By: Peter J. Kiernan, VP of Managed Aircraft Sales, Keystone Aviation
For users of private aviation taking the next step into whole aircraft ownership, navigating the options to operate their own aircraft can be a complicated and confusing process of evaluating a wide array of providers offering traditional and hybrid management solutions. For the uninitiated, finding the right partner means finding the right blend of aviation and fiscal expertise in a manager and forming a clear understanding of how the asset will be operated, maintained and the financial responsibilities of both parties.
First time owners need to carefully consider how the aircraft will be operated by the service provider, in a traditional management arrangement the aircraft is operated for the exclusive use of the owner and based at a location of the owner’s choice, with a full time dedicated crew assigned to the aircraft. Leasing the aircraft for third party charter revenue is at the discretion and approval of the owner on a case by case basis. Alternatively in a hybrid management arrangement the owner would enter into a lease and charter agreement with the manager and the aircraft would be placed in the managers free floating charter fleet. Pilots would be provided on an as needed basis by the manager. In the latter example the aircraft owner typically would be required to provide 7-10 days advance notice to schedule flights on the aircraft for their personal use.
In recent years, the charter management industry has sorted itself into very large, one-size fits all providers and mom and pop operations that are somewhat personalized but lacking the depth of operational expertise and the size to leverage purchasing power for third party services.
Keystone is that right-sized management company, a financially secure, conservatively run organization with more than 25 aircraft based across the U.S., with aspirations to grow at a measured and deliberate pace. Keystone was founded in 1995 and today is part of Elevate Aviation Group, a low profile aviation service group with a big footprint across the private aviation industry. Through Private Jet Services, EAG provides charter transportation to professional sports teams, orchestras, rock bands, political campaigns and others with complex operations and itineraries.
As a member of the EAG group of companies Keystone Aviation manages aircraft as small as the PC-12 turboprop and jets as large as the B737. We manage your asset and your ownership experience as you would, we get to know you and we design a program that is fully customized to your specifications and preferences. For new aircraft owners and operators there is no question that the level of due diligence exercised selecting a management company partner at the outset of your ownership experience will determine the overall experience. There is no doubt that the tendency to be caught up in the overpromises of lower operating costs and unrealistic projections of charter revenue income can be persuasive. Keystone Aviation is there on day one as your trusted aviation advisor with world class operational expertise, strong institutional controls and transparency.
Rethinking your current status with your aircraft manager? Reach out today for an in-depth aircraft management evaluation.