How Much Does a Private Jet Cost?

Private jet at sunset

The cost of a private jet depends on whether you want to own one or just use an aircraft by renting one. However, ownership or renting is only the beginning; other additional aspects should be considered, with the most important centred around what you need the aircraft to do. This page discusses the expenses of each approach and provides some particular examples.

Ownership

You can own a private aircraft in two ways: whole ownership, in which you own the entire aircraft, or fractional ownership, in which you own a portion of an aircraft.

Full Ownership

The costs of purchasing and operating an aircraft vary depending on the aircraft model. To put it simply, the larger the aircraft, the more it will cost to buy and maintain. The original cost of an aircraft is also affected by its age and usage. For example, 30+-year-old light jets (such as a Learjet or a smaller Cessna) may be found for well under $1 million. Yet, a brand new huge, heavy jet (such as a long-range Gulfstream) can cost more than $70 million, or more than $100 million if you want a custom equipped Airbus or Boeing.

There are multiple articles on the web that detail the varied expenses of specific aeroplanes. These articles demonstrate the usual annual ownership costs, including fixed and variable expenses and market depreciation.

Costs may vary depending on how the plane is used, and owners should include crew salary, hangar costs, insurance, training, maintenance, fuel, and so on.

Here are a few examples:

  • A brand new Gulfstream G500 can cost $45 million; pre-owned aircraft such as the G450 can cost as little as $14 million, depending on age and condition. Following the initial investment, annual variable expenses of $1.6 million are estimated and fixed yearly costs of approximately $880,000.
  • The Bombardier Challenger 650 may be less expensive in terms of upfront investment. A new model will cost around $32 million, with older models such as the Challenger 605 selling for approximately $15 million. Nonetheless, you’re looking at $1.5 million in year variable costs and $725,000 in year fixed expenditures.
  • An Embraer Phenom 300 will set you back a little less than $9 million, with second-hand aircraft costing between $7 million and $8 million. The annual variable expenditures are expected to be in the $800,000 range, with an additional $343,000 in fixed costs.
Fractional Ownership

Outright ownership may not always be the best option for you, whether it’s due to cost or intended usage. In these situations, fractional ownership may be a smart option. As the name implies, you buy a fraction or share of an aircraft and then pay a portion of the associated costs. Including an hourly flying rate for the use of the aircraft and monthly or periodic charges to cover all of the aircraft’s fixed costs.

When we compare the costs of outright ownership of an Embraer Phenom 300 to the expenses of fractional ownership, we find that a 1/16 share (20 days) of the same aircraft costs around $624,500. Thus, the owner’s hourly rate would be $2,085, and the monthly shared expenses would be $5,900. The Phenom 300 is also offered through various Avian Partnership Networks fractional operators.

Light aircraft like the Phenom 300 are especially popular with fractional owners. So, why may a fractional be appropriate for you? If you fly more than 50 hours per year, fractional ownership may be the most cost-effective option. You still have a depreciable asset if you own a portion of an aircraft, and you can access an aircraft with as little as 6 hours’ notice.

However, there are occasions when fractional ownership does not make sense. For example, if you frequently fly short trips of 30 minutes, be aware that most fractional programs operate in terms of flight hours. In turn, that short flight would cost you twice as much as your permitted flying time. In these circumstances, renting rather than buying may be a better option.

Rental

An on-demand charter or a membership program, such as a jet card, may be used to rent a private jet. In either instance, rates are often based on an hourly rate, which means you pay an hourly fee to rent the entire aircraft.

Jet Cards

Jet cards can provide some of the benefits of fractional ownership (allotted flight hours, access to well-maintained private aircraft) without the financial or time commitments that ownership requires.

The Avian JetCard allows you to be flexible by purchasing a certain number of flight hours (starting at 25 hours) on a specified aircraft or category or by maintaining a minimum balance on your JetCard (starting at $25,000 USD). JetCard members get the unique convenience of booking with as little as 6 hours’ notice. Each time you use your card, the number of hours you fly is simply deducted from your account. Users of other jet cards should be aware that some companies will impose additional costs for flying during busy hours or additional fuel surcharges; however, this is not the case with the Avian JetCard membership, regardless of the day you fly. A jet card may be appropriate for you if you fly less than 50 hours per year. You may learn more about the pros and cons of jet cards by contacting our sales team, who can help you determine if Jet Card ownership is suitable for you.

Charter

Chartering an aircraft can be the most cost-effective alternative for individuals looking for no commitment, such as if you only travel a few times a year or for a special occasion. There are no upfront charges; you simply pay the charges associated with the flight. Furthermore, you can select the type of aircraft that best meets your requirements regarding passenger numbers and distance. Chartering costs vary greatly but expect to spend at least $1,500 per flight hour for a turboprop and $8,000 or more for a heavy jet. Before booking, be sure to thoroughly discuss all potential expenses with our charter sales staff to ensure there’re no surprises on your final invoice.

Whether you choose to own or rent, it is critical to thoroughly (and realistically) examine your intended use and cost. A detailed discussion of possibilities with an Avian trained advisor can assist you in making an informed selection.

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