How much does it cost to charter a private jet?

How much will it cost to fly me and my friends on a private jet? Is a question we get on a regular basis and it’s generally the first question everyone asks, when it comes to private jets! 

No two flights are the same, when it comes to private jet charter. Even if you fly to and from the same place on a regular basis. Pricing for charter flights varies depending on several factors, such as how far you are flying and the number of people travelling.

A short flight such as Manchester to Faro, on a Bombardier Learjet 75 (seats 8), will cost you around £15,000 for a one way trip. Whilst a long range flight from Manchester to Los Angeles one way on Bombardier Global 5000 (seats 14) will set you back around £100,000.

You pay for the whole aircraft, so the price will remain the same whether there is one person travelling or all available seats are taken.

Each aircraft will have a hourly charter rate and this varies depending on what age the aircraft is etc. The hourly rate for a Learjet 75 is approximately £3,000 whilst the Global 5000 is  approximately £6,000.

So as you can see there’s a big difference in price depending on where you are travelling to and the type of aircraft needed to fly you direct to your destination.

Factors that affect price

So the cost of a private jet flight, let’s take the above trip from Manchester to Faro to work on. A family of six decide to fly to Faro this winter for a week.

Where the aircraft is located on the day of flight

If there is no suitable aircraft based at your departure airport, your aircraft will have to fly in from where it’s based or located at the time of your flight.

For our flight from Manchester, the aircraft will have to fly in from Farnborough to Manchester, which will be the repositioning costs. It’s a 50 minute flight so their costs to fly will be added to your total price.

If the aircraft is already located at your departure airport, the price you pay will be considerably less. We always try to locate aircraft at your chosen airport or close as possible.

TAG Farnborough Airport

{TAG Farnborough Airport}

Type of aircraft?

The larger the plane, the more it will cost. Flights are usually charged per hour and will vary according to the size and type of aircraft required. We have access to a variety of aircraft from the popular eight seat Citation XLS to a top of the range Gulfstream G650.

For our flight from Manchester to Faro, the Learjet 75 is a super light aircraft, seating up to eight and capable of flying up to four hours. Flight time from Manchester is three hours so it’s a direct flight. The cabin is spacious and ideal for a that length of flight.

A bigger aircraft such as a Embraer Legacy 500 that also seats eight people would cost approximately £22,000 for a one way flight.

How many people will be travelling?

This is a big factor when considering whether to charter a private flight, as the cost is the same if the plane is full or there’s only one person travelling.

We often have clients looking to charter an aircraft and fill up the seats in order to reduce the cost of a flight. On a smaller aircraft you have to take into account, that these aircraft do not have a stand up cabin where you just get up and walk around.

You will also need to take into account the amount of luggage you can take for your trip, as these don’t have large compartments for suitcases. It also takes away the enjoyment of travelling if you all have to squeeze in for the duration of your flight.

We always suggest to clients for that bit extra cost you can upgrade to a slightly bigger and more suitable aircraft, where your comfort will not be compromised.

For our flight to Faro, six passengers on a the Learjet 75 is perfect. You still have onboard space and room for your luggage.

Duration of trip?

Depending on how long you’re staying at your destination, will have an affect on the price you pay. A day flight means that the aircraft can return after waiting for you. It doesn’t have to reposition to another airport or fly back to base, which will add to the cost of your flight.

For our one way flight to Faro, the aircraft will drop of passengers, then either return back to its base or to its next flight. This return flight is included in your flight cost.

So for a one week duration holiday, it is sometimes more cost-effective to book two one way charters where the aircraft is located near to your destination airport. We do this on a regular basis utilising the schedule of the aircraft.

Some operators will keep their aircraft at the airport until they get another flight (floating/transient), which for a weekend break is ideal, if the aircraft waits a couple of days for you.

Catering?

Standard catering is included on all our charter flights. However if you wanted something extra that is not within the catering budget, then you will have to pay the extra costs. We have had clients of a certain religion so our operators made sure that the menu was respectful of this. If you have a member of the family who is a vegetarian, then they can also have meals just for them. It’s a personal travel experience.

Onboard you will find a full bar, with soft drinks, tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages. Depending on the time of your flight you will generally have sandwiches, wrap, canapes and fruit platters.

On longer flights and bigger aircraft you will have a three course hot meal for your flight. Again this will be included in your flight cost. The larger aircraft have a galley with which to prepare hot meals.

Is the aircraft old or new?

The newer the aircraft the more you will have to pay, as the hourly rate of new aircraft is a lot higher than say an older model of a similar type of aircraft.

Many aircraft manufactured in the 2000s, will have had a refurbishment at some point. Charter operators always want to keep their aircraft interior fresh for customers.

Owner approval?

Although this doesn’t really affect the price as much, it depends on the owner who will work with the management company in determining the hourly rate for charter flights.

Some owners are more charter friendly than others and will charge accordingly whilst others who don’t want to charter their aircraft as much will keep hourly rate a little bit higher than normal.

Time of flight?

The timing of your flight can either increase or decrease the cost of your flight. The beauty of a private flight is that you can pretty much fly at a time that suits you, not like a commercial flight where you have to fly on their schedule.

At the bigger airports there are peak time charges (06.30 – 11.00) and (16.00 – 20.00), where it costs slightly more. This is included in your charter price.

Empty Legs

One way some customers try to keep costs down is to enquire about ’empty leg’ flights. These are available when an aircraft is either flying empty to pick up clients for a trip or when they’re flying empty back to base.

Over 40% of private jets are empty

However ’empty leg’ flights can be a bit hit and miss for many customers. If you’re lucky that a plane happens to be flying your route then it’s happy days. The whole point of flying private is that you customise your travel to suit your needs.

You have to be prepared to be flexible in terms of flying to your destination to make an empty leg work. The aircraft may be a bit bigger than normal. It may be going to or from an airport near to you.

Beware if the primary charter person decides to change the time or schedule you can be left on the tarmac without a plane.

You will be eligible for a full refund or pay the extra costs to go ahead with the flight. We always recommend that you check the terms and conditions before you book an empty leg flight.

Other factors

  • Airport Fees
  • Airport Taxes
  • Landing Fees
  • Security Screening Flights
  • De-icing
  • Out of Hour Charges
  • Fuel Costs

Summary

Flights are usually costed per hour and will vary according to the size and type of aircraft required, the destination and number of passengers travelling. Other factors can include waiting time, handling fees, taxes, insurance and aircraft crew costs.

To charter a private jet is a lot more complex than travelling on a commercial aircraft. You’re booking an entire aircraft not just one seat for yourself and the price you pay will reflect this.

Our average charter flight transaction is £25,000

Flying private does come at a high price but that’s why you can get to create your own travel schedule, fly with the people you want and bypass the busy commercial airports.

When and if booking online it’s imperative that before you book, that the aircraft is the right type for your flight. If it looks to good to be true, then it usually is. This is where our knowledge and experience comes into play. It’s not as simple as some in the industry brokers make out.

Check out or quick price guide to popular private jet destinations.


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