December 07, 2016

Fleet Power

Owning an aircraft can be a huge benefit, whether personally or for your business: you are able to select an aircraft that best fits your needs, from the range capability to the cabin layout, and the availability can’t be beat.

When you start to explore the ownership costs of your aircraft, there are several factors to consider: aircraft management with Jet Linx can help offset the cost of your airplane, and we may connect you with a tax advisor to make sure you get expert advice in that regard. Beyond those benefits, Jet Linx works behind the scenes to provide the best value to aircraft owners, leveraging the full fleet of managed aircraft (over 78 to date!) and utilizing our in-house specialists to negotiate meaningful discounts. Explore how Jet Linx can add value to your ownership experience in fuel, insurance, training, and parts & maintenance.

// Fuel
Fuel is one of the most visible costs of operating an aircraft – but the Jet Linx team can help lighten that load. Based on our fleet size, Jet Linx has secured volume discounts at many FBOs and with some third-party contract fuel vendors to find lower rates where possible. Low fuel rates are always available at Jet Linx Bases nationwide, with rates significantly discounted over the rates offered to transient aircraft.

// Insurance
charter-jet-scottsdaleOnce you’ve purchased your aircraft, one of the most important arrangements to make is for your insurance coverage. Jay Vidlak, Jet Linx Aviation Executive Vice President, works with our preferred underwriter and broker. “We’ve had a relationship with Silverstone as our broker for numerous years, and they’ve worked with us to get us the best possible rates they can. Our underwriter is Global Aerospace, and they are a phenomenal underwriter,” he said. “They have really gone to bat for us to get us the best possible premiums for us at the best possible coverage.” Additionally, Silverstone works on Jet Linx’s behalf as a risk mitigation team, something most other operators don’t have access to. “When we have a claim, they are the ones coordinating the claim for us,” he continued. “They are basically working as our team of risk mitigation specialists or insurance specialists on our behalf.”

Vidlak advised that aircraft owners searching for insurance coverage need to be wary of the fine print when comparing plans. “One thing that we see in our industry is aircraft owners coming back to us and saying, ‘I can get the same hull coverage with the same liability limits you’re quoting me for $5,000 less.’ Well, when you start reading the fine print, the coverage isn’t even close,” he explained. “You have to really compare apples to apples.”

As an additional benefit, Jet Linx clients pay only the actual price of their insurance plan: there is no markup to the aircraft owner. “Our insurance is a direct pass through,” Vidlak noted. “So all negotiations that we do on the insurance side of things are all on the behalf of our aircraft owners: we do not make a dime on the insurance.

// Training
Every Jet Linx pilot completes an initial training when hired, and a recurrent training every year. Captains have a six-month instrument competency check as well. With the amount of training required, it is important to note that Jet Linx has negotiated for the best training rates with our partner FlightSafety. “We get more training dollars per hour than you can get anywhere everywhere else,” said Mike Kopp, Jet Linx Aviation Director of Operations. “A lot of operators will go with two simulator training sessions and a check ride, but we do three simulator training sessions and a check ride without any additional cost.” PICs also complete four hours of ground school and a practice simulator session before a check ride, at no cost above just the check ride. “That is additional training at no extra cost, that otherwise wouldn’t be required,” he said. Jet Linx is able to select a training plan that is most cost effective for each pilot, whether they are a PIC, a Second in Command (SIC), or if they fly multiple aircraft types.

Training costs are negotiated on every level, including volume discounts based on the types of aircraft in the Jet Linx fleet. “For example, we have a lot of Beechjets,” said Jes Wingad, Jet Linx Aviation Training Manager. “So we have the ability to really negotiate a good training rate with Flight Safety, especially with the number of training events and the number of pilots going through it, so we can certainly benefit our owners with a price reduction in that particular aircraft.” Additionally, we receive certain advantages when scheduling training, including being able to book training farther in advance and being able to reserve space in classes before naming the specific pilot in the class – a definite plus when adding new aircraft to the Jet Linx fleet. “With new hire pilots, we have the availability to work the schedule so that it’s not only best for the pilot but best for the owner,” Wingad continued. “We can forecast what training slots we have available and the pilot won’t be sitting around for weeks at a time to get into a training class.”

// Parts & Maintenance
private-jet-denver-instagramAircraft maintenance – and replacement parts – are an unavoidable part of aircraft ownership. Luckily, the team at Jet Linx can leverage their time in the industry and a network of reliable partners for our aircraft owners’ advantage. “Our experienced parts staff has over 33 years combined experience,” said Dick Goeken, Jet Linx Aviation Parts Manager. The team uses a parts locator service to help obtain parts at a “tremendous discount,” added Tony Boatwright, Jet Linx Aviation Director of Maintenance. “Sometimes as much as 50% off, which can be hundreds of thousands of dollars off regular retail.” Jet Linx clients don’t pay markup on any parts sourced by Jet Linx: the savings created by the parts staff and the locator service are passed on directly to aircraft owners.

Boatwright warns against the appeal of a parts warranty program from an aircraft manufacturer, as those programs don’t offer the same cost savings. “They’re a ‘use it or lose it’ program, so if you pay for $100,000 a year and use $50,000 worth of parts, you’re going to lose $50,000 – and if you go over, you’re paying the difference,” he advised. Additionally, Jet Linx receives parts discounts from several vendors (including Aviall, Bombardier, Dassault, and Textron) due to fleet size. Avionics warranty programs are another big-ticket item discounted for clients, and the program itself is already a savings. “We’ve found these programs to be very successful and they pay for themselves within the first few months of aircraft ownership,” Boatwright continued.

While Jet Linx has trained aircraft mechanics on staff, certain maintenance events may be outsourced if they require extensive manpower or costly tools. The team also works to reduce the cost of outsourced maintenance with trusted vendors. “We receive fleet discounts on most large maintenance events from such vendors as Duncan Aviation, Technicair, and West Star Aviation,” Goeken said. Occasionally, a maintenance provider will offer special discounts and kickbacks to Jet Linx clients. “One company used to give a $20,000 kickback on certain inspections, and the kickback went back to the owner of the aircraft 100%,” Boatwright recalled. The dollar amount was removed from the contract, as the number can sometimes be negotiated for a further incentive. “It’s worked out really well, if an owner took their airplane in there and had two engines done, they can use the money back toward another inspection while they’re down or get upgrades to the avionics or things like that,” he said.

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