How Much Does it Cost To Charter a Private Jet

The benefits of traveling via private jet can hardly be overstated. From simple pleasures such as the ability to stretch your legs in ultimate comfort, to luxury accommodations, tailored concierge service, reliability and efficiency, the benefits are flying on a private jet are many.

Add in the option to enjoy elevated food and beverage selections that can be customized to your liking, the privacy to handle your important business without interfering eyes and ears, the capability to fly to smaller airports which may be inaccessible to large commercial jets, and the convenience of traveling when and where you want to on your own terms, and it’s easy to see why charter flights are becoming an increasingly attractive option for both business and leisure travelers alike. 

From domestic to international flights, for business or pleasure, BitLux has been helping discerning clients enjoy travel in comfort, style and luxury.

But is there a cost-benefit to chartering a private jet frequently versus purchasing and maintaining your own aircraft? Often, unless you are an extremely frequent traveler, the cost of charter flights can end up being much more economical. Especially when you take discounted options such as shared leg flights and empty leg flights into consideration. 

We’ve compiled a list of everything you need to know when calculating the cost of chartered private jet flight to help you plan out your next journey like the professional you are. 

How do Private Charter Jets Set their Prices? 

In order to calculate the cost of a chartered private jet flight, several factors need to be taken into consideration. 

The bulk of the fare associated with private charters can be attributed to hourly rental rates. Hourly flight rental rates vary greatly depending on the size and style of jet you select. Billable flight hours generally start as low as $2,000 per hour for smaller turboprop aircraft and up to $20,000 per hour for the state of the art ultra-luxury VIP airliners with everything else falling somewhere in between. 

Most private jet companies have a 2 flight hour per day minimum in order to book a flight. In addition to the hourly fee, other charges may also incur depending on the circumstances of your flight. These can include airport fees, taxes, repositioning fees, overnight crew fees, catering, international fees, etc. 

What is Included in the Cost?

Generally, when booking a charter flight on a private jet, the cost of the basic necessities required to operate the aircraft, such as the current price of fuel, airport handling fees, and the salary of the pilot and crew members are included in the hourly flight rate. The hourly rate usually doesn’t account for other common fees associated with charter jet flights however, so it’s important to factor in all known expenses when planning a trip. 

Additional Charges to Consider When Booking

In addition to the general hourly rate, some of the other fees you may need to take into account when shopping for charter flight fares include:

  • International fees: For international flights, there may be extra fees incurred depending on the destination country. Be sure to talk to your travel agent or booking service about what fees you can expect when planning an international trip. 
  • In-flight catering: For longer flights, onboard meals are often a necessity. Specialized catering services offering a variety of fare from light snacks to fine dining are often available for charter flights for an additional fee. This fee can vary greatly depending on the quantity and caliber of food and beverages desired. 
  • Repositioning flights: If booking a one-way flight, you will often need to pay an extra fee for the pilot to return to their home airport or to reposition to another airport for their next pickup. These repositioning flights are referred to as “empty leg flights” and can be purchased at a deeply discounted rate for those with the ability to travel flexibly. 
  • Overnight cabin crew fees: When booking a round trip fare, your pilot and cabin crew may require compensation for overnight hotel accommodations and other expenses such as meals while waiting for your return flight. These fees are known as overnight crew fees. 
  • Federal excise tax and segment fees: When flying within the US, all private flights are subject to federal excise fees and segment taxes. These are usually a percentage of the total flight costs determined by the current federal tax rates. 
  • Airport parking fees: When staying for multiple days in a location other than the aircraft’s home airport, the airport will often charge parking fees to house the jet for the duration of your trip. 

What Factors Influence the Price of Chartering a Private Jet?

Several factors influence the price of jet travel on a daily basis, causing prices to fluctuate on a day to day basis. This can include the current price of jet fuel, the season and dates of travel, whether your flight is one way or round trip, and the duration of your trip. 

You can usually expect flights during exceptionally busy seasons such as popular holidays and summer vacation months to be more expensive than flights during non-peak travel seasons. Additionally, travel on the weekends tends to be slightly more expensive than weekday travel due to increased demand. 

The Cost-Per-Seat Breakdown

Some of the above costs may seem high upon first glance, but when you do the math per seat, you may find many charter flights can actually be quite economical when compared to many first-class commercial flights. Especially when traveling with multiple passengers. 

For example, if an hour-long flight on a small 8-passenger aircraft costs $2,000 per hour before taxes and fees, that’s only $250 per person. That’s less than most domestic economy fares! A 3-hour flight on a 10 passenger midsized jet with an hourly rate of $4,000 on the other hand, is only $1,200 per person. 

The Hidden Price of Ownership

Many wonder whether there are big savings to be found by purchasing their own jet versus booking frequent charter flights. In reality, unless you are a super frequent flyer, it is often much more expensive to own your own aircraft. 

This is because, on top of the initial price of the jet, which can range from $3 million to $90 million, there are several other fees associated with ownership. These fees include hiring a personal pilot and crew, airport hanger fees for parking your jet when it’s not in use, yearly maintenance costs, and more. In fact, the average cost of owning and maintaining your own jet can set you back $700,000 to $4 million annually.

Types of Private Jets

There are several types of private jets available to charter. These include small turboprop planes that are great for short jaunts which usually start around $2,000 per hour, light jets starting around $3,000 per hour which can be excellent for airports with shorter runways, larger capacity mid-size and super mid-size jets from $4,000 to $5,000 per hour respectively, heavy jets beginning at $6,000 per hour, and ultra long-range jets with an average starting price of $8,000 per flight hour.  

For even larger capacity jets capable of long-range international travel, ultra-luxury VIP airliners can also be found in the $18,000 to $20,000 per hour range. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Jet 

  • Capacity: When choosing an aircraft, one of the first factors you’ll need to consider is capacity. Choosing an aircraft with just the right amount of seats for the passengers needed is going to give you a better overall value. On the other hand, some opt for slightly larger jets in order to enjoy an extra spacious and relaxing flight. Extra seats can also be sold as shared leg flights if the number of passengers ends up changing and some additional seats become unnecessary. 
  • Age of the aircraft: The newer the aircraft, the more modern technology features it’s going to be equipped with, allowing you to stay connected to the world below while flying high. Some older jets, however, can be a great value when the latest tech gadgets aren’t a requirement. 
  • Speed: The speed of a jet is important to consider not only in order to arrive at your destination quickly but also when determining required billable flight hours for your trip. 
  • Range: Private jets vary greatly in range capabilities, with some able to complete longer international flights while others are only suitable for short hops from one domestic city to another. 
  • Runway: Some smaller and more remote airports have limited runway lengths making it impossible for larger jets to land there. For this reason, sometimes it is necessary to opt for a smaller jet when traveling to particular locations. 

Ways to Save When Booking a Charter Jet 

If booking a flight on a private jet for your next weekend getaway or business meeting still seems a bit cost-prohibitive, there are a few increasingly popular ways to charter a jet at a discounted rate. The two most common options for discounted rates on charter flights are empty leg flights and shared leg flights. 

Empty leg flights are the number one way to enjoy the comfort of a private jet at a fraction of the regular hourly rate. Once a jet has chartered passengers to a location on a one-way flight, the pilot will often need to reposition the plane to the next pickup location or back to their home airport empty. Rather than eat the cost of these empty flights entirely, fleets will sell them at a deeply discounted rate, often up to 75% off! The main drawback of empty leg flights is that they require flexibility in travel times and dates, so they may not be the best option for a tight schedule. For those able to travel at leisure, however, empty leg flights can be the perfect option for an impromptu getaway. 

When a stricter schedule is required, shared leg flights might be the better option. You may often find yourself with extra empty seats when booking a private jet. To recover some of the costs associated with the flight, those extra seats can be listed in the marketplace for solo travelers who may be interested in your planned itinerary. Alternately, if you are traveling solo or in a small group, you can look for shared flights posted by others that fit your schedule needs. 

Finding the Best Deal on a Charter Flight

There are several options when searching for available charter flights. From online booking services to local travel agents. However, when elite service at an unbeatable rate is a top priority, Bitlux travel is one of the top picks of executives and global jet setters alike. 

Custom-tailored travel and the ability to pay using ultra-secure cryptocurrency technology sets Bitlux apart from the competition. Use their convenient and free online quoting tool to find the perfect flight for your next travel adventure. 

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