Most private jet flights are not filled to capacity. Each aircraft type has a maximum number of seats, but usually there are some to spare. In 2016 our flights had an average of 4.5 passengers onboard (see more from our latest Private Jet Charter Trends report).
But if you want to make your private aviation budget fly further, filling the seats is one of the best ways to do it. The cost of a private jet charter is always given as a total aircraft price regardless of how many people are onboard. So the cost per head will reduce if you increase the number of passengers.
Here are five private flights we’ve arranged, where filling the cabin really paid off.
1) London to Milan birthday flight
This client was looking to fly to Milan from London, for a special 40th birthday weekend away with some friends. Originally they were travelling as a group of nine so we were looking at options for a larger jet, or two small aircraft.
But when the numbers changed to eight, we were able to recommend switching to an 8-seater Citation XLS, the most cost-efficient medium jet.
By filling all the seats, they were able to fly for a cost per head of under £1,400 per person, for the 2-day return flight. Or less than £700 per person each way.
2) Vienna to Barcelona, private airliner charter
This client organises large-scale conferences and events for major corporations. We’ve worked together several times, for flights for different sized groups, but this one was for a large group of 170 people, travelling from Vienna to an event in Barcelona.
For that number we recommended they charter a private Boeing 737-800, with a standard airline seating configuration. With a maximum seating of 189, this meant most of the seats were filled, giving a cost per person of just over €500 per person for the return flight.
3) Paris to Jersey overnight
This client was travelling to Jersey for a family party, in a group of six. For this route of just over 200 miles from Paris (or the same distance from London), they could choose a wide variety of aircraft, including turboprops.
With eight seats in a spacious cabin, the popular Super King Air turboprop takes a little longer to get there than a jet aircraft, but offers greater value for short flights. The cost per head in this case was €767 per person for the return flight.
4) London to Alicante, relocating with pets
We’re used to arranging flights with pets, including multiple dogs and cats. But this flight, with eight animals of different varieties on board, was one of our more unusual ones.
Our clients were a couple, relocating from the UK, to Spain. This was a permanent move, and their pets were coming too. In this case the pets included two dogs, two cats, and six pet birds – four pigeons, a cockatiel and a finch.
So while this wasn’t an occasion when the cabin was filled with human passengers, the seats were certainly full, with containers for each pair of birds and each cat carrier needing to be secured.
It took a bit of planning, but the flight went smoothly and everyone is now busy settling into their new life!
5) San Francisco to Las Vegas in a Gulfstream
Las Vegas is one of most popular US destinations for both business and leisure flights and this client was travelling to a corporate event in the city.
It’s a short flight so we offered a choice of different aircraft types and sizes. But on this particular route, the cost per person for some larger jets can work out around the same as for a small jet, if enough seats are filled.
So the client chose a Gulfstream GIV (seating up to 13), and extended their passenger list to a group of ten, rather than the four originally planned. The cost per head worked out at $1,900 per person, for a two-day return.