Could a Private Jet Be a Green Choice?

One has to admit that fantasizing about private jet travel has its appeal, although perhaps that’s partly beacuse it’s so unrealistic for 99% of us. It’s also mostly an unneeded perk enjoyed by the super wealthy for largely frivelous reasons. But that doesn’t mean it’s going away.
So what can be done to make private jet ownership a greener choice? Anything at all? The answer may be fractional jet ownership. Since one hardly needs to use one’s jet on a daily basis, owning shares in a private jet club can give access to a jet when needed and let someone else use the jet when it’s not. Sort of like a car-share service. To top it off, sharing jet ownership is vastly cheaper than owning one yourself and therefore offers financial benefits as well as environmental ones. More info on the surprisingly green Helium Report.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

5 responses

  1. A: The answer has to be no, it cannot be a green choice. Fractional ownership can only make things worse by getting people who otherwise couldn’t swing it off the already high impact commercial flight to the ultra high impact private toy. The comparison that should illuminate the choice is that between commercial and private, not private vs. offset private, right?

  2. ok ok, well good points. I should have phrased it differently, maybe I’m getting overly optimistic these days. Although – yes, if Hummers were shared and not owned they’d be infinitely greener – asuming they were rented for their actual purpose – going off road with large loads. I guess my point is that encouraging the fractional ownership culture and promoting services over ownership you imbue an inherantly more green set of behaviours in people.
    They may start with the private jet, but soon they may not feel the need to “own” all sorts of things, especially if you don’t have to deal with maintenence and depreciation.

  3. I agree with the critics of your plug for jet sharing. It is the complete OPPOSITE of anything green. Your logic makes no sense. Encouraging jet sharing would INCREASE the fossil fuel consumed and INCREASE air pollution/greenhouse gas emissions. One person using a jet on a weekly basis (as repugnant as it may be) is less bad than sharing it so it is used on a daily bases…although I find anyone who owns a private jet downright despicable.

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