funds are tied in with one specific aircraft, you have more flexibility to use whichever category best suits your journey.  



While fractional ownership is a good option for someone looking to reduce the operational costs of owning a jet, the long-term contract will restrict your ability to flexibly control your schedule and assets. So, if your time is of great value and you wish to experience the convenience and luxury of a private jet without the unforeseen costs and the complications of bidding for availability, then a jet card would be more suited to you. At Air Partner, whether you’re flying for business or leisure, we pride ourselves in a JetCard program that offers far more flexibility and freedom than traditional fractional ownership models. Unlike similar jet card programs, our JetCard offers roundtrip discounts, no expiry date or annual increases on your purchased hours and no peak travel surcharges. If flexibility and transparency are important to you then get in touch to understand how you can benefit from our JetCard program. 


Inquire today about the Air Partner JetCard for membership details.