Now more than ever we might decide that we can’t face crowded airports delayed flights and stressed passengers have made commercial air travel a chore rather than the pleasure it used to be.
There is no doubt flying by private jet is a privilege and to buy one a dream, but it has become more accessible and not reserved only for the ultra-rich – but don’t be fooled, buying or chartering a plane can still climb into the tens of millions of dollars.
‘How much does a private jet cost’ is the question, not many of us will ever need to ask. But just in case you require this information we have looked carefully at the cost of buying or renting a private jet and the broader costs to businesses in general.
The cost of buying a private jet
The price for a brand-new private jet ranges from in the region of $4 million to over $90 million. Second-hand jets are cheaper, and they still cost millions of dollars. For perspective, a pre-owned Gulfstream G650ER, the company’s flagship private jet, costs $35.5 million to $47 million on the Gulfstream website. With extras and customization, the price can soar well beyond that figure.
The purchase price is not the only cost involved in owning your own plane. Maintenance and repair costs depend on the size of the aircraft but typically range from around $700,000 to over $4 million a year.
If you do decide that’s the path for you, then you will be in good company. Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, owns a Gulfstream. Starbucks, a successful American company, always fly their executives by private charter jet. You can buy the Gulfstream G650 for $68 million.
So, to buy or to hire that is the question? Instead, let’s see what the costs are to charter a private jet.
While renting a private jet is considerably more expensive than flying on a commercial flight, it is still much cheaper than buying a private jet. Flights on private jets are chargeable by the hour, and prices vary depending on the size of the plane, flying time, and the number of people on board.
The typical cost is between $2,000 and $10,000 per hour to charter a private jet. Hiring a jet for a weekend can run $150,000 or more. However, unless you spend more than 200 hours a year flying, renting is probably a better option than buying. That way will you avoid many of the yearly maintenance costs.
What else should you consider?
Consider why the choice to fly private is an option; is it because long wait times are an issue? All commercial airliners work on a set schedule, and whether you’re traveling first-class or back in the economy, you’ll all arrive at the same time.
Commercial passenger aircraft operate out of principal airports and, because of their size, these commercial planes have to wait to use the larger runways. Holding patterns always mean congestion and anyone who flies regularly knows just what it’s like to remain on the runway or in a holding pattern for ages – annoying.
Private jets, however, can access thousands of airports across the country. They can use shorter runways, fly on less congested routes, and leave exactly when you want them to. You set the schedule, after all. That means faster flights.
Commercial airliners have to fly particular routes through a dedicated hub-and-spoke network; something that private jets don’t do – flying private means that they can fly directly to your chosen destination. They climb faster than commercial airlines, cruise at a higher altitude with greater speeds, so poor weather isn’t a problem.
The combination of these things is adding up to you getting to your destination so much faster.
There are lots of excellent reasons to use the services of a private jet and whether you decide to charter or buy. But if, after all the calculations have worked out, the running costs of owning combined with the initial outlay simply don’t work in your financial favor, there are several far less expensive ways to use the service.
You could book a charter for a specific trip; purchase partial ownership in a jet; or buy a private flight club membership. Individual flight club membership enables short-notice booking for domestic or international flights on a range of aircraft at set hourly rates. These options provide a customized experience without the management hassle and associated costs.
It pays to shop around especially at the moment but remember like everything in life you get what you pay for, except for the free lunch, a free lunch is always included.
Interesting related article: “What are Luxuries?“