One of the most distinguishing factors of private jet travel is how expensive it can be (when compared to regular commercial flights), which explains why such trips are mostly accessible to wealthy executives, celebrities, politicians and other influential people. That said, private jet charter costs can actually be quite attractive, depending on a few factors, so it’s essential that you learn about these details before diving in.
Jet charter quotes can range anywhere between $1,200 to $10,000 per hour, but what makes such travel as expensive (or more expensive, in some cases!) than buying your own private island?
How much you end up paying for a private jet charter depends on a ton of different factors, such as the size and type of the jet, the distance you’re flying, the airport you’re flying to and from, the fuel used, and the extra services and amenities that passengers opt for, among other things.
Here’s a lowdown on jet charter quotes, right from the factors that influence them to the average costs for various types of jets.
What Goes into Jet Charter Quotes?
Many different factors go into making jet charter quotes, such as:
- Billable Flight Time: The first factor or term that you should know when paying for a private jet rental is the billable flight time, which is the number of hours you’ll be flying (or flight time) and the charge per hour.
- Crew Fees: This is the amount paid for the expenses of the crew, such as per diem costs, payment for hotels and meals, and so on. On overnight trips, this includes the costs for overnight accommodation.
- Federal Excise Tax: This is a tax that is levied by the government, wherein domestic flights are charged 7.5% of the total charges by way of tax.
- Fuel Surcharge: Since fuel prices keep fluctuating, companies charge an extra amount known as fuel surcharge, which makes up for any difference between the price of fuel on the day of booking and on the day of the actual flight itself. Factors such as the distance flown and the type of aircraft also influence the amount of surcharge.
- Other Fees: A ton of other fees is included in jet charter quotes, such as landing fees, incidental fees, handling fees, airport fees, to name a few. These charges cover various activities such as the cleaning of lavatories on-flight, baggage handling charges, transportation from the terminal to the flight, and so on. How much you are charged will depend on the type of plane, the airport you’re landing in, and a host of other factors.
Of all the charges levied, that make up the jet charter quotes, the flight time charges or the billable flight time are the highest.
A Note on Billable Flight Time
If a charge makes up a major part of your bill, it’s only natural to wonder what it comprises! Billable flight time is the total cost that is paid for the flight’s service, to the owner or operator, in hourly rate payments.
Billable flight time is only counted when the flight is in the air, or the flight time; any time spent on the ground is not counted as part of the billable flight time.
In addition to this, any additional fees charged towards the minimum flight time adjustments daily or any repositioning fees also make up the billable flight time.
What ‘daily minimum flight time adjustments’ means is the amount levied to make up for not fulfilling the minimum booking commitment each operator requires.
For example, if you’re only making a 1-hour flight but the operator requires at least 2 hours minimum to be booked, you’ll still end up paying for the extra hour that you didn’t travel. Therefore, your billable flight hours will still be 2.
Hourly Rates for Different Types of Aircraft
Different aircraft have different rates:
- Turboprop Planes: Turboprop planes are more lightweight than jets and are great for low-altitude flights (below 25,000 feet). However, they’re also slower and are good only for short distances. A turboprop plane with 6-8 passengers can cost between $1,200-1,800 per hour.
- Very Light Jets: Very light jets are the most affordable type of jets, meant for shorter distances, with a seating capacity of 4-8 passengers and a load capacity below 10,000 pounds. A very light jet, such as the Phenom 100, with 4-5 passengers will cost anywhere between $1,500-2,250 per hour.
- Light Jet: A light jet can accommodate up to 12,500 pounds and can seat 6-8 passengers comfortably. The flight range with these is generally 2.5-4 hours. Jet charter quotes for light jets, such as the Hawker 400XP, carrying 6-8 passengers, can cost between $2,200-$3,000 per hour.
- Midsize Jets: A midsize jet, most commonly used for business purposes, can max out 4-5 hours of flight time or 2,800 nautical miles and comfortably accommodate 9 passengers. These jets, carrying 7-9 passengers, will cost you between $2,800-3,800 per hour.
- Super-Midsize Jets: These jets can travel 8-10 hours nonstop, with a seating capacity of 8-10 passengers. A super-midsize jet, carrying 8-10 passengers, will cost you the same as a midsize jet but are more spacious and comfortable.
- Heavy Jets: The largest and most luxurious of the lot, heavy jets can travel 10-12 hours (or 7,000 miles) non-stop and seat anywhere between 10-16 passengers. They’re also the fastest of the lot, averaging between 420-590 miles per hour. Such jets, traveling at full capacity, will cost you between $5,000-8,000 per hour.
Many factors influence jet charter quotes, and many factors comprise them too. Therefore, you’re not just paying for flight time, but a whole host of other things too. So if you’ve always wondered what makes private jet travel so expensive, we hope you have your answer now!