How Much Does it Cost to Charter a Private Jet in the USA
There are a lot of factors that go into determining the cost of a private jet charter, including the size and type of jet, the distance to your destination, and many more. We take a look at what factors you should consider when choosing your charter aircraft.
How Much Does it Cost to Fly Private?
Thanks to the many benefits of private jet hire, more people are traveling by private jet charter than ever before. With the world still slowly waking up from the global pandemic caused by Covid-19, flying private gives you the opportunity to travel again, while keeping a healthy social distance, and avoiding busy airports and crowds.
It might sound unbelievable, but private jet charter costs have come down so much recently that prices are even competing with first- and business-class tickets on commercial flights. But before we get into what private jet costs are looking like at the moment, let’s answer a few questions you might have going in.
Is it cheaper to buy a private jet or rent one?
Even if chartering frequently, it is almost always cheaper to charter a private plane, rather than buying one – even if you’re not buying one new. There are so many factors to consider when purchasing a private jet, such as which aircraft suits your needs best, for a start. On top of the (typically) huge price tag that comes with most private aircraft, there are maintenance, staff and operating costs to take into account.
When renting, or chartering, a private aircraft, you get all the benefits of owning a private jet without having to deal with the maintenance and operating costs associated with ownership. Not only that, but you get to decide which aircraft best suits your needs for every trip you take, as opposed to being limited by the single aircraft you own – not all private aircraft are suitable for every flight or runway.
So, you could either spend millions on the customized luxury airliner of your dreams, or you could find out how much cheaper it is to rent a plane, when you need it, with this guide.
What else is included in the cost of chartering a private jet?
When you charter a private jet with Air Charter Service (ACS), whether it’s for business or leisure, a number of services are included in your package.
To start, you are guaranteed to be traveling in the private aircraft you desire. With access to more than 50,000 private aircraft, we are always able to source the perfect aircraft for your journey. On top of that, our 25+ years of experience in jetting our customers across the globe, and our buying power and reputation established over that time, allows us to secure the best possible private plane costs for you. This means you’ll always be able to access the most cost-effective private charter solutions.
You are in control of your schedule at all times, even during your flight. We are able to connect you with commercial flights or even allow you to fly to your own bespoke timetable. Whatever your requirements are, your personal account manager is available 24/7 to help you manage and plan your journey however you desire.
Once you’ve arrived at your destination, our brokers can organize a concierge service or rental car, depending on how you wish to travel once you’re off the plane. Our global coverage and expertise allows us to help you create itineraries for your stay – our network of offices is there to provide you with local knowledge on a global scale.
What Covid-19 protocols do you have in place?
As the world opens up again and air travel restrictions start to relax, we want to ensure you are kept safe and protected from Covid-19 at all times. We have been working with our operator partners, which carry out our charters, to implement all the necessary protocols to minimize the risk of infection and maximize protection during this challenging time.
Here are some guarantees from the ACS team while you travel during the pandemic:
- Fewer people in your personal space.
- Avoid crowds and queues at airports.
- Highest possible levels of hygiene aboard aircraft.
- Direct flights and NO connections.
- Fly to your own schedule.
- React safely and appropriately, in a timely manner, to real-time restrictions.
For more information, read about what we are doing to ensure your safety while you travel during Covid-19.
Why you should charter a private aircraft
Flying on a private jet may actually be more cost-effective than you think – saving you airport time, minimizing travel fatigue, optimizing work productivity while onboard, and getting you close to your destination at a time of your choosing. On top of the money saved, the perks of flying private help you keep your risk of exposure to Covid-19 down while traveling. Being allowed to skip the queues and security checks gets you moving through the airport quickly and efficiently. And of course, less time spent in the airport means less risk of coming into close contact with other people.
You also only have to arrive a few minutes before your flight takes off, so you don’t have to spend any time hanging about the airport, doing your best to keep a good social distance from the rest of the passengers.
If you’re on the “Forbes Richest” list or an A-list celebrity, your next few paychecks should cover your own private jet – the new Cessna Citation CJ4 is going for about $9.15 million. Pocket change, right? But for the majority of travelers, a private jet rental is a better option. Private aircraft charter offers all the benefits of owning a private jet without the hefty price tag – and the hassle of continual maintenance and upkeep.
There’s also no need to settle for one airplane. Hopping over to the Hamptons for the weekend requires a different plane for the journey than if you were taking your whole boardroom overseas. When you rent a jet, you select the most cost-effective aircraft that’s just right for your needs every time you fly.
How much is a charter flight on a light jet or air taxi?
Whenever there’s a headlining game in town, you’ll see private jets parked wing-to-wing on the apron at the nearest airport. A private helicopter rental (or air taxi) will help you beat the airport scrum. The Sikorsky S-76 has been transporting three passengers in comfort to their business and leisure destinations since the 1970s. Regular enhancements have made the S-76 a seriously impressive travel solution at a lower cost.
For a weekend in the Hamptons, consider a private jet charter turboprop such as the Piper Aztec. This popular commuter plane costs around $2,400 to fly from New York to Montauk, while renting a Piper PA-34 Seneca for a 40-minute flight from Montauk to White Plains comes in at around $2,800.
If you’re bringing family and friends along (all that extra baggage!), you could upgrade to a Cessna Citation CJ3 light jet, which can complete the journey in under 30 minutes for a private charter flight cost of around $3,300.
Turboprops and light jets are perfect for short journeys from, say, Los Angeles to Las Vegas. A Cessna Citation Mustang will get you and three additional passengers to the City of Lights in about an hour at a cost of around $3,000.
Now for a look at a selection of popular light jets and turboprops, and a rough estimate of their private jet cost per hour:
|Cost per hour
|Max flight time
|Cessna Citation Mustang
|1,343 mi / 2,161 KM
|630 KM/H / 391 MPH
|2 Hours 30 Minutes
|Cessna Citation CJ3
|2,157 mi / 3472 KM
|773 KM/H / 480 MPH
|Beechcraft King Air 200
|1,818 mi / 2,926 KM
|515 KM/H / 320 MPH
|3 Hours 30 Minutes
How much is a charter flight on a mid-sized or super-mid-sized jet?
Your charter plane cost will increase as your need for additional space for passengers, luggage or equipment increases. Renting a mid-sized plane allows you to cover greater distances and at much higher speeds. So if you’d like to get from LA to Washington in a five-and-a-half-hour journey with six passengers on board, the sleek, mid-sized Bombardier Learjet 40/40XR will cost around $24,500. The same journey in the nine-seater Hawker Beechcraft 900XP will cost around $30,000 for an elegant and smooth ride. That works out to roughly $4,450 and $5,500 respectively per hour in the air.
Alternatively, the five-hour journey from Atlanta, Georgia to San Francisco costs around $29,200, which is about $5,800 per hour in a Dassault Falcon 20 private jet.
Other popular options for mid-size jets include the Bombardier Learjet 60XR, which costs approximately $4,450 per hour of flight, while the private flight cost of a Gulfstream G200/G280 is $6,400 an hour.
If you’re all about saving on your jet lease cost by chartering a smaller plane over a greater distance, keep in mind that this may end up making your journey more expensive. Smaller private jets that have to cover long distances will need to stop to refuel. This will increase the cost because of landing, refueling and the extra time added to your journey. Private jet charter costs typically include:
- Fuel for the distance you travel. Prices change constantly so a surcharge is usually added to make up the difference between the projected cost on your private jet charter quote, and the actual cost of flying.
- Landing fees calculated on the size and weight of your aircraft. These vary from airport to airport, and go towards maintaining airport facilities.
- Airport fees for managing an aircraft on the ground by a fixed-base operator (FBO) or aircraft handling company. This includes servicing the aircraft’s toilets, arranging fuel and passenger transport to and from the terminal, and rest facilities for the crew.
- On a return journey, ramp fees are charged when a plane is parked at an airport overnight or for any length of time.
- Other costs of multi-leg journeys can include overnight accommodation for private jet charter crew members, and their taxis to and from hotel to airport during stop-overs.
Super-mid-size and larger private jets are better suited to journeys of six hours or more. The private flight cost of an eight-and-a-half-hour journey from Chicago to London comes in at around $36,000 in an Embraer Legacy 500, which has an impressive range of 3,450 miles. Or the trip will cost just under $50,700 in the intelligently designed and high-performing Bombardier Challenger 300. This works out at roughly $4,500 and $6,300 respectively per hour in the air.
Let’s take a look at some popular mid-size jets and their private charter cost per hour:
|Cost per hour flight time
|Max flight time
|Bombardier Learjet 40/40XR
|1,961 mi / 3,156 KM
|860 KM/H / 534 MPH
|Bombardier Learjet 60XR
|2,782 mi / 4,478 KM
|778 KM/H / 483 MPH
|Hawker Beechcraft 900XP
|3,242 mi / 5,217 KM
|861 KM/H / 535 MPH
|Dassault Falcon 20
|2,080 mi / 3,350 KM
|819 KM/H / 508 MPH
|Embraer Legacy 500
|3,452 mi / 5 556 KM
|1000 KM/H / 621 MPH
|Bombardier Challenger 300
|3,567 mi / 5,741 KM
|870 KM/H / 540 MPH
|Cessna Citation X
|3,700 mi /5,956 KM
|972 KM/H / 603 MPH
|Gulfstream G200 / G280
|4,142 mi / 6,667 KM
|796 KM/H / 494 MPH
|Hawker Beechcraft 700
|2,417 mi / 3,890 KM
|723 KM/H / 449 MPH
|4 Hours 30 Minutes
How much is it to charter a heavy jet?
Long-haul flights are best handled by heavy jets. The price of chartering a private heavy jet can reach six figures. In exchange, you can take many passengers along with you over longer distances. A heavy jet offers the additional perks of a bigger cabin, luxurious plane amenities, and the services of flight attendants.
For example, a long-haul flight from New York to London is best suited to a heavy jet such as the Gulfstream G550. The ultra-long-range private jet (which has set more than 40 city-pair speed records for flight times), combines incredible speed and range with excellent interior features. Its luxurious interior offers four distinct areas for up to 16 passengers, and it offers impressive multimedia resources for onboard entertainment and connectivity.
If you need to spread out for a business meeting, you could go even bigger with a luxury airliner like the Airbus A319 or a Boeing BBJ. Of course, these large VIP executive airliners are top of the line, and will impact heavily on your private plane rental cost. A 13-hour journey from Boston to Dubai in a Bombardier Challenger 850 will cost around $81,000 for 16 passengers, while the private charter flight cost of a 13-and-a-half-hour journey for 12 passengers from New York to Shanghai in a Gulfstream G300 will cost more than $88,425. This means each hour in the air amounts to about $6,500.
Let’s take a look at some popular heavy jets and what they would cost to charter per hour:
|Cost per hour flight time
|Max flight time
|Bombardier Challenger 850
|3,234 mi / 5,206 KM
|850 KM/H / 528 MPH
|3,486 mi / 5,610 KM
|819 KM/H / 508 MPH
|7,767 Mi / 12,501 KM
|850 KM/H / 528 MPH
|4,287 mi / 6900 KM
|850 KM/H / 528 MPH
|10,932 mi / 17,594 KM
|25 - 50 Passengers
|870 KM/H / 541 MPH
The amenities on offer from different types of private jets
When you’re deciding what fits your private jet charter budget, you may need to consider the amenities offered by each class of private jet. Learn more about the benefits of each of these types of jets below.
Very Light Jets
VLJs are relatively new to private aviation and offer an alternative to piston and turboprop aircraft for ultra-short-haul journeys on a budget. Cheaper to run than their standard private jet counterparts and able to use shorter runways, they’re popular for both personal use, as well as a point-to-point air taxi. Some in this category will have a lavatory whereas others won’t.
Light jets are one of the most common types of jet chartered for business as most executive travel fits within a 2-3 hour radius, which makes light jet charters the most cost efficient and comfortable short-haul solution. This class of jet can carry up to eight passengers and with a range of hold-size options, are more cost effective than their larger counterparts, and still have good range in regards to shorter flights. Most of these aircraft come with an on board lavatory but there is the odd one without.
Super Light Jets
Super light jets provide travellers with an alternative that provides some of the benefits of a mid-sized jet, but closer to the cost of a light jet. These aircraft are generally designed to carry up to nine passengers for longer distances than their light jet counterparts. Some jets in this category have a maximum range of close to 2,500 NM, and can offer other features such as a full enclosed lavatory, small conference room, or even a refreshment center, depending on the type of aircraft that you choose.
There is a lot of choice when it comes to mid-size jet charter, as different combinations of range, speed, and comfort allow mid-size jets to be viable for both short-haul and long-haul flights. A more efficient alternative to the larger heavy jets, their lower operating costs along with ample luggage compartments, fold out divans, and enclosed bathrooms, make them a popular choice. Most also offer full stand-up cabins and some have a flight attendant on board.
Super Mid-Sized Jets
There are also super-mid-size jets available for travellers whose needs slightly exceed what is offered by a mid-sized jet, but doesn’t quite meet the costs and features that are offered by the heavy jet class. If you are someone who is looking for a jet that’s a little bigger and capable of flying further than their standard mid-size counterparts, some planes in this class can offer you a max range of nearly 3,600 NM.
Heavy jets come in two categories; the first is your standard heavy jet able to fly further than their lighter counterparts. Heavy jets are luxurious with stand-up cabins, plenty of passenger and baggage capacity as well as lie-flat beds, enclosed bathrooms and a flight attendant to take care of your every whim. They allow for either greater comfort, or greater passenger capacity with a possible maximum of 19 people on some heavy jet aircraft.
Ultra-Long Range Heavy Jets
The second category of heavy jets are the ultra-long range heavy jets which offer the utmost in luxury, without heading into executive airliner territory. As you can no doubt tell, this range of heavy jets offers all the benefits of regular heavy jets, but does so with the added advantage of being ultra long range. That means that some of these aircraft can fly up to 6,500 NM, which is about 2,000 - 3,000 NM more than many other regular heavy jets.
If the private plane cost is not a concern and you want the absolute best in private plane travel, executive airliners are the jets that you’ll want. These are commercial aircraft designs that have been purchased and adapted to suit the needs of those who want the most elite aircraft and services. Gone are the rows upon rows of seating, replaced instead with conference rooms, dining rooms, entertainment spaces, private suites, showers, and much more. These aircraft can easily carry 20 passengers, with some offering as much as twice that, depending on the design. In addition to all these creature comforts, many executive airliners offer a maximum range of approximately 6,000 NM.
How private jets allow for last-minute travel
The cost of a private jet charter can be higher or lower depending on what type of jet and charter option you choose, but it still serves an important niche by filling the need for last-minute travel around the world.
Here’s some of the reasons why people are choosing private jets over commercial airlines for their last-minute travel plans.
Empty legs: low-cost private jet service
Private jet charter rates can be extremely costly, but there is another option for traveling in optimal luxury at a fraction of the price: empty leg flights. When Air Charter Service has a one-way private jet charter, the aircraft is often empty when returning to its base, or traveling on to its next destination. These “empty leg” flights are ideal for last-minute trips or business travel, and are offered to passengers at savings of up to 75%.
Exactly how much is a charter flight on an empty-legs special? Well, you can expect to pay roughly between $1,300 and $3,000 per flying hour on average for this low-cost private jet service onboard a turboprop or executive light jet; $3,000 to $5,500 per flying hour for a mid-sized to super-mid-sized jet; and $6,000 to $10,500 per flying hour for a large private jet.
Unmatched accessibility no matter where you’re going
Private jet travel gives passengers access to more than 5,000 airports – 10 times the number of U.S. airports served by commercial airlines. In fact, the GAMA/NBAA report noted that private aviation pilots said, on average, more than 42% of their destinations were airports with infrequent or no scheduled airline service, and 31% of the flights they conducted in the last year were to destinations that have never had any commercial air service.
For charities and NGOs around the world, private jet charter is a lifeline to communities when natural disasters ground commercial airlines. Private aircraft can get humanitarian aid and medicines, or critical personnel, into hard-to-reach places. It’s estimated that around 15,000 humanitarian missions are flown each year.
According to the Global Wellness Institute, travelers from around the world made 830 million wellness trips in 2017. Many of these retreats and nature experiences cannot be easily reached from commercial airports, which is why people choose private air charter solutions to help them get to their destinations.
Well-rested and ready for business or adventure
Flying privately means you can expect a positive pre-departure experience, loads of luggage and leg room, and the comfort of a plush private airplane seat. You can also take your animal companion along, and the food and beverages are something to look forward to. A good night’s sleep becomes a reality and you get to enjoy the latest in-flight entertainment.
Although this may seem like a lot of indulgence, spending many uncomfortable hours on a commercial airline when you have business to attend to at your destination or when you’ve spent your hard-earned money on the vacation of your dreams is no joke. On the other hand, reaching your destination without having to sacrifice a single hour to jetlag is priceless, and makes private charter a great solution for last minute trips.
The most popular private jets
If you’re not sure which private jet to choose, perhaps one of the most popular private jets around will suit your needs? Here’s four of our most popular private aircraft:
- Beechcraft King Air 200 – The Beechcraft King Air 200 is the most successful turbine-powered business plane in history. This twin-engined turboprop plane features the same fuselages as the Beechcraft King Air 100 but boasts a host of modifications, including the redesigned rear fuselage which accommodates the aircraft's new T-tail.
- Hawker Beechcraft 700 – Fans of the Hawker Beechcraft 700 tout its spacious interior as one of the main reasons they charter this model – it’s substantially bigger than its biggest rivals, the Learjet 55 and Citation III. Minimalist, full-size seats provide a comfortable sleeping arrangement that is often impossible on a light aircraft, while providing space for eight-passengers and two pilots.
- Cessna Citation XLS Plus – Combining exceptional performance, fuel efficiency and passenger comfort, the mid-sized Cessna Citation XLS Plus remains one of the world’s most popular private jets. The six-seater is renowned for its spacious interior, boasting the largest cabin in its class and equipped with features usually reserved for larger commercial jets. The roomy interior features six extra-wide reclining seats, complete with consoles that allow passengers to control the light and temperature.
- Bombardier Challenger 600 – When it comes to long-haul flights, the Bombardier Challenger 600 is a perennial favourite. With its 2,800-mile range, the 11-seater can comfortably fly transcontinental routes like Paris to Tokyo or London to New York. Infused with natural light, this spacious aircraft feels more like an airliner than a private jet, as the large cabin can accommodate up to three separate living areas.
Ready to charter your own private aircraft?
To book a private jet for a vacation, business trip or special occasion, or if you just want to get you and your friends swiftly to your destination in style, find out more about our private jet charter and group charter offerings at Air Charter Service (ACS).
Private jet costs are always subject to change, so for a full private jet charter quote or to find out more about how to charter a plane, simply contact us or call a member of our team on +1 516 432 5901.