Private jet company with Hong Kong operations says it will roll out Asia’s first co-owners scheme

A Shenzhen-based business jet company with operations in Hong Kong has said it will become the first in the Asia-Pacific region to roll out a private aircraft co-ownership scheme, in a bid to cash in on a growing number of passengers seeking premium travel at a lower cost with investment returns.

Amber Aviation vice-president Vicky Tsui told the Post in an interview this week that her company would launch the service in June.

The company said it had also been the first in the region to offer fractional leasing of business jets two years ago. It boasts a fleet of 15 business jets for clients, in addition to owning another six aircraft.

The fractional leasing option offers customers the use of a 16-person charter flight service for at least 50 hours per year at an hourly rate of HK$120,000 (US$15,300) to HK$150,000. The lessee can request the service no less than 24 hours in advance.

“There has been a paradigm shift in aviation after the Covid-19 pandemic. More people have turned to private jets as they look for a safer and more reliable service,” she said.

“Fractional leasing can allow more people to enjoy business jet service at a cheaper cost, as it is difficult for young entrepreneurs to dish out a large sum of money to purchase private jets.

“Owning a private jet will incur a very high cost at about HK$25 million, including the maintenance and management fees, with very low usage at 100 to 300 hours a year. Fractional leasing can also maximise its usage at 900 to 1,000 hours per year.”

Tsui said the company’s roll-out of an option allowing investors to co-own a business aircraft sought to further capitalise on the rising demand for private jet services.

Under the fractional ownership scheme, a person can buy an equity share of a specific new aircraft, usually one-sixteenth, which offers 100 flying hours annually for five years.

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Amber Aviation’s Tsui has also noted more of her company’s private planes are passing through Hong Kong again. Photo: Elson Li

If an investor decides not to renew their contract after five years, the company will return their share capital at a figure determined by the market value.

“Fractional ownership is different from fractional leasing where you fail to have ownership after the leasing period. As a co-owner, you can still possess the asset after enjoying the private jet service for at least five years,” she said.

“This business model is very popular in Europe and the United States, which ensures that investors get access to the service whenever and wherever they want. This will be a good investment.”

Tsui said the service meant co-owners did not need to worry about jet management, manpower or documentation, unlike sole owners.

“Our company will handle everything for the investors who just need to board the jet and enjoy their trips,” she said.

Interest in chartering private jet to Hong Kong ‘takes off after quarantine lift’

Tsui also expressed optimism about the business aviation market in Hong Kong, noting the number of times her company’s jets had passed through the city last year had increased fourfold from 2022.

“Among our 15 busiest routes, the ones via Hong Kong have accounted for more than half, such as the route between the city and Singapore, those from Hong Kong to Tokyo and Shanghai, as well as from Beijing to the city,” she said.

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