Fraction Action

Can't afford an entire jet? Try winging it with a piece of one.
This story first appeared in the April 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Think a private jet is too expensive for your business? Think again. "There are a number of new fractional-ownership options for people without huge travel budgets," says Joe Moeggenberg, president of the Aviation Research Group, an aviation consulting company in Cincinnati.

The options-the equivalent of owning a timeshare in a plane-are becoming popular among small-business owners. A recent study by J.D. Power and Associates found business aircraft use increased 44 percent in the past year. Why? The study concluded that private aircraft can save a traveler one whole month per year that would otherwise be wasted in transit. Here are some options:

  • Less is more. For as little as $100,000 a year, you can partner with other companies to acquire a share in an aircraft. This could buy you as much as 25 hours of flight time. You'll need an aviation lawyer to guide you through the process.
  • Hybrid options. Commercial carriers offer flights combining the best elements of a charter, commercial and fractional-ownership program. For example, on Delta's AirElite (, you can earn frequent-flier miles. Operators such as Marquis Jet Partners sell flight time in blocks of 25 hours, which cost $109,000 to $329,000 ( and have fewer strings attached than a fractional plan.
  • Own your own. A 1/16 share in a Cessna Citation jet-the smallest share currently available through a fractional-ownership program-costs $200,000 a year for 50 hours of flying time. Check out Flexjet (, FlightOptions ( or NetJets (

If you travel to destinations not typically served by major airlines, spend too much time in transit and spend at least $250,000 a year on air travel, fractional ownership is worth looking into.

Christopher Elliott is a writer and commentator and the editor of

View Comments (0)