How Much Does a Private Flight Cost?

As fans of HBO’s Succession know, private jet travel offers immense convenience; but it’s also a significant financial commitment.

Owning your own jet can cost millions, as well as incurring ongoing maintenance expenses. There are more economical alternatives such as chartering flights or joining jet clubs.

So, let’s go back to the question: How much does a private flight cost?

1. Turboprops

When looking to charter a private jet from New York, small turboprops and light jets may be your most cost-effective options. Starting at around $2,000 an hour, these smaller aircraft are perfect for shorter flights to destinations that feature unpaved or grass airstrips.

Upgrade to a midsize jet with an approximate range of 5,000 miles for an more enjoyable flight experience, which are popular choices among travellers looking to avoid cramped seats and long flights times. Midsize jets with large passenger and executive cabin configurations may cost as much as $10,000 per hour.

At the core of every charter cost is total billable flight time – this factor includes flight hours, positioning fees and repositioning costs, federal excise taxes and segment taxes, airport parking fees, crew overnight fees and incidentals expenses. Longer range flights must also take fuel surcharges into account as additional expenses.

2. Midsize Jets

Light jets are great options for smaller groups, while mid-sized and super-mid-sized private jets are suitable for longer journeys. These aircraft offer passengers larger cabin space and longer flight range, but require additional fuel which necessitates stopping on longer flights to refuel.

These larger planes also boast higher cruising speeds, making travel faster. This is particularly advantageous when crossing international borders.

Flying private was once considered an extravagant, out-of-reach indulgence reserved only for the wealthy, but private jet travel is now more accessible than ever – starting from just $2,000 an hour for light jets to state-of-the-art ultraluxury VIP airliners with hourly flight rates upwards of $10,000 an hour per flight hour and not including additional expenses like airport fees, catering, overnight crew fees or repositioning charges.

3. Large Jets

No matter if you need space for large groups or just two passengers, the price of a private jet varies significantly. Airliners are among the largest of private jets and typically range in cost from $3 million to $440 million depending on size, manufacturer and customization (such as multiple rooms or customized decor).

Acquiring an aircraft outright can be an immense financial investment; however, it’s essential to remember that ongoing maintenance fees and airport expenses could cost anywhere between $500,000 to $1 Million each year. Insurance, fuel and flight crew wages also add costs.

If you aren’t ready for the commitment of owning your own jet, chartering may provide an affordable alternative. Companies like XO allow users to book flights as needed through membership fees or pay-as-you-go plans; their experts can assist in finding you an aircraft of suitable size and type depending on your flight requirements.

4. Heavy Jets

Private jet rentals typically operate by the hour and charter services calculate costs according to aircraft type and number of seats rented; for instance, a three-hour flight on a six-seat jet costing $5,000 an hour would incur each seat an average cost of approximately $2,000. Some private jet companies and apps even allow you to book empty-leg flights – meaning the aircraft departs without passengers but returns with them later – leaving its home airport to travel directly back again with them as their final destination.

Landing fees are one of the main drivers of charter costs and range anywhere from $2,000 to over $11,000 depending on aircraft size and location. Customs fees, runway maintenance fees, after-hours charges or extra expenses that arise on international itineraries or special events may also add up quickly. While purchasing your own jet may seem appealing, doing so involves an initial capital outlay as well as ongoing expenses including fuel, maintenance programs, FBO fees and depreciation – not an affordable solution!

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Michael P
Los Angeles based finance writer covering everything from crypto to the markets.

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