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 WSOM member McLarenP1 counsels members on Acquiring an airplane after the exchange

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Join date : 2011-08-09

PostSubject: WSOM member McLarenP1 counsels members on Acquiring an airplane after the exchange   Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:19 am

FROM McLarenP1:

I've had several people in here ask me about acquiring an airplane after the exchange so I thought I'd put this out there. There are several options and this is one that may be right for many of you.  I'm a pilot for Netjets,  https://www.netjets.com/Home/  which is owned by Warren Buffett.  It's operation is similar to a time share condo in which one buys a fractional share of an airplane on a 5 year contract based on 800 flying hours per year.  So, for example, if you were to buy a 1/4 share of one of our 14 different fleets, each operating a specific type of airplane, you would initially pay 1/4 of the price of the aircraft, allowing you 200 hours per year for 5 years.  In addition to that, there is a monthly fee which includes fixed costs which includes pilots, mechanics, insurance, scheduled maintenance, etc.  Then there is an hourly fee which includes fuel, oil, excessive catering above the norm, etc.  The last time I heard, to qualify to buy a share, you have to show 15 million in equity, so it's clearly an elite group, but hopefully that won't be a problem after we exchange.

They have another way to acquire use of their airplanes which is called the "Marquis Card" which you may have seen advertised on the financial channels.  Joining Marquis is essentially buying either a 25 hour or 50 hour block of time on one of 14 different fleets, in which I believe but not sure, you have 2 years to use it.  That is an all inclusive price with no additional fees.  It is essentially chartering a plane from Netjets but they don't actually charter flights to anyone that calls for a flight, you have to join Marquis in which they vet applicants prior to bringing them into the program.

As I mentioned, they have 14 different types of airplanes, or fleets, in all totaling approximately 750+ airplanes, equal in size to the second largest airline, making it by far the largest private aircraft company in the world. That's a moving number due to rotation of aircraft and fleets, to maintain current types and low time aircraft. I mention that because it is a distinct advantage over smaller charter and "fractional" companies.  We literally have airplanes scattered all over the world at any given time, so if yours was to have a weather delay or mechanical issue, the company scrambles the closest airplane to you to keep you on schedule.  With a smaller company, it may be several hours to days before they can get a plane to you to recover your flight, if at all.  In the same respect, when scheduling a flight there are lots of planes so you will most likely be able to schedule the time and day you request, including holidays which are usually busy.  They advertise that if you were to call for immediate need of an airplane, they will have one at your location, wherever you may be, within 4 hours, and take you anywhere you want to go.  If you bought a Share or a Marquis membership on a smaller plane, for example, and needed to take the whole family somewhere, they will exchange time with one of the larger planes commensurately.  Netjets is all about privacy, security, low profile and luxury.  One of their selling points is their exemplary safety record and the extensive training that the flight crews go through every 6 months, and in my book, that's the number one consideration for me when looking for an airplane to carry my family, after our blessing comes through.  Trust me, the cheapest deal is not necessarily the best or "safest" deal, within reason. 

Another point regarding international flights, we have Netjets Aviation (U.S. based) that covers "ANYWHERE" you want to go, and we also have Netjets Europe which concentrates on Europe and Netjets Asia.  My understanding is they all work together to move our passengers with the same level of service and operation.

All that considered, I plan on buying a Marquis card to use until I purchase my own plane and establish a flight dept.  If I was not a pilot, wanting my own plane that I plan on flying but also having a full crew, I would probably look at buying a share at Netjets.  I've done the math and if you are going to fly more than 200-250 hours per year, having your own plane and flight department is the most economical. If you will be flying less than 200-250 hours per year, purchasing a Marquis membership or a "fractional Share Owner" would be more economical.  There are also definite tax advantages to aircraft ownership. There are tax advantages for Marquis also, but not as much.  If you compare apples to apples, regarding flying time per year, being a "Share Owner" is less than the "Marquis Card." The Marquis card is about the convenience of a one time, all inclusive fee, as compared to a large initial outlay of money for the share purchase, and then also monthly and hourly bills, although that is the more economical way.  Some of our "share owners", like Tiger Woods & Arnold Schwarzenegger, own shares on a couple size airplanes and many "Share Owners" have added a Marquis membership for different size planes.  Our members include corporations, private individuals, professional sports figures, foreign & U.S. government people, including ex-presidents on down, TV & movie personalities, and we also supplement large corporate flight departments.  When flying a well know Hollywood star to a charity event, he told me "in Hollywood, you're not in the "Club" unless you have a share at Netjets!"  Netjets is very much a status symbol with the elite but it is a very smart & useful business tool as well.

One comment that stood out from several passengers in my corporate flight departments and even at Netjets was that the passengers, especially the "nervous flyers" were much more comfortable when flying with a flight crew that they knew or had flown with previously.  I've got several repeat passengers at Netjets that I believe requested me for their flights, which you can do if they are available.  They truly strive to make each flight an exceptional experience.

I've been with Netjets for 16 years, flown for airlines, been Chief Pilot for several corporate flight departments and was a test pilot.  I'm not bragging, that's not my style, just telling you this to explain that I've got a wide range of experience to give you an educated answer.  I've posted some similar info on the WSOMN  forum in the past but would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.  I believe there are a few other pilots in the group that fly professionally and I'm sure  they have some great info to add, from their perspective.

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PostSubject: Re: WSOM member McLarenP1 counsels members on Acquiring an airplane after the exchange   Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:03 pm

Yea, like they're going to have to worry about that anytime soon. Think I'll say away from Netjets however.

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