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How much does it cost to charter a private jet?

How Much Does it Cost to Charter a Private Jet?


People often call to ask us: “How much does it cost to charter a private jet?” The truth is, that’s not a simple question to answer. There are many variables involved in chartering a private jet, and each one will impact the price. Here, we explain exactly how we get to the final number.

To start, how much does a private plane cost? If you’re a high-powered executive or an A-list celebrity, you could spend upwards of $100 million 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 about $9 million. Pocket change, right?

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.

Smaller Aircraft

Piper Seneca and Cessna Citation
Piper Seneca and Cessna Citation

A traveler with very little luggage and only four to six passengers could take a short hop on a turboprop aircraft like the Piper Seneca. A 40-minute flight from Montauk to White Plains, for example, would cost about $2,800. If you’re traveling with more luggage in tow and need a larger plane, the cost will increase. For example, an hour-long flight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles on a light jet like the Cessna Citation CJ would cost approximately $4,435.

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, will jump to $23,200. 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 cost approximately $33,500. 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: roughly $34,670. 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 a 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 up to 75% of the cost of a regular charter with Empty Legs

If it sounds like this is getting out of your budget, don’t stop here. It is possible to book a private charter flight at up to 75% off. 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.

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