Private Jets For Sale

While it is commonly felt that private jets for sale is an opportunity for buying your dream flying machine at a cheap price, some jets have a past that can make potential buyers view them as damaged goods–and greatly reduce their resale value. Flaws to be carefully considered are high airframe time, corrosion, foreign ownership, missing or incomplete logs and damage history.

Their impact on resale prices aside, some such factors may have no effect on an aircraft’s performance, operating cost or longevity. Whether the problem is real or imagined, most buyers will stay away from that type of private jet lowering demand and thus the private jet cost.

Sellers need to understand these factors, so they can address problems before they put their aircraft on the market–and so they can get a reality check of what their jet is worth.

Buyers, meanwhile, can use the perception versus reality equation to find bargain private jets that the marketplace may have unfairly discounted.

Some of the key factors that make buyers cautious and compel sellers to lower the private jet cost are:

Airframe Time

The number of hours an airplane has flown has a dramatic impact on its aftermarket value, and owners of relatively high-time jets pay the price when they sell. Buyers mistakenly equate low-time aircraft with low-mileage automobiles, ignoring the continuous maintenance and inspections that assure an aircraft’s airworthiness.

Aircrafts with “Problem Pasts? can result is a bargain

If you’re an owner who uses your jet a lot, you might consider selling sooner than you otherwise would, keeping time on the aircraft within averages for the vintage. And if you’re a buyer who intends to put relatively little time on a jet, you might purchase a high-time model at a discount and sell when low usage has brought its total time more in line with averages, reaping the rewards of a rebound in value.

For buyers, high-time private jets can represent real value. Most business jets are built to air transport standards (Federal Aviation Regulation Part 25), as are airliners. And with a service life of around 60,000 to 70,000 flight hours, a 20,000-hour jet flown 700 hours per year–considered high usage–has more than half a century of life left.

Damage history of private jets cuts resale values, with the amount depending on the damage’s severity and age. Owners trying to sell jets with such history however know that the chance of buying an undamaged aircraft on the market is slim.

Damage History

Damage is often minor, such as when winglets get dinged on crowded tarmacs, tugs run into airstairs or hard landings damage landing gear. But even when damage is minor, owners should repair it to protect resale value. And for some smaller damaged parts, replacement can make more economic sense than repair, even though it’s more expensive, because it eliminates a paper trail of the damage.

Damage history of private jets cuts resale values, with the amount depending on the damage’s severity and age. Owners trying to sell jets with such history however know that the chance of buying an undamaged aircraft on the market is slim .Some aircraft have “problem? pasts that cut into resale value. At times, the result is a bargain.


Corrosion can seriously depress the value of a private jet cost, and if severe, can threaten its structural integrity and require considerable time and expense to correct. But corrosion is also common and often harmless. All metal is subject to corrosion. Corrosion starts on new airplanes when they come out of the factory. Some people who are not knowledgeable get upset when they get a report of corrosion in an aircraft they’re considering and they race off to tell the boss. Then everyone gets upset, as if the wing were falling off, but corrosion is normal.

Ownership History

Private jets registered outside the US face discrimination in the marketplace. The perception is that they don’t receive the same level of care as those in the U.S. However, according to brokers and dealers, the majority are maintained by factory service centers. Owners of foreign-registered aircraft who are concerned about resale values should assure that their jets are well maintained.

For potential buyers, the logs provide the paper trail on where and how the aircraft has been serviced. And a thorough inspection will uncover any issues the logs don’t reveal.

Buyers also tend to consider multiple owners a negative, as that can make it tougher to establish the history and care of the aircraft. Each operation has its own way of recording maintenance. A single owner makes the paper trail less cumbersome to follow. It’s nice to be able to get from the current owner a history that extends back several years.

Incomplete or Missing Logs

Use of an aircraft without complete logs also affects the private jet cost. Incomplete logs are especially unacceptable for a U.S. operator that wants to place a jet on an air carrier certificate to generate revenue.

Logs can be reconstructed, but it’s a long, costly process. All facilities that have performed maintenance or inspections must be contacted, and they in turn have to search work orders and other records. Sometimes owners don’t even realize logs are incomplete until they try to sell the jet.

Additionally, besides an aircraft’s unique history, all makes and models are subject to their own idiosyncratic problems–areas where corrosion may appear or parts that are apt to become damaged. Both owners and buyers should work with professionals knowledgeable about the particular model they are selling.

For buyers, the simple message is that you make your money when you buy the private jet, you’re not going to make money when you sell it. There are sophisticated buyers, and there are buyers who get put away on the front end because they didn’t do the research. Eventually it all comes down to doing the due diligence.