Fly Higher

By Jo Phillips

Private Charter Pricing Explained

Image by thatbaldguy from Pixabay

Synonymous with luxury, private charters have long been associated with the lifestyles of the rich and the famous. Yet, besides celebrities and the mega-wealthy, many people turn to private aircraft for the many practical benefits that they offer.

Even though flying privately is growing more popular among individuals, groups of friends and families, the industry is largely dominated by organisations such as businesses and governments.

Yet, regardless of who’s flying, the high levels of efficiency, convenience and security that come with private aviation make it well worth the money. But just how much does it cost to hire a private aircraft?

Well, private jet prices depend on the circumstances. We’ve written this handy guide to break down the key factors and help demystify the topic.

Type of aircraft

Private aircraft are categorised according to their size. Flyers can choose from Very Light Jets, Light Jets, Midsize Jets, Super Midsize Jets and Large Jets. Beyond this are Airliners and aircraft used by heads of state such as the US Presidential aircraft, Air Force One.

Naturally, a bigger jet means a bigger price. They’re more expensive to fly due to larger purchase prices and greater fuel consumption, as well as additional maintenance, cleaning, and storage costs. Plus, a bigger jet requires more staff to keep everything running smoothly while in the air.

Journey distance

The total distance travelled during a journey is probably the clearest reason why one charter flight would cost more than another.

Long-haul flights require larger aircraft that have the capability to fly extended distances. They also need more fuel, an additional expense in itself. Moreover, crews need to work longer hours on lengthy flights. All of these factors raise the price of flying privately over long distances.

Number of passengers

While private charter prices are not charged per head, the number of passengers making the journey still influences the overall cost. This is because a larger group will require a bigger craft to fly them.

Empty leg

When a client books a private flight, the aircraft usually needs to fly to another destination so that it can pick up its next client. These connected flights are called “empty leg” flights and are so-called thanks to their lack of passengers.

Since these flights still use up fuel and need crew members to man them, they can cost private aviation companies a fair bit of money. For this reason, some charters offer empty leg flights at discounted rates.

For those who have more room for flexibility in their journey and don’t mind a pre-determined aircraft type, departure time and destination, empty legs offers private flights at a less-expensive price.

In conclusion…

Private charter prices are determined by a variety of factors. In some cases, flying privately could cost less than you think; but the experience is invariably worth the price tag.