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How much does it cost to charter a private jet in Canada? - banner

How much does it cost to charter a private jet in Canada?


Have you been wondering about the cost of hiring a private jet in Canada? Well, there are many factors that impact on the final quote – such as the type of jet you charter, the nature of your journey (single, return or multi-leg), the timing of your flight and the competitiveness of your chosen operator. Here we explain exactly how we get to that final figure.

Private jet size

Toronto Skyline with purple light in Canada
Toronto Skyline with purple light in Canada

When it comes to private jet charter costs, for short-haul flights the rule of thumb is that smaller aircraft – such as air taxis, helicopters, propeller planes and very light jets – offer the most cost-efficient and comfortable solution. Air taxis are popular not only because they’re cheaper to fly, but because their smaller size allows them to take-off from and land at shorter runways and landing strips. This can give passengers access to remote destinations or put them down at smaller, local airports closer to their final destination.

Examples include the four-passenger Cessna Citation Mustang, which delivers an ideal balance of performance, comfort and efficiency; and the eight-passenger Bombardier Learjet 45XR, which retains all the cost-efficiency of the Learjet 45 but with higher take-off weights, faster cruise speeds and a quicker climb rate.

Cost-efficient helicopters also offer a good deal of flexibility – from the dainty two-seat Robinson R22 with its removable in-flight doors for superb aerial photography to the 19-passenger Sikorsky S-92, which boasts a spacious stand-up cabin and one of the most impressive helicopter interiors on the charter market.

For longer trips, you’re better off chartering a midsize jet like the sleek Hawker Beechcraft 800XP or speedy Cessna Citation XLS+. While the base price of hiring these aircraft is higher than an air taxi, you can avoid refueling and the extra landing costs and layovers that would be necessary if using a light jet to travel long-range. Keep in mind, too, that most private jets are flown by two pilots and larger cabin aircraft will also have a flight attendant onboard.

If you’re traveling great distances across Canada, we advise chartering a long-range private jet. A charter from Vancouver to Montreal, for instance, requires an aircraft with a large fuel tank, like the luxurious 11-passenger Bombardier Challenger 601, which can make the trip in under five hours. For a speedier option, there’s the Bombardier Challenger 300.

Group charter solutions (popular with clients such as multinational corporations, sports teams, entertainment management companies and relief agencies) require a larger passenger aircraft such as a regional jet airliner, turboprop or VIP/executive airliner. The 189-passenger Boeing 727 VIP can fly for seven hours, hold 80 full-size suitcases and has double the amount of legroom of most commercial first class aircraft. The 19-passenger Airbus A318 Elite corporate jet, meanwhile, has a range for transatlantic as well as intercontinental flight and offers the kind of comfort and space you’d enjoy at home or in the office. This includes a lounge, a dining area and a private office which converts into a bedroom and bathrooms.

Type of journey

Herd of wild mountain elks in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.
Herd of wild mountain elks in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Consider whether you plan to charter a private jet for a single journey (perhaps from a major airport to a remote destination), a return trip (to a single destination and back again) or a multi-leg journey (which allows you to access multiple destinations without having to make alternative arrangements for car hire, buses, taxis or ferries in between).

Cost factors involved in your journey can include:

  • Fuel Costs: Determined by the distance traveled, fuel prices change constantly, so a surcharge is usually added to make up any shortfall between the projected cost on your quote and the actual cost of flying.
  • Landing Fees: These depend on the size and weight of the aircraft. They vary by airport and are used to maintain runways and airport buildings.
  • Airport Fees: These cover the costs of a fixed-base operator (FBO) or aircraft handling company to manage an aircraft while it’s on the ground. Typically, charges include servicing the aircraft’s toilets, refueling and arranging crew rest facilities and passenger transport to and from the terminal. Not all airports charge the same fees and a definite benefit of private jet charter is that you have a vast choice of major as well as smaller local private jet airports.
  • Some of the world’s most expensive airports to land at include: Haneda Airport, Narita International Airport and Kansai International Airport in Japan; Toronto Pearson International Airport in Canada; Darwin International Airport in Australia; Bristol Airport in England; Dublin Airport in Ireland; La Guardia Airport in the United States; and Salzburg Airport in Austria.
  • Excise Tax: Charged to each flight at around 7.5%.
  • Ramp Fees: Charged on return journeys when a plane is parked at an airport overnight or for any length of time.
  • Crew Expenses: Although a crew’s meals are catered by the private jet charter company, the cost of overnight accommodation and taxis for crew-members during stopovers is usually paid by the aircraft operator and billed to the client chartering the aircraft.

When you choose to fly

Peggy's cove lighthouse during sunset with a view on the ocean in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Peggy's cove lighthouse during sunset with a view on the ocean in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

There are two time-related factors to take into account when working out the cost of a private jet charter. The first is the advance planning of your trip – you’re likely to be charged a premium to arrange a last-minute charter package within seven days of departure. The second is the time or day of the year on which you choose to fly, with the most expensive times to charter during holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas or other high-fly periods like summer vacations.

Summer travelers tend to crowd airports between June and August and during academic spring breaks around mid-March, so generally it’s cheaper to travel between January and the end of March. The busiest weekends fall during major sporting events like the Super Bowl in the U.S. and the Monaco Grand Prix.

If you have to take to the skies during these busy periods, keep an eye out for ‘Empty Legs’ flights. These offers come about when operators have a one-way charter booking, which means the aircraft is sometimes empty when it repositions back to base or on to the next location. Seats on the Empty Leg journey are often offered at huge discounts.

Competitiveness of your charter provider

Autumn Sunset at Downtown Vancouver in Canada.
Autumn Sunset at Downtown Vancouver in Canada.

There’s never been a better time to charter a private plane. With a range of operators catering to an increasing client base, there’s a greater than ever variety of services and competitive pricing.

Although finding the most cost-efficient flight is important, the cheapest charter flight might not be the best. Here’s how to choose the right private jet partner:

  1. Do your homework. Check the online directories of FAA-authorized charter operators, as well as charter websites, for an idea of what each company can offer you.
  2. Be aware that charter brokers are not charter operators and essentially serve in a capacity similar to a travel agent, so are likely to charge you an additional fee.
  3. Look for good customer service. Ideally, a dedicated account manager should be responsible for booking and overseeing your trip, with live help available around the clock in case you need to change your plans, make a special request or ask a question. The operator at the other end of the phone should always take time to understand what’s important to you.
  4. You should be given a wide range of aircraft to choose from and guided through the selection process. A greater variety of aircraft means your specific aviation needs are more likely to be met.
  5. Ask what the provider's standards are for minimum pilot hours. Keep in mind that different jet types require different pilot hours. Once you’ve chosen an aircraft, ensure the assigned pilot has the required number of pilot hours on that type of craft.
  6. Make sure the private jet charter company understands the importance of availability and flexibility when accommodating your needs. Smaller charter companies with limited fleets often can’t accommodate last-minute schedule changes.
  7. Find out if the operator offers private jet leasing solutions. If you fly regularly but don’t want the hassle of owning a private jet, a bespoke leasing solution allows you to enjoy the flexibility of having an aircraft available 24/7, without the initial capital outlay or extra commitments that come with buying your own jet.
  8. Will your loyalty to the charter company of your choice be rewarded over time? Best-in-class private jet charter companies run programs that reward you with a range of benefits in exchange for your loyalty. This can include increased access to aircraft across the globe, preferential booking and even a dedicated concierge service.
  9. An experienced and reputable private jet charter company will provide you with a detailed, transparent and easy-to-understand quote, as well as final billing which throws up no unpleasant surprises.

Find out exactly how much it costs to hire a private jet in Canada

If you’re looking to book a private jet charter in Canada, speak to our team who will take you through the various options available to meet your specific needs. Be sure to ask about our private jet leasing solutions and the world’s most flexible jet card. For more information on the cost of chartering a private jet in Canada, contact us today.

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