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Private jet on a foggy runwayWe’re often asked how much it costs to charter a private jet. The answer is complex when we apply a private jet cost estimator for your specific needs. Here’s what you need to know when chartering a private jet.

How Much Does It Cost to Charter a Private Jet?

Have you always wondered how much a private plane costs? 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 most travellers. Chartering offers all the benefits of owning a private jet without the cost and hassle of maintenance. Plus, 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, mid-size or super-mid-size 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.

Another benefit is the luxurious comfort and amenities. There’s plenty of cabin space and leather seats for you to enjoy and unwind mid-flight.

You’ll also get to access remote destinations because many private jet flights tend to skip the larger and more bustling airports. It also allows travellers to get closer to their destination than a larger hub would.

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 40-minute hop from Montreal to Ottawa will be significantly less expensive than a three-hour flight from Calgary to Los Angeles.

Smaller aircraft

Cessna Citation jet
Cessna Citation jet

The cheapest private jet flights are possible for travellers 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 travelling 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

Gulfstream jet
Gulfstream jet

As the planes enter the mid-size to super-mid-size 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-mid-size 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-mid-size 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 mid-size 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.

A long-haul flight such as New York to London would require a mid-size 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 on the cost of a regular charter with Empty Legs
Save on the cost of a regular charter with Empty Legs

There’s an alternative way of booking a private jet if your budget cannot accommodate the regular fees. 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. This works in your favour as you are able to secure a deal while reaping all the benefits of flying in a private plane.

So next time you find yourself asking, “what does it cost to charter a private jet?”, skip the complicated math. You can get an instant quote using our private jet charter prices guide, or our representatives can put together a private jet charter quote for you in no time.

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 and group 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. Take a look at the FAQs and if you’d still like to know more, please contact our brokers.

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