When you hire a private jet, you pay a charter price. This is the cost for hiring that specific aircraft, for an agreed itinerary. But how is that price calculated? Here Algy Trotter, Head of Operations, explain what lies behind the numbers.

How is a private jet charter cost calculated

The cost of a private jet charter is always quoted for the hire of the whole aircraft, not as a per passenger price.

The main price variable, of course, is the choice of aircraft – and then how far you want to fly in it. Each aircraft will have its own hourly rate, which is set by the owner and operator and based on the aircraft type. For example the Citation Mustang at the lower end of the scale has a typical hourly rate of £1,300. Other factors which then are added into the cost include:

Airport landing feesAirport landing fees

Each airport charges a unique landing fee for an aircraft, which will be worked into the charter price. This will be calculated according to the aircraft’s weight. Airport landing fees can vary considerably. For example in London, the cost of landing at London City is considerably more than at Biggin Hill or Stansted.

Handling fees

Most airports require an aircraft to be managed on the ground by a Fixed Based Operator (FBO) or aircraft handling company. Their charges will cover the cost of arranging fuel, sanitation, passenger transport to and from the terminal, crew rest facilities and other handling requirements.

Passenger taxes & levies

Depending on the airport and country, passenger taxes and levies may be payable. For example Italy has its ‘luxury tax’ and the UK has Air Passenger Duty, both of which are calculated on distance.

Crew salaries & expenses

Most private jets have two pilots but smaller propeller aircraft can operate with only one. Larger cabin aircraft will also have a flight attendant on-board. When working, the crew’s meals and hotel costs are always paid for by the aircraft operator and billed to the charterer.

Ground transportGround transport

Costs of taxis for the crew and any requested cars by the passengers will be added into the charter price.

An example of private jet pricing

Here is an example of the charter costs for an overnight return flight between London City Airport and Frankfurt Airport, for five passengers on a Citation XLS, based at London Biggin Hill.

London Biggin Hill to London City (positioning) 11 nm
London City to Frankfurt Main 334 nm
Total distance 345 nm
Flying hours 1 hours 18 minutes
Flying cost for 1 hr £2 684
Flying charge (hourly rate for 1 hr x flying hours) £3 489
Landing fee in London City Airport (LCY) (included) £0
Handling fee London City Airport (LCY) £1 600
Landing fee Frankfurt Main Airport (FRA) £450
Handling fee Frankfurt Main Airport (FRA) £280
Taxes and levies £55
Crew hotel costs £180
Crew expenses £80
Ground transport £350
Total Cost Leg 1 £4 884
Frankfurt Main to London City 334 nm
London City to London Biggin Hill (positioning back to home base) 11 nm
Total distance 345 nm
Flying hours 1 hour 18 minutes
Flying cost for 1 hr £2 684
Flying charge (hourly rate for 1 hr x flying hours) £3 489
Landing fee in London City Airport (LCA) £2 100
Handling fee London City Airport (LCA) (included) £0
Landing fee Biggin Hill Airport (BQH) £300
Handling fee Biggin Hill Airport (BQH) £250
Taxes and levies £172
Total cost leg 2 £6 061
Total cost – return £10 945

If you’d like more detail on how your charter price is calculated, our expert Flight team are always happy to explain the detail. For more information contact us. Or use our Quick Quote for an instant price estimate for any global flight.