Aircraft Purchase, Old and New

Aircraft Purchase, Old and New

The expense of purchasing an aircraft can vary markedly depending on what you are looking to achieve from the addition to your lifestyle. The options available are awe inspiring for the right budget, and honestly, still fantastic for those looking for something a little more practicality driven.

There are many benefits to consider in your search, such as how many passengers you would be looking to carry, to how much you are looking to pay for fuel burn per hour. You can find a full list of considerations here.

How Much Does a Private Jet Cost?

Cost comparison in aircraft purchase and ownership has a prominent factor, the age of the aircraft. This area is more precarious than it appears. As with any complicated machinery, paying for the latest technology may not always equate to fewer issues, and conversely, buying a less expensive but older asset has a growing amount of maintenance considerations. As the aircraft ages the maintenance checks become more in depth, thus needing longer on the ground and more man hours to ensure the safety of the aircraft.

However, if you are planning on using the aircraft for your personal scheduled flights only and are happy to let your management company plan around that schedule, this may not be an issue for you. Aircraft ages can drop the acquiring price by millions, which for a relaxed schedule can be immensely beneficial.

Buying Older Aircraft Models

Acquiring an older aircraft is no doubt more economical to purchase but can be more expensive to fix due to the checks becoming more in depth as the lifespan of the aircraft increases. They can need maintenance more regularly and as the aircraft ages some parts may be difficult to find after they have been discontinued.

The best way to add or maintain value to any aircraft is to have ‘programmes’ to cover the aircraft. These are essentially insurance policies that cover different aspects of the aircraft if maintenance is required. Depending on the type of coverage (programmes) an aircraft has in place, the price of running them can vary, however they are seen as an asset in of itself when looking to resell. The more coverage an aircraft has had previously, the more can be passed onto the next owner.

Buying Newer Aircraft Models

New aircraft are not without their considerations. If the aircraft is under 5 years old, in many cases all aspects of the aircraft would be covered under a warranty, however this does not cover any ‘user error’ based faults. If there is a fault that comes under warranty policy, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) will organise the maintenance of the issue, as well as any logistical support to maintain the owner’s schedule. This includes sourcing and contributing towards sub-chartered flights and the cost of ferrying the aircraft to a maintenance facility.  Depending on how long you plan on owning the aircraft, there are airframe, engine and APU programmes that protect against large, costly parts that might need replacing, as well as assisting in maintaining the value of the aircraft.  From the outset you can have the OEM bespoke the aircraft to your requirements and put the very latest mod-cons onboard, from high-speed KA band internet connectivity to special lighting which combats jet lag.

When purchasing an aircraft that is brand new to the market, the manufacturer will occasionally offer chartering from the owner, to demonstrate the aircraft and its capabilities to other potential buyers, on ‘flagship flights’.


An older aircraft is dramatically cheaper than a new aircraft, some are bought at over 30 years old and are multiple millions of euros cheaper than their newer counterparts. Do you make your money back from buying a newer aircraft? Possibly not unless you are chartering it too, but older aircraft do have a lot more ground time required through maintenance, so it would depend on your priorities – do you want smoother service and flexibility or a more economical option?

If you are considering an older aircraft, you may struggle as it seems all they are being snapped up and seemingly impossible to buy! It is difficult to speculate why this is happening, however as we still ride the waves of COVID -19, Brexit, and the change in attitude towards travelling they have brought with them, so we may see a change is in the situation in 2022.


Air CM Global can assist with both the acquisition and the sale process. Trading in your aircraft with the same company ensures a smoother transition period, both financially and logistically. Many clients have avoided being stuck with an asset they are looking to sell after the purchase of a new aircraft by consolidating this process.

If you would like any further advice on the buying or selling of an aircraft, please reach out to our team, who would be more than happy to assist you: