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People working outside airplane hangerOwning a private plane is a life goal for many, but how much does a private jet cost? Whether you’re buying your own plane or chartering one, we demystify the process.

How Much Does a Private Jet Cost?

The cost of flying private

Private jet passengers have the freedom to fly around the world at their whim, jetting off for a Caribbean getaway or last-minute business meeting. Without commercial flight schedules and crowded airports to contend with, flying becomes fun and hassle-free. But how much does a private jet cost?

That question is more complicated. Whether you’re purchasing your own plane or chartering a jet for a single trip, many factors affect the price of flying private. In this post, we take a look at these costs, as well as some of the aircraft currently available through ACS.

Private jets for sale

In partnership with Jet Advisors, Air Charter Service's Aircraft Sales Division uses its extensive industry experience to help clients purchase and sell private jets. We offer the most comprehensive new and pre-owned aircraft sales and acquisition service on the market for individuals and corporations. With over 100 years of shared industry experience and global reach across five continents, we have the local market data and expertise to ensure a seamless and optimal transaction for our clients. With our wealth of experience in purchasing and selling private jets, you can be assured that you’ll have the best buying experience. Take advantage of our expertise as we handle everything from market research through to the final purchase.

Buying a private jet

Buyers should first consider the size that best suits their needs. Private jets can be small turboprops or light jets, midsize or super-midsize jets, heavy jets or luxury executive airliners. Passenger capacity is one important factor, but it’s also essential to consider the typical distances you will fly. Small planes need to stop and refuel on longer trips, which adds cost and travel time. On the other hand, larger planes are expensive to operate if your typical flight time is short.

Next, consider whether you’d like a new or pre-owned aircraft. Keep in mind that the price of a jet is determined by factors such as the size, range, manufacturer, customization and what the jet can offer, including the engine and avionics. An aircraft’s lifespan is measured in flight hours and landings rather than age, so private jets are often viable for decades. Many buyers opt to purchase a pre-owned aircraft to cut costs. 

This cost, while substantial, is only the first of many. Once the plane is purchased, the largest expense for owners is aircraft maintenance, which can cost from hundreds of thousands to several millions of dollars a year. A brand new jet is expensive but will come under full warranty to cover any repairs or replacements within the first few years of ownership.

Additional costs for private jet owners include insurance, fuel, hangar space, and pilot and crew salary and expenses. Customizing the interior of your aircraft can also come at a high price, with a top-of-the-line cabin design costing a pretty penny.

Chartering a private jet

Private jet on runway near snowy mountains
Private jet on runway near snowy mountains.

Given the high cost of owning an aircraft, chartering a private jet is a far better option for the majority of travelers, as it offers all the convenience of private jet travel without the expense of maintaining an aircraft. While private jet travelers also pay costs such as fuel, airport handling fees, landing fees, crew costs and passenger taxes, the expensive maintenance fees are covered by the owner.  It also makes more sense to hire a private jet if you fly fewer than 200 hours a year as the running costs will likely make ownership unnecessarily expensive.

When chartering a private jet, travelers can cut costs by choosing the ideal aircraft for each individual journey they make. For instance, one week you could take a turboprop such as a five-seat Piper PA-34 Seneca from Boston to Nantucket, then the following week fly your entire team to Chicago for a business meeting in an eight-seat Hawker 750. This way, you can ensure that the aircraft you select is always the most cost-effective choice. For more information, read our article on how much it costs to book a private jet charter.

Not every aircraft can accommodate all routes. Small jet owners have to charter a larger aircraft or book a commercial ticket for long-haul flights. Additionally, airports like St Bart’s and Courchevel have shorter runways that aren’t suitable for certain planes. When flying by private jet charter, travelers can guarantee that their plane will always be suited to their destination.

Private jet charter passengers can also take advantage of ‘empty leg’ flights, which happen when a one-way charter aircraft flies back to base or goes on to another location for its next booking. Empty legs offer an extraordinary discount – sometimes as much as 75% off the cost of a regular charter – as the plane would otherwise be flying empty.

Go ahead and maximize your time at your destination and fly on your own or with your group. For premium high-end travel, book a private jet charter and avoid all the fuss that comes with commercial airlines such as arriving early at the airport and long boarding lines.

Do you have questions about the cost of arranging a private jet charter? If so, contact us. Our specialists will provide a personalized quote and help you choose the best plane for each journey you take.

Which type of private jet is right for you?

The biggest indicator of an aircraft’s price is its size. The most compact options are turboprops and light jets, which are designed for short, regional flights. Travelers looking for enough space to move around the cabin can opt for a midsize or super-midsize jet, which typically seats seven to nine passengers. For ample space and total luxury, choose a heavy jet or a luxury executive airliner. These models have high ceilings, enclosed lavatories and the option to travel with flight attendants. This category is the most luxurious and expensive.

While size dictates the number of passengers a plane can accommodate, it is also an indicator of the aircraft's range. Most small jets have a short range, so they need to stop to refuel on longer flights. This adds cost and time to the journey. On the other hand, a large jet has high fuel costs and is not the most cost-effective option for a short flight. However, a large size does not always equate to a long range. Some small aircraft are optimized to have a longer range and other large jets are less efficient.

Should you purchase a new or pre-owned aircraft?

The lifespan of a private aircraft is not measured in years. Instead, it is measured by flight hours and the number of landings. For that reason, buyers can often find an older jet in good condition for a far lower price than a brand new plane.

How would you like to outfit your jet?

One of the perks of ownership is the freedom to outfit the cabin of your private jet exactly as you'd like. This might mean adjusting the number of seats so it fits your family perfectly, or splurging on an extravagant private jet interior. The most lavish cabins feature custom leather upholstery, elegant master bedrooms, and top-tier aviation entertainment systems. The sky’s the limit for private jet customizations, and these interiors can easily reach hundreds of millions of dollars. To learn more, read our article on the price of a custom private jet interior.

What are the operating costs of a private jet?

Once you own the aircraft of your dreams, you'll need to pay to operate it. There are fixed costs like hangarage and insurance. There are also variable costs, which relate to the number of hours flown. These include fuel costs, maintenance, landing fees, and hourly rates for pilots and crew.

Many owners decide to charter out their private planes when they aren't in use to recoup costs. While this can save money for the owner, it also involves paying a monthly fee to a management company for handling the charter operations.

Book your ideal private jet charter with ACS

Would you like to learn more about purchasing a private jet or booking a private jet charter? If so, contact us. Our specialists will help you select the aircraft that best suits your needs. We have a wide variety of aircraft to choose from for your next trip!

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