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How Much Does it Cost to Charter a Private Jet?

We’re often asked how much it costs to charter a private jet. The answer is rather complicated. Here’s what you need to know.

To start, how much does a private plane cost? If you’re a high-powered executive or an A-list celebrity, you could spend a fortune on the customized luxury airliner of your dreams. If you’d like something a bit less flashy, you could buy a brand new Cessna CJ4 for a more reasonable sum.

Benefits of Chartering a Private Aircraft

While you could put your next few paychecks towards purchasing your own private jet, chartering is a far better option for the majority of travelers. Chartering offers all the benefits of owning a private jet without the cost and hassle of maintenance. Additionally, chartering allows you to select the aircraft that is perfect for you every time you fly.

Whether you’re hopping over to the Hamptons or bringing your whole boardroom overseas, the most cost-effective plane for the journey will be very different. Private planes come in a wide range of sizes. They can be small turboprops or light jets, midsize or super midsize jets, heavy jets or luxury executive airliners. The size of the aircraft indicates how many passengers and how much luggage can be accommodated, of course, but also how far the plane can fly without stopping to refuel.

How Private Jet Charter flight costs are calculated

There are three main factors to consider when it comes to the cost of a private flight: your aircraft of choice, the number of passengers flying, and the distance you’re travelling.

Size (usually) matters

As a rule of thumb, a charter flight will be cheaper if you fly on a smaller aircraft. However, not all small aircraft will cost the same — some high-end, luxury light jets can be as expensive to charter as mid-size jets, and not all heavy jets or airliner flights come with the same price tag.

The more, the merrier

Charter flight prices are calculated by the aircraft and the route you’re flying — not per passenger. So, if you’re travelling in a group, you’ll end up paying less per head for your private jet charter flight. Bear in mind, though, that smaller aircraft seat fewer passengers, so there is an upper limit on the amount you can save by travelling with friends.

Going the distance

Another factor to consider when determining how much it would cost to charter a private jet is the distance you’re travelling. A longer flight means higher fuel costs, so a forty-minute hop from Montreal to Ottowa will be significantly less expensive than a three-hour flight from Calgary to Los Angeles.

Smaller Aircraft

Piper Seneca and Cessna Citation
Piper Seneca and Cessna Citation

The cheapest private jet flights are possible for travelers with very little luggage and only four to six passengers. For example, you could take a short hop on a turboprop aircraft like the Piper Seneca without breaking the bank. If you’re traveling with more luggage in tow and need a larger plane, though, the cost will increase. An hour-long flight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles on a light jet like the Cessna Citation CJ would increase the cost of your trip, since you’re flying a longer distance in a larger aircraft.

Medium to Heavy Jets

Cessna Citation X left and Gulfstream 200 right
Cessna Citation X left and Gulfstream 200 right

As the planes enter the midsize to super midsize category, prices continue to increase. A 1.5-hour flight from Los Angeles to Aspen on a Cessna Citation X, which falls under the super midsize category and accommodates eight passengers, could be as much as five times more expensive than the flight from Vegas to LA in a Citation CJ. A longer flight on a similar super midsize jet – for example, a three-hour flight from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale on a Gulfstream G200 G280 (nine passengers) – would be a little more expensive still. However, a longer flight on a smaller aircraft – for example, a four-hour flight from New York to St Maarten on a midsize Hawker 1000 – will cost about the same amount. Naturally, as the flight time increases, the cost also increases.

If you’re thinking you can save money by chartering a small plane for a long flight, unfortunately that’s not always possible. The longer the flight, the larger the plane must be so it can travel the distance without stopping to refuel. Aside from tacking on travel time to your journey, there are additional fees involved with stopping to refuel, so it won’t always save you money.

As such, a long haul flight such as New York to London would require a midsize jet like the Bombardier Learjet 60XR or a heavy jet like a Gulfstream G550, depending on how many passengers you have. If you’re looking to spread out for a business meeting, you could go even larger with a luxury airliner such as an Airbus A319 or a Boeing BBJ. Of course, these large VIP executive airliners are the top of the line and the price increases accordingly.

To make matters more complicated, the size of the aircraft and the length of the trip are not the only factors that go into the final quote. There are also airport handling fees, crew salaries, crew expenses, airport landing fees, handling fees and passenger taxes.

Empty Legs

Save up to 75% of the cost of a regular charter with Empty Legs
Save on the cost of a regular charter with Empty Legs

If it sounds like this is getting out of your budget, don’t stop here. When Air Charter Service has a one-way charter, the aircraft is sometimes empty when it repositions to its base, or when it continues on to another location. This is called an “empty leg” flight. You can book these flights for an extraordinarily low cost, as the plane would be flying empty otherwise.

So next time you find yourself asking, “what does it cost to charter a private jet?” skip the complicated math. If you’re a hands on type of person, you can get a quote instantaneously using our private jet charter prices guide. Alternatively our representatives can put together a private jet charter quote for you in no time as well.

Private Jet Charter Cost FAQs

Air Charter Service (ACS) has compiled these helpful FAQs, with answers needed to understand the costs of private jet charter. These are the questions you have been asking us, from how much a private jet costs to how to charter a flight to Vegas. If look through our questions and would like to know more, please contact our brokers.

Private jet charter cost: The basics

As stated above, pricing for charter travel varies depending on the distances involved and the aircraft used. A short 40-minute flight in a small plane could cost a lot less than a 1.5-hour flight in a midsize jet, for example. As the size of jet and flight times increase, so does the price. The make and model of private jet you fly in will also affect the price of your flight.

The price of a private jet varies drastically depending on its age, model and manufacturer. You’ll pay a lot less for a 1979 Falcon 10 with around 12,000 hours on the clock, than a brand new Gulfstream 550.

When ACS books a one-way charter, the aircraft is sometimes empty when it returns to base or on to its next departure airport. This is called an “empty leg” flight. You can book these flights for an extraordinarily low cost; up to 75% off the average cost of a private jet charter. Prices vary depending on the aircraft and journey.

Cessna Aircraft Company is an aircraft manufacturer with multiple jets on offer, ranging in price from tens of thousands to tens of millions of Canadian dollars. As such, chartering a Cessna can be significantly more cost-effective than buying one. Find a wide range of Cessna aircraft available for private charter on our aircraft guide page.

The cost of chartering a plane to Vegas is dependent on where you’re flying from and the model of plane you choose. To charter a private jet to Vegas, just contact ACS for a quote or to discuss your private jet charter needs.



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