In his December 2005 “Inside Fractionals” column for Business Jet Traveler, Shaircraft CEO, James Butler, reveals how smaller fractional programs stack up to the larger, “Big Four” programs and reveals the key issues to investigate before buying a share. Butler explains, “Smaller fractional programs may be a good option for you if you tend to take short trips and know well in advance when you’ll need to fly, as these providers typically use small jets and require more flexibility in flight scheduling than the Big Four.” He adds that these programs may be more cost-effective than the larger ones, but only if the ability to fly on short notice, access to more airports and travel to and within Europe are not must-haves. “Smaller programs generally lack the longer track records of the Big Four,” Butler explains, “so it’s even more important that you do your due diligence before you buy.” Butler emphasizes the key issues to investigate before signing up with a smaller provider: Financial Strength (Do you understand the company’s financial resources and backing?), Management Team (Who makes up the management team and what is their experience in the aviation business?), Growth Strategy (Rapid growth may impact service.) and Service Restrictions (What are the limitations and can you live with them?).
Download: “Should You Sign on with a Small Provider?” (PDF format)