Aircraft Sales Insights

A Service of Dallas Jet International

Benefits of Aircraft Dry Leasing – An Often Misunderstood Form of Private Jet Flying

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By Shawn Dinning

Successful businesses adapt and progress with the times, and aircraft dry leasing is a perfect example of how many aircraft owners and users are adapting to the current market environment. If we told you there was a way to have all of the practical, operational, and efficiency benefits that aircraft owners enjoy, without actually becoming an aircraft owner, would you believe us?  Aircraft dry leasing does just that.  Very similar to an auto lease, here’s how it works:

Dry Leasing includes the following:

  • Aircraft Lessee commits to an owner/lessor for a period of time, usually 6 months to 3 years.
  • Lessee is charged a monthly rental rate for the aircraft.  This rental payment grants the lessee 365 days/year of exclusive access to the leased aircraft. (Same Level of Access that an Owner has to an owned aircraft)
  • Just like in the auto leasing business, the lessee is responsible for all variable and fixed operating costs of the aircraft for the entire period of the lease, as the rental payment does not cover these items e.g. fuel, maintenance, pilots, insurance, etc
  • At the end of the lease period, the lessee turns the aircraft back into owner/lessor, with no further liability, regardless of the change in aircraft value (which has been depreciating for the last 4.5 years!).


Owner/Lessor Benefits


  • The owner/lessor can generate lease proceeds on an asset that they are not ready to sell.  For example, an owner who is upside down on the aircraft can use the rental proceeds to pay down the loan amount closer to the actual aircraft value.
  • The owner/lessor can generate rental proceeds while waiting for market conditions to improve for sellers.


Lessee (Aircraft User) Benefits


  • Off-Balance Sheet Transaction
  • No Residual Value Risk (Even if the aircraft loses value)
  • Allows the lessee to try an aircraft type out before lessee commits to an actual purchase of that type
  • Allows lessee to change into different aircraft more frequently, without having to worry about the depreciation of the aircraft
A dry lease solution makes sense in the following scenarios:-Someone is seriously considering ownership, but they are not comfortable with the upfront cash costs (down payment on a loan) of buying an airplane, or they are not comfortable with the risk of future depreciation (in 2 to 3 years) of the aircraft that he/she is buying at today’s fair market values.- A company that does not wish to have an aircraft listed on their balance sheet as an asset or liability. Dry leasing would address this problem.-Someone wants to “try out” the experience of aircraft ownership withou worrying about resale obligations in the future.-Someone has an order for a brand new aircraft with a multi-year wait on the delivery. A dry lease can provide interim lift during the waiting period.-A company has a temporary multi-year project that will require an additional aircraft in the fleet for the term of the project. When the project is over, the company will no longer have a use for that aircraft.

Want to acquire a 10 to 20 Year Old Aircraft?  Dry Leasing May Help.

Aircraft lenders are eager to finance airplanes 10 years and younger, but are much more restrictive on financing aircraft that are older than 10 years. They typically require a much higher “down payment” on the older aircraft, to the tune of 30% to 50% of the aircraft acquisition price.For example, on a 1998 Challenger 604 (DJI happens to have one available for dry lease), the down payment on a typical loan deal would range anywhere from $3,750,000 on the high side to $1,500,000 for select borrowers. Contrast that to the typical security deposit on a dry lease of this airplane of approximately $350,000 (for lessees with good credit).


While not for everyone, aircraft dry leasing provides you, the flight department or aircraft end user, the same exact experience and operational flexibility as aircraft ownership, except you are required to return the aircraft to the owner/lessor at the end of the lease term, and there is no risk to the lessee of residual value decline. At the end of the lease term, you can either renew the lease, or go out in the open market and buy an airplane if the market is favorable for that.

Please feel free to contact my office at Dallas Jet International to learn if dry leasing may be a viable alternative for your business aircraft needs.


1998 Challenger 604, Serial Number 5376

DJI currently has a Challenger 604 available for dry lease. If you have any questions, call me at (214) 459-3303  or write sdinning (at) to discuss the particulars.

Consider dry leasing an aircraft - it may bring larger aircraft with longer flight profiles into financial reach!

Shawn Dinning, Director of Sales & Acquisitions

Mr. Dinning acquired his formal education at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in the areas of Operations Research and Management Science and also holds a degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Mr. Dinning brings 16 years of aviation experience from a variety of aviation disciplines, including FAR 91, FAR 121, FAR 135, defense, and shared ownership sectors. A former full-time professional pilot, Mr. Dinning holds a current Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate, and is type-rated in the Gulfstream V/G550/G500/G450/G400/G350/G300, Bombardier CRJ-200, and Citation 510 Mustang. He has logged over 5500 flight hours, with 3500 of those hours in corporate turbine aircraft. Mr. Dinning has been consulted in publications such as Business & Commercial Aviation on various issues related to turbine aircraft transactions.

Mr. Dinning brings to Dallas Jet International a rare and highly valuable skill set of operational and business acumen, and has become a leader in the professional marketing and procurement of corporate turbine aircraft all around the globe. He also specializes in aircraft mission analysis, aircraft valuation, and cash flow and operating cost analysis for private aircraft owners. Mr. Dinning has a track record of successful transactions that is well known amongst his clients and colleagues. His reputation for intelligent and meticulous management of aircraft transactions have made him one of the most respected aircraft brokers in the industry.

Dallas Jet International on the cover of Executive Controller Magazine

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Executive Controller, January 2012

Photo,Taylor Greenwood Photography

Finding the Perfect Aircraft Is More about People than Planes

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It's important to consider a number of factors, including where, why and how you fly to get the perfect aircraft.

It’s important to consider a number of factors, including where, why and how you fly to get the perfect aircraft.

Ensuring that a client has the aircraft that will best serve his business and personal needs is a responsibility we take very seriously at DJI.  There are many brokers that are knowledgeable about various makes and models of aircraft, but we pride ourselves on putting the focus where it belongs- on the people and the company the aircraft is intended to serve.

To make the best match, we start with a series of questions about personal and business objectives and preferences.

How much can you spend?

The first consideration (as probably expected) is the budget.  Besides the obvious question of what is available to spend on the acquisition of the aircraft, we also want to know preferences for ongoing expenses.

Depending on cash flow and timing considerations, sometimes it’s preferable to spend more on the acquisition of an aircraft that will have lower direct operating costs, or vice versa.

Acquisition Budget Annual Direct Operating Cost Budget
Aircraft A $10,000,000 $1,000,000
Aircraft B $15,000,000 $600,000


In this example, Aircraft B is a newer aircraft which may cost more to acquire but has lower direct operating  costs because of fuel efficiency improvements and a longer time before engine overhaul and other major expenses.

In some cases, we may advise a client they don’t need to spend as much as they had expected to, depending on choices they will make.

How many people will travel in this aircraft most of the time?

While there are always exceptions, it is good to know what the “typical” passenger complement would be.  If the typical passenger contingent is 2 people, a smaller aircraft would be comfortable.  If the usual party is four or five, then we’d be looking at midsize cabins.  For eight to ten people, we would look at large cabin sizes.

How much luggage do you carry?

This is a consideration that might affect cabin size or luggage configuration. For a client that frequently takes a group to golf in Scotland, we need to ensure that there is convenient space for golf clubs.   Other considerations are camera crews that require a lot of camera and lighting equipment, clients that may need to carry industrial parts of various sizes, or skis (some aircraft have factory installed ski tubes or other conveniences.)    We also need to consider the size and placement of doors to ensure your equipment can be safely and conveniently loaded and unloaded.

We once experimented with four folding bicycles for one buyer that wanted to be sure that they could travel with them.   It is important to ensure that the aircraft will accommodate whatever you need or want to travel with.

Where do you go?

We need to know where the aircraft will be based and the frequent and expected destinations so that we can choose an aircraft with the appropriate range and other characteristics.  Traveling predominantly in one region could require a shorter-range aircraft than one that needs to travel coast-to-coast or internationally on a regular basis.

We also want to know if you travel frequently to high-altitude destinations like Aspen or Telluride.  Although some aircraft are designed to perform well at those altitudes, some will need to take off in the morning or evening , (high temperature exacerbates the effect of high altitude on engine performance)  or take off “light” at the high-altitude airport, then stop in Pueblo, Denver or Grand Junction to fill up with fuel.

As an example, if you anticipate needing to leave and arrive at very high altitude or very hot airports at any time of the day and don’t want to be dependent on favorable weather conditions, we need to take those factors into consideration.

We also need to consider your destinations to ensure adequate runway length for your aircraft. Short runways, (4500 feet or less) usually in smaller or more remote airports are also a consideration. Some aircraft need a longer runway to take off and land safely under many conditions.

How fast do you need to get there?

This is most often a function of how often you are willing to stop for fuel. Few of our clients care about the time difference between an aircraft that flies at 300 vs. 400 knots.

The largest variety to choose from

Many brokers represent one or two major aircraft manufacturers.  We remain independent and are free to recommend the best aircraft for your needs and preferences.

Both Shawn Dinning and I are type-rated pilots in most of the aircraft listed, and can help you make a choice you will be very satisfied with.

Here are a few of the aircraft that we place frequently.

Very Light Jets currently on the market

  • Cessna Mustang
  • Embraer Phenom 100
  • Eclipse 500

Very light jets undergoing flight testing

  • Cirrus Vision SF50
  • Diamond D-Jet
  • Honda HA-420 HondaJet
  • PiperJet

Light Jets

  • Learjet 40
  • Learjet 40 XR
  • Learjet 45
  • Learjet 45 XR
  • Citation CJ
  • Cessna Citation CJ1
  • Cessna Citation CJ2
  • Cessna Citation CJ3
  • Cessna Citation CJ4
  • Cessna Citation Bravo
  • Cessna Citation Encore
  • Embraer
  • Phenom 300
  • Beechcraft Premier I
  • Hawker 400
  • SJ30-2


  • Learjet 60 XR
  • Learjet 85
  • Cessna Citation Columbus
  • Cessna Citation XLS
  • Cessna Citation Sovereign
  • Dassault Falcon 50EX
  • Embraer Legacy 450
  • Embraer Legacy 500
  • Gulfstream 150
  • Gulfstream 250
  • Hawker 750
  • Hawker 800XP
  • Hawker 850 XP
  • Hawker 900XP

Midsize Longer Range

  • Bombardier Challenger 300
  • Challenger 605
  • Cessna Citation X
  • Dassault Falcon 900DX
  • Dassault Falcon 900EX
  • Dassault Falcon 2000DX
  • Dassault Falcon 2000EX
  • Embraer Legacy 600
  • Gulfstream G350
  • Gulfstream G450

Super Mid-Size

  • Bombardier Challenger 300
  • Bombardier Challenger 605
  • Cessna Citation X
  • Dassault Falcon 900DX
  • Dassault Falcon 900EX
  • Dassault Falcon 2000DX
  • Dassault Falcon 2000EX
  • Embraer Legacy 600
  • Gulfstream G350
  • Gulfstream G450
  • Hawker 4000

Heavy Jets

  • Airbus A318 Elite
  • Airbus A319CJ
  • Airbus A380 Flying Palace
  • Boeing Business Jet
  • Embraer Lineage 1000
  • Large Cabin jets
  • Bombardier Aerospace
  • Bombardier Global 5000
  • Bombardier Global 7000
  • Bombardier Global 8000
  • Bombardier Global Express
  • Bombardier Challenger 850
  • Gulfstream IV
  • Gulfstream V
  • Dassault Falcon 7X
  • Gulfstream G500
  • Gulfstream G550
  • Gulfstream G650
  • Gulfstream G450

Brad Harris

Brad Harris is founder and CEO of Dallas Jet International. Mr. Harris holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Professional Aviation and Airway Science and a Masters Degree in human resources from Louisiana Tech University. Mr. Harris entered the aviation industry in 1989 as a corporate pilot for a Fortune 500 corporation. In 1993, he started a successful aircraft leasing and renting company which expanded to a successful aircraft management company in 1995. In 1993, Mr. Harris began his aircraft sales career and, in a very rapid fashion, became one of the most highly respected aircraft brokers in the World. In 1998, Mr. Harris started an aircraft sales, consulting, and brokerage company that is known today as Dallas Jet International. Mr. Harris is a current airline transport pilot who is type-rated in ten (10) different jet aircraft including the Gulfstream 550, 450, 350, GV, GIV, GIII, GII, Hawker 125, Falcon 10, Citation 550/500, Beechjet 400, 400A, Lockheed Jetstar II, Diamond Jet and King Air 300/350. In the many different aircraft markets, Mr. Harris parlays extensive hands-on knowledge and experience into clear results for his clientele. In addition to Mr. Harris maintaining a career focus on aircraft sales, he also has extensive experience in aviation consulting and management. Included on his client list are several clients for whom Mr. Harris and his firm have set up flight departments, consisting of aircraft crewing, aircraft management, aircraft maintenance and aircraft operating budgets. He and the firm are currently managing a Gulfstream V, a Gulfstream IV, a Falcon 50, a Citation II, a Citation ISP, a Citation Mustang, a Hawker 400XP, and two King Air 350’s.What most people do not know about Mr. Harris is that he possesses significant entrepreneurial experience in real estate and commercial insurance. This business experience, combined with his unparalleled experience in all facets of corporate aviation, has been the foundation of success for Dallas Jet International and its clients.