The tips and tricks of operating a business jet vary. Each cost-saving suggestion should be taken up by the operator with intent to audit and confirm its effectiveness. Given the many variables at work in business flying, success in some areas doesn’t guarantee overall savings. Six or more months n a new program should show its impact on costs.
With the above stipulated, the following are our three top tips for making savings when operating your business jet.
Tip #1: Fuel Cost Management
Fuel costs continue to constitute as much as two-thirds of an aircraft’s variable operating cost and illuminate the importance of employing best practices in the selection of fuel vendors.
It’s best to use more than one solution because not every airport will offer every program or every fuel brand. Two or three fuel cards and program membership for the FBO chains visited the most should suffice. The broader the chosen program’s reach the better the benefit for the operator. As a practice, pilots and operators polled for this article recommended using no fewer than three different fuel-program types.
Tip #2: Pre-Paid and Hourly Maintenance Programs
Hourly maintenance programs exist in various forms- from third-party-tip-to-tail programs covering every aspect of business aircraft maintenance to OEM-run programs tailored to specific elements of an aircraft, including its engines.
The ultimate thing the operator gains is predictability; budget stability. The programs vary in their scope and coverage but share the same basic structure: Operators report their monthly aircraft usage and pay a fixed, hourly fee toward their maintenance needs.
The major appeal stems from the predictability of maintenance costs- insulating an operator from the shock effect of a sudden unplanned maintenance event.
Tip #3: Always Consider Alternative Lift
Considering whether to use the company airplane is a fair question where minimizing operating costs is concerned. Depending on the length of the trip, the stops required and the personnel load, the company aircraft may not always be the most cost-effective option, which could be a step up or a step down in aircraft range, size and capability.
One size seldom fits all, where Business Aviation is concerned. The airplane selected should represent the best fit for the majority of your mission needs. A relationship with a charter or fractional ownership provider with fleet aircraft available to fulfil your remaining needs will help save on your operating costs, ultimately.
The three tips highlighted in this article are not the only three cost saving tips to reduce operating costs. Each flight department develops its own set of practices, and there are almost as many tips as there are operations.
Article Inspired by – Dave Higdon (highly respected aviation journalist who has covered all aspects of civil aviation over the past 36 years).