Private jet pricing – how does it work?

One of the main objectives behind PrivateFly.com was to be completely transparent to our members about private jet pricing. The industry is largely unregulated so many companies put up barriers and smokescreens preventing their customers from seeing how private jet pricing is calculated.

At PrivateFly we aim to make private jet pricing simple and fully understandable. And you can find instant estimate prices for any private jet flight using our private jet hire cost calculator.

Unlike a scheduled airline, private jets can operate from a large number of airports and therefore each flight is priced individually. Private jets behave like taxis and normally have to be positioned empty into the requested departure airport. When chartering a private jet, the cost of these positioning flights (empty sectors) will be factored into the cost to the charterer (the end user).

On a return trip, the length of time between your requested flights will also determine what extra costs are incurred for example airport parking charges and hotel costs for your crew.

To understand how the price of a private jet charter is calculated here is a breakdown of the associated costs:

Flight Time: The hourly rate of the aircraft multiplies by the airborne flight time for the entire trip.

Airport Landing Fees: Each airport charges a unique landing fee for an aircraft. This will depend on its weight.

Airport Handling Fees: Most airports require an aircraft to be managed on the ground by a Fixed Based Operator (FBO) or Aircraft Handling Company. The charges incurred will cover the cost of arranging fuel, toilet servicing, passenger transport to and from the terminal, crew rest facilities and other handling requirements.

Passenger Taxes: Depending on the route many countries now charge a passenger departure tax. 

Crew Salaries: Most private jets have 2 pilots but smaller propeller aircraft can operate with only one captain. Larger cabin aircraft such a Gulfstream will also have a flight attendant on-board.

Crew Expenses: When working, the crew’s meals will be provided by the company.

Hotel Costs: Overnight hotel costs are always paid for by the aircraft operator and billed to the charterer.

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

Worked example of private jet pricing

Let’s take a simple example of a flight between airport A to airport B then back to A. You can follow this worked example using our online private jet cost calculator

Aircraft Type: Citation XLS

Flight Schedule 

1 Jan

Depart Airport London City Airport: 09:00hrs local

Arrive Airport Frankfurt Main: 11:00hrs local (flight time 1hr)

Passengers: 5

2 Jan

Depart Airport Frankfurt Main: 12:00hrs local

Arrive Airport London City Airport: 12:00hrs local (flight time 1hr)

Passengers: 5

Cost calculation

Outbound
London Biggin Hill to London City (positioning) 11(nm)
London City to Frankfurt Main 334(nm)
Total Distance 345(nm)
Speed 430(nmph)
Flying Hours 1 Hrs 18 Min
Flying Cost for 1 Hr £2,684
Flying Charge (Flying Cost for 1 Hr x Flying Hours) £3,495
Landing Fee in LONDON CITY and FRANKFURT MAIN INTL 1600 + 273 = £1873
Number of Fuel stops 0
Total Fuel stop Cost 0
Total cost £5,368
Inbound
Frankfurt Main to London City 334(nm)
London City to London Biggin Hill (positioning back to home base) 11(nm)
Total Distance 345(nm)
Speed 430(nmph)
Flying Hours 1 Hrs 18 Min
Flying Cost for 1 Hr £2,684
Flying Charge (Flying Cost for 1 Hr x Flying Hours) £3,495
Landing Fee in LONDON CITY £1,600
Number of Fuel stops 0
Total Fuel stop Cost
Total cost £5,095