Kevin O'Leary

Founder and President, Jet Advisors

If an aviation plan calls for whole ownership, then the next question—a daunting one—is what model aircraft to buy. Jet Advisors founder and president Kevin O’Leary notes that his company recently launched the Private Jet Index (PJI), a trademarked product that can streamline the selection process.The PJI uses 31 different parameters to evaluate a plane against the other planes in its category. The parameters include the aircraft’s purchase price, residual value, operating costs, performance, and capacity. The index evaluates 117 jet and turboprop models, the oldest of which have been in service since 1990.

The PJI helps you objectively analyze what aircraft is the best. That doesn’t mean it’s the one you’re going to choose. The highest-rated plane might not work for you. You might want better value, and the PJI will show which plane is the most efficient.

In aviation, you can’t look at one number unless it’s normalized. You can’t compare the fuel efficiency of one plane to another unless they’re the same size with similar capabilities. The PJI normalizes the numbers. It creates apples-to-apples comparisons.

The PJI provides two sets of analyses. One is standard and based on what everyone wants in an aircraft. The second is based on what you want—the averages are weighted toward the parameters that are most important to you. If your analysis is far different from the standard analysis, you’ll want to know that, because that could affect the resale value of the plane. For instance, the runway performance might not be important to you, but if the plane’s performance is inadequate in the standard analysis, that will affect the plane’s residual value. Part of the comparison is determining what you’re going to be able to sell that plane for, because until you sell an airplane, you don’t know what it will cost you.