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Investing in Lifestyle: Owning an Aircraft

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward…” – Leonardo da Vinci

Tasting flight at one’s fingertips is often a dream for frequent travelers. And thanks to Hopkinson Luxury Aircraft Sales, the freedom to fly makes that dream a reality.

Hopkinson Luxury Aircraft Sales is a premier aircraft brokerage specializing in private jets and turboprops. The Scottsdale-based business benefits from 60 years and three generations of passed-down experience in the aviation industry. With an unparalleled reach, reputation, and resilience in the aviation market, they’re committed to providing best-in-class service.

Here’s everything you need to know about embarking on aircraft ownership.

Determine if you're a candidate to purchase

Having an aircraft means it’s available for personal or corporate travel on demand. To justify your investment, consider the number of hours you fly per year. If those hours are between 50-100, you're better off chartering (renting). However, if your fly time exceeds 100 hours a year, consider a shared or whole ownership structure. Time is money and the flexibility of private jets offers convenience, privacy, and efficiency.

Purchasing an aircraft

For purchasing a pre-owned aircraft, initial steps are identifying a mission profile and determining your capital/operating budget. Also in the early stages, you'll want to secure your route for financing. Once your broker identifies an aircraft within the target budget, they’ll make an offer with a deposit by way of LOI.

After completing an initial visual cosmetic inspection, your broker will proceed to an Aircraft Purchase Agreement with the help of aviation legal counsel. The aircraft then proceeds to a Pre-Purchase Evaluation. Your aircraft broker is the key to negotiation and carefully handles every step.

This process is different for a new aircraft. Today, most OEMs have a two year waitlist.

Plane-shopping 101

New airplanes are awesome, but a 10-year-old aircraft is equally cutting edge, particularly with upgrades.

There is value in buying a used plane with good pedigree. This means you're buying an aircraft that was well taken care of, exceptionally maintained, and stored properly in a hangar. 

Each generation of aircraft makes substantial improvements over the last. In the ultra-long-range category, onboard showers have become an option. Newer planes are quieter with an enhanced cabin altitude making for a more relaxed flying experience. Modern planes are equipped with WIFI.

No pilot, no problem

Some owners prefer to fly themselves, but you don't have to sit in the driver seat to own a plane. 

Hopkinson Luxury Aircraft Sales will refer aircraft management companies to handle pinpointing pilots, maintenance, and dispatching the aircraft.

Storing your aircraft

Premium hangars are available around the Valley. Scottsdale and Sky Harbor are favorites at premium prices, but there are additional hangar space at other airports.

Drumroll... average price-tags

Plane prices are often based on mileage as well as age.

A typical super mid-size aircraft with a stand-up cabin can travel 3000+ Nautical Miles meaning it can travel coast-to-coast (for example, easily accessing Hawaii from Arizona). These models typically cost between $22-25M when new, while a 10-15-year-old aircraft can be less than $10M.

A long-range aircraft like the Gulfstream G600 or Bombardier Global cost upwards of $50M, while a used stablemate (with a different model name) can be between $15-30M.

Selecting your broker

Hopkinson Luxury Aircraft Sales provides end-to-end support start to finish, in addition to specialized consulting and appraisals. Services include identifying your mission, establishing budgets, performing initial visual inspections, crafting LOIs, recommending legal advice for Purchase agreements and managing pre-purchase inspections. After you close, your broker will assist in arranging a private flight department or commercial operator. Ideal aircraft brokers remain available throughout the years as you seek upgrades to your individual plane or fleet.

Company History

Andrew Hopkinson owns Hopkinson Luxury Aircraft Sales. His grandfather constructed the first home-built aircraft in Canada and was a World War II flight instructor in 1939.  Post war, his grandfather became an aircraft distributor, where Andrew’s father worked. Andrew now continues his family's plane-selling legacy and expertise. 

  • Andrew and Nicole Hopkinson, Owners, Hopkinson Luxury Aircraft Sales
  • Global XRS
  • Premier 1
  • Premier 1
  • Global XRS interior
  • Falcon 50
  • Falcon 50
  • Falcon 900EX
  • Keith Sandling Hopkinson - Andrew's Grandfather
  • Praetor 500