Much less than you think. This blog post offers tips on how to get the cheapest private jet flights, without you needing a jet card or jet broker.
First understand how the price of a private jet flight is calculated before discovering how to find the best deals.
How much is a private jet flight?
The price of every private jet flight depends on three main factors.
- Type and size of the jet
- Duration of the flight in hours
- Additional costs, such as de-icing, airport FBO or an empty leg
If this was a math equation it would be: type of jet x number of flight hours + miscellaneous costs.
Typically the cost will be between USD 1000 – 10000 per flight hour.
Type and size of the jet
Just like renting or chartering any other vehicle, the price of a jet increases with bigger planes. Small four-seat jets cost far less to charter than a Boeing 737.
Most jets for charter are categorized by their number of seats. Although a number of different aircraft are on the market, there’s only limited variation in cost between planes of a similar size.
You don’t pay per seat. All jets are chartered on a per-plane basis. A jet may cost $4000 per hour but if that is split between 20 passengers the price is extremely reasonable. However, if you’re stuck with a 12-seat plane and are the only person flying, air charter isn’t such an attractive proposition.
Tips to find cheaper private jet flights
Size is the biggest contributor to cost. So it’s essential to be flexible about how many seats you need. Every flight will be different; just think of the number of seats needed for taking the extended family on vacation versus making a last-minute site inspection way out west.
With jet charter you don’t own a jet. You can rent one that fits the specific needs of each flight. So consider air charter companies that are conducive to these needs, where you can rent jets of differing sizes and not be tied into a single aircraft.
Duration of the flight in hours
Every aircraft has a per hour charter cost. For most jets this is between USD 1000 – 10000. If the jet costs USD 3000 per hour and it’s a two-hour flight then the private jet flight will be USD 6000.
However, it’s not always that simple. Many aircraft and operators impose a minimum number of charter hours, so you may be paying for two hours even if’s only a 40-minute flight. It’s also common to be charged for the flight hours that are required for the jet to reach your departure airport.
Most flight prices are calculated on the assumption that you’ll be taking the return leg and flying back to your starting destination. If this isn’t the case then the aircraft will need to return empty – for this you will pay a significant surcharge, sometimes the full price of a return leg.
Every aircraft has a different cruising speed as well. More efficient modern jets can fly faster, so their additional cost per hour is balanced by the less number of hours you need.
Tips to get cheaper private jet flights
Jet charters are relatively inexpensive when you only pay for the hours you’re actually in the aircraft. Eliminating empty legs is key although not always convenient. It’s good to use an operator with many different aircraft, therefore reducing empty legs as each aircraft can be used by other customers.
It’s certainly important to fly on aircraft that are already based at your departure airport. Even if the jet only has to come from 30 minutes away that’s going to be over USD 1000 in extra costs.
Sometimes there are so many it can be painful. Like peak-date surcharges, de-icing fees, taxes, airport fees, state fees, overnight fees, hangar fees, taxi time fees, preferred FBO surcharges, etc. You get a headache just thinking about them.
On hot dates for travel (peak days) the cost per hour is increased due to demand; as with commercial flights, expect to pay more if you want to travel during holidays. Some operators also increase their per hour fee on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons; again, this is to meet increased demand.
So how much is a private jet flight? The final figure can be very different dependent on the operator and when you want to fly. Eliminating additional costs isn’t a tip to find cheaper flights – it’s plain common sense. Just like any service, you want transparent pricing and no stinging extras.
However, the price of a few extras can be dwarfed by the additional costs that arise from unused flying hours. When using a private jet card you pre-pay for a set number of hours per year, on a specific type of jet. If five out of 50 hours go unused that’s a lot of money. Rather than pre-investment it’s cheaper to only pay for the flights that you need.
How Much is My Private Jet Flight? Finding the Best Deals.
Here are some essential tips for finding a cheaper air charter.
1. Booking on a per flight basis
A single operator may be suitable for one flight but not the next. An eight-seat plane is brilliant when there are eight passengers, not when there are nine. Jet cards tie you into a specific size and type of aircraft, whereas booking on a per flight basis offers complete flexibility. Plus, if your requirements change at the last moment then it’s easier to make adjustments when you’re not fixed into a long-term contract.
It doesn’t matter how you book an aircraft – they have the same per hour price whether booking direct or through a jet card. Booking on a per flight basis is the single best way to reduce the total price of your air charters. There is no pre-investment nor any wasted hours. And each aircraft you book reflects your needs for that specific flight.
2. Search from the largest database of aircraft and operators
Only a fraction of the available jets will be suitable for each flight. This naturally depends on where you are flying and how the big plane should be. More importantly, each type of aircraft is more suitable and economical for a different type of journey.
A Beechcraft King Air 350i is an excellent all rounder at around USD 1500 per hour. A Gulfstream V can accommodate 14 passengers and is most economical when chartered for longer journeys. For short business hops between nearby cities you’ll be better off looking at turboprops.
This article provides an introduction to all the different aircraft for charter, including their range and typical costs per hour.
Air charter becomes cheaper as your choice of aircraft and operator increases. Search 400 jets and you might find a deal. It’s more economical when there are over 4000 jets to search from. Then you can hone in on the aircraft and deal that is best for you.
3. Use Airvel, the world’s leading booking engine for air charters
For the first time, Airvel brings over 4000 aircraft and dozens of operators into a single booking engine. Instantly search between any airports in the USA as well as abroad. Compare aircraft based on price, size and amenities. Then charter the best plane for you, based on your needs for each individual flight.
There are no membership fees to pay nor any additional costs. Just pay as you fly and use different aircraft for each flight.
At Airvel we believe air charter can be for everyone. That’s why we created the booking engine and app. So you could enjoy maximum choice and realize all the benefits of a private charter.