PRIVATE JET PRICING EXPLAINED
October 18, 2021
Private jet pricing varies considerably according to many factors – not least the type of aircraft or programme. Indeed there are many components that influence the cost of flying by private jet, so it is useful to have an overview of these if you are researching different providers and types of access to private flights.
The cost of flying by private jet
First of all, it’s important to understand the various different ways you can access private jet travel. Broadly these are:
- Purchasing your own aircraft
- Shared aircraft ownership and access programmes (also known as fractional ownership and leasing)
- Jet cards & memberships
- On-demand charter
These different ways of accessing private aviation come at varying price points, and with different service levels and experiences to match.
Aircraft ownership pricing
At the highest end of the cost spectrum is outright private jet ownership. While this may provide unparalleled freedom, it does come with very significant financial considerations. Not only the initial (often multi-million euro) investment but also many complex and unpredictable overheads, such as crew salaries and training, maintenance, management fees and insurance, to name just a few.
There are also the variable operating costs associated with each flight, such as fuel, landing fees, catering and other amenities. The associated cost of aircraft downtime is another consideration, as all aircraft will require maintenance, sometimes unexpectedly – adding costs and the requirement to source alternative options when you need to fly.
Shared (fractional) ownership pricing
Shared ownership can be very appealing to frequent flyers who may have considered owning an aircraft outright, but are looking for lower and more predictable costs. Essentially, you secure the main benefits of whole aircraft ownership – consistency, exceptional service and personalisation – for a portion of the cost, and with none of the responsibility. There is also the considerable advantage of knowing an aircraft will always be available at short notice, when you want to fly.
At Flexjet we provide shared ownership of our premium fleet of the latest private jet aircraft, which includes the Embraer Praetor 600, Legacy 500 & Gulfstream G650. Designed for those who fly 50+ hours per year, shared jet ownership with Flexjet allows you to make an initial purchase of shared equity in an aircraft, along with fixed and agreed annual ownership costs, and an hourly transportation fee based on your actual flight time.
Share sizes range from 1/16th (50 hours) to 1/2 (400 hours) with each level giving an Owner a percentage of the 800 flight hours available per year on each aircraft. For example, a one-eighth share entitles an Owner to 100 flight hours annually, which is approximately 50,000 miles.
We also offer our Access (lease) programme (which gives an all-in hourly cost minimising capital expenditure) plus a type-specific jet card option for those who fly less often.
Find out more about our Flexjet programmes.
Of course when comparing shared ownership providers, you are comparing many factors beyond costs, including the age and performance of the aircraft; quality of onboard service and amenities (such as catering and Wi-Fi); levels of personalisation and flexibility; and operational details such as the primary service areas, peak days and fuel price adjustments. You should also be given a detailed explanation of the provider’s operational protocols including safety ratings, maintenance facilities and flight crew training and experience thresholds.
Learn more about Flexjet’s commitment to world-class standards, and our unrivalled safety culture: Setting the safety standard at Flexjet
Jet cards & private jet membership pricing
For those who fly between 25 and 50 hours a year, jet cards offer a way of predicting your costs by offering flying hours at a fixed hourly rate. You commit to a given number of hours upfront which you can then access as required, drawing down the hours available on your card balance as you fly.
Jet cards can provide flying hours on a specific owned fleet, or on a wider selection of aircraft from third party operators from the charter market. A jet card will typically allow flying within an agreed geographical zone.
In addition to providing ease of booking, jet cards come with the benefit of securing your costs – with the hourly rate guaranteed for your purchased amount of flying hours. In a market where demand is outstripping supply (as we are currently experiencing) this avoids the uncertainty of fluctuating market pricing, which can occur with on-demand flying. Jet cards also offer enhanced terms compared to on-demand charter, such as guaranteed availability to an aircraft within a given timeframe (other than on certain peak days).
At Flexjet we offer a Legacy 500 Jet Card, giving guaranteed access to this impressive midsize aircraft from our closed aircraft fleet, at a fixed hourly rate.
Flexjet’s sister company PrivateFly offers a jet card for different aircraft size categories. Find out more about the PrivateFly Jet Card.
Private jet memberships resemble jet cards in the sense of providing enhanced terms and benefits in return for depositing funds with a provider. However instead of offering fixed hourly rates for certain aircraft types, they typically give the freedom to access a wider choice of aircraft and global routes from the charter market.
This can be beneficial to those with varied flying patterns or different size groups. Flying costs are less predictable, as pricing is dynamic and based on market pricing at the time of each flight. Find out more about the Aviator Membership, from Flexjet’s sister company PrivateFly.
On-demand private jet charter pricing
On-demand charter is effectively a pay-as-you-go model for private jet travel. You charter an aircraft from the wider charter market, for a specific trip at a cost that is based on market conditions at the time of booking.
While this can be an attractive option for those who are looking to fly privately only rarely or as a one-off, it does come with a number of service compromises compared to shared ownership, jet cards or memberships. Service levels and aircraft are more variable, pricing can fluctuate considerably and there is less flexibility in booking terms, which can leave you more exposed when plans change.
Another consideration for charter is that the initial quote may not be all-inclusive. When considering a quote, you should ensure that you understand any additional costs that may be incurred. Depending on the provider or location, you may find extra costs apply for services or amenities such as de-icing, some types of catering or internet connectivity.
Choosing a private jet provider
Of course, when choosing a private jet provider you will want to compare a host of factors beyond the cost, just as you would for any other major purchase or investment.
Exceptional safety and service are at the top of that list and at Flexjet we are proud to have a world-class, unrivalled approach to both.
To discover more about our European programmes, contact our team via our website or call us on +44 (0) 203 856 8151.