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The most convenient means of crossing the Atlantic is on a private jet. This article explains transatlantic private jets, including indicative costs, choice of aircraft, and how to reduce costs.

Transatlantic Private Jets

The majority of Airvel air charters are short and convenient domestic flights. This article on the most popular North American air charter routes will give you a good idea of where people are flying. The misconception is that transatlantic private jets are an unnecessary expense, especially when there are so many commercial flight routes.

As with all air charters, a transatlantic private jet offers the ultimate in privacy, comfort, flexibility and convenience. The real luxury of private jets is the time you can save. With airport FBOs and a complete choice over take off and routing, a private jet means you get more day out of your day. Multi-stop transatlantic itineraries are also popular and mean you can use a single aircraft for a Europe tour.

What Aircraft Can Cross the Atlantic?

New York to London is almost the minimum flight distance. That is close to 3500 miles so you need to charter a private jet that has significant range. Los Angeles to London is almost double this, although one aircraft could stop and refuel on route. Turboprops and light jets would hardly make it from the East Coast to Greenland. Even mid-sized jets cannot make transatlantic private flights. Read more about different aircraft for charter here.

Heavy jets answer the call when you need to fly further. They can cruise at up to 530 mph and still access airports that are inaccessible to commercial airlines. Most heavy jets can take between 10 – 19 passengers and this is important to the equation. Transatlantic private jets can seem very expensive if only two of you are flying. The price point drops significantly when you fill the plane.

Good examples of aircraft are the Gulfstream G4, Gulfstream 500, Falcon 900 and Challenger 300. These aircraft may have very different interiors, including boardroom style seating along with aircraft that have bedrooms.

The Gulfstream G650 is faster and has a longer range, while Bombardier’s global aircraft reflect their global name and are an ever popular choice. Dassault Falcon 7X is the preferred choice for landing at London City Airport.

Prices for Transatlantic Private Jets

Prices can vary significantly between operators and aircraft. USD 50,000 is a good starting point for understanding single transatlantic private jet flights. Return flights depend on when you plan to return but are usually less than the price of two single flights. Teterboro to Paris Le Bourget could be as low as USD 30,000 for a Gulfstream G4. Or the price may be above 100k, dependent on the date and availability.

You may note that this is a higher price per flying hour than with domestic air charters. Due to the length of the flights, transatlantic private jets require a captain, co-pilot and additional pilot, so there is flexibility to get around duty restrictions. It is also a long way to fly, so the cost and hours add up. Here are other factors that can affect the price.

Duration and Re-positioning Fees

Aircraft based in the States need to return to the States after the charter. You, the customer, will need to pay for these flying hours and re-positioning fees. Return within two days and a return flight will cost significantly less than two single flights. The exact price is going to depend on when you plan to return. Fly back after just two or three days and transatlantic private jets offer superb value. Even after one week in Europe the price point is good. You will need to pay hangar and overnight fees but these are cheaper than booking another single flight. For longer trips the aircraft will need to return to its base, as it will be needed for other charter bookings. Therefore you will be paying a premium for two single flights with repositioning fees.

Empty-leg Flights

Those empty repositioning flights back across the Atlantic are known as empty-leg flights. These can be booked as air charters. You will get a cheaper deal when your flight options are most limited. If an aircraft absolutely has to be back in Teterboro tomorrow there is little room for maneuver. The operator will offer a cut-price deal, just to generate a little extra income from the flight (the flying hours are already paid by the initial transatlantic private jet customer).

If an operator and aircraft have more time to play with they will be more flexible. So you may need to pay re-positioning fees but can depart from almost any airport in Europe. There will also be a wider choice of destination airport.

Customs and Immigration for Transatlantic Private Jet Flights

All international airports have customs and immigration facilities. These are located inside airport FBOs so you don’t need to queue in the main passenger terminal. The advantage of a private jet flight is using smaller airports, including business aviation airports such as London City and Paris Le Bourget. Some of these smaller airports also offer customs and immigration facilities.

At other airports the aircraft may initially stop at a customs ramp. An immigration official will board and check passports. The aircraft then moves to the FBO where passengers disembark and complete the formalities.

Different Atlantic Charter Options

For single and occasional transatlantic flights, the cheapest and most flexible option is to book private jets on an individual basis.

Fractional jet ownership can be a consideration only if you plan multiple return trips in a single year. Just note that the starting point will be close to USD 1 million up front. Private jet brokers are another possibility but their role is somewhat redundant given you can now search over 4000 aircraft on Airvel.

Be cautious about private jet card membership schemes. Many of these do not permit transatlantic flights, or only do so with large surcharges. The pre-investment is significant as you will need to purchase a minimum of 25 hours on a heavy jet. USD 300,000 is likely to be the minimum pre-investment.

Individual air charters provide the most choice. Ultimately, by paying as you fly there is less risk and cheaper flights.

Complete Choice and Flexibility

With transatlantic private jets you can still enjoy all the benefits of a domestic air charter. Although heavy jets cannot land all the same airports as turboprops and light jets, they can still fly to smaller airports. Ultimately, you can land closer to where you need to be. You save time, fly more comfortably, and choose a schedule that suits you.

Airvel is the world’s premier booking engine for private air charters. You can search over 4000 aircraft to more than 2500 destinations. Then you can compare prices and choose the aircraft that is best for you. By booking on an individual basis you save time and money. So transatlantic private jets are more than just a possibility.

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About Author

Joseph Wright
Joseph Wright

Joe doesn't know too much about the private aviation industry. He's a blogger and writer, more comfortable throwing a football than inspecting a jet engine. He us part of a new generation of flyers who are choosing to fly private instead of using commercial airlines. And he sometimes blogs about that for Airvel.


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