How Much Does It Cost to Travel on a Private Jet?
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Private jets represent the pinnacle of air travel. Given the choice, most of us would gladly choose the added comfort and convenience offered by these premium airplanes. Though it can be quite expensive to own a jet, private jet pricing on average might actually be lower than you expect. Read on to find out more about the different options available for experiencing this luxurious method of travel.
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Why are Private Jets Becoming so Popular?
If you’re on a tight schedule, flight delays and tedious stopovers can make deadlines unnecessarily stressful. Skip winding queues and avoid the cramped spaces of commercial airlines by taking advantage of efficient private services, and save hours of travel time by avoiding the crowds at public airports. Private jets don’t wait for anyone except you, and delays you’d expect on regular flights are non-existent.
Business or pleasure, private air travel is rapidly becoming a popular choice around the globe. Compared to commercial airlines, there are several advantages that set private flight apart. One of these benefits, short of obtaining a pilot’s licence yourself, is that flying privately is as exclusive as you can get. Besides the benefits of a personalised flight, chances are you’ll also get a private hangar, terminal, and waiting room attached.
First class on a commercial airline might be worth it for the comfort, but you’ll still have to go through cramped queues and loud crowds. Private jets, on the other hand, offer nothing but luxurious comfort. Sleek and sophisticated exteriors hide interiors of indulgent elegance. When you fly private, you’re not just a passenger. Ground staff and air crews will make your comfort their primary concern.
Private jets stick to any schedule you choose, and you don’t have to worry about missed flights or late arrivals. You don’t just get a ticket and a seat; you get an entire plane to yourself. Fly to exclusive destinations, avoid unnecessary transits, and save precious hours by skipping lines and checkpoints. Whether you want to rent a jet, own one, or join a private jet club, there are plenty of options available.
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How Expensive is it to Own a Private Jet?
Due to the high investment costs of buying a new model, pre-owned deals and partial ownership offers are quite common in the private jet market, and prices can vary depending on region and seller. If you’re looking to own a private jet for yourself, and you prefer brand new to second-hand, be prepared for some rather extravagant price tags.
Small aircraft (with a maximum range of approx. 1,500 nautical miles) are usually sold around the £1 million mark, with higher-spec models going up to £5 million in value. Light and middle size jets can cost anywhere from £2 million to £50 million, with newer models like the Gulfstream G700 going for as much as £75 million.
Large jets, the behemoths of luxury air travel, can cost an average of £50-£100 million to own. You could find a large jet for a ‘bargain’ price of about £10 million if you’re lucky, but a newer jet like the Boeing BBJ 777-8 can cost a minimum of £300 million to own.
What are the Alternatives to Ownership?
So, we’ve established that private jets can be quite expensive, and that these prices can vary quite a lot. To be frank, most of us probably can’t afford to own a brand-new jet, never mind the associated costs of owning one (such as staff salaries and regular maintenance for example).
On the bright side, there are plenty of options available if buying a jet is a bit too extravagant for your tastes. These days you can rent a private jet per-hour, join a private jet club on an annual membership, or simply go online and get a quote for a charter at any time. Charter operators have seen growing adoption of online services, and it’s pretty easy to book a flight through the multitude of brokers and licensed operators available today.
How Much do Charters Cost?
On the smaller end of the private jet scale, we have seaplanes, light jets, and small aircraft, which are perfect for small groups of up to five people. These aircraft can be quite cost-effective if you want to reach remote places, or if you find yourself in need of frequent and efficient travel. As an example of the cost involved, if you were to book a flight from Gatwick Airport to Glasgow International, a private charter would likely cost around £5,500.
Middle size jets, such as mid-cabin and super mid-cabin models, can seat up to eight people in stylish comfort. Keeping in mind we’re talking broad averages here, let’s say you’re going to Cape Town, South Africa for a holiday; an average one-way chartered flight would cost about £100,000.
Large jets, capable of the longest flight distances, also boast the most spacious interiors compared to other jets. Interestingly, they’re quite close to middle size jets when it comes to pricing, with a flight from Gatwick Airport to Texas (for example) costing about £100,000. More important than the cost apparently, flight range and amount of passengers are the biggest deciders when choosing between middle size and large private jets.
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Where do you Start?
Online marketplaces are a great place to begin, providing quotes and a safe booking platform for any prospective client, regardless of your destination. As the private jet industry continues to expand, private charter brokers have entered the market with enticing offers.
Brokers arrange flights on behalf of their customers, saving you from the hassle of searching for reliable charter operators. Charter operators have also seen a surge in business lately. Premium charter providers have several membership options, including fractional ownership and Jet Card options. Private Jet Cards operate on hourly-rates, and these rates are usually dependent on the size of the jet.
For frequent flyers it might actually be cost-effective to fly private instead of going the commercial route. You also have to take into account the subjective value of comfort and convenience. Would you rather queue for a delayed commercial flight? Or relax in a private lounge, attended to by your own personal staff?
Instead of cramped commercial flights, wouldn’t you prefer ample leg room? From 5-star bedrooms to movie theatres, private jets have it all, and are rapidly becoming an enticing choice for cruising in complete comfort.