When reading magazines or watching the news, you may hear of business executives from a Fortune 500 company taking a private flight to a meeting. You might also hear about a particular celebrity that takes their private plane to a vacation destination or politicians that take business jets to important government conferences. Have you ever wondered what a private jet costs?

Most people assume the charter flight cost is high enough, let alone the private jet costs you’ll incur if you purchase an entire plane. What do operating costs look like for a private jet?

We’ll get into all the costs associated with private planes, ways to finance a private jet, charter pricing vs. owning costs, to show you that while expensive, it’s not impossible for someone that isn’t a celebrity or politician to enjoy the freedom of a private jet. 

Private Jet Costs

Private jet charter pricing usually involves a fixed hourly rate per flight hour, a pricing method that considers the amount of fuel used to make a trip. Hiring a private jet to fly across your home state would cost considerably less than flying down to Mexico, for example. Usually, the price is per group, making it most cost-effective to take private jet charters with a group rather than on your own. 

The costs of owning a private plane are much more vast and ongoing. You’ll need to account for fuel expenses, hangar fees, maintenance, repairs, interiors, flight attendants and pilots’ salaries, and much more. Let’s dive into these costs in greater detail. 

What is The Cost of Owning a Private Jet?

A private jet costs anywhere between $2 million to $100 million. For example, a 2020 Gulfstream G550 can cost almost $40 million. And that’s just the purchase price. 

Operating costs entail maintaining and operating the plane with flight crews, maintenance, repairs, and more. Usually, you can expect to pay between $500,000 and $1 million per year in operating costs. 

  • Fuel: One of the most significant private jet expenses costs around $3-6 per gallon, but those gallons go quickly. For example, the Gulfstream G700 uses 380 gallons of fuel each hour. If you take 200 2-hour flights in a year, you’re looking at a minimum of $456,000 per year just in jet fuel!
  • Insurance: If you’re going to purchase insurance for anything, you might want to put your private jet at the top of the list. Many factors influence the cost of insurance, such as your flight hours, aircraft condition and age, and size. Depending on the above-listed factors, you’re looking at anywhere between $30,000 to $500,000 per year. 
  • Maintenance and Repairs (Structures, mechanics, avionics): Ensuring your plane functions properly after each flight is essential but expensive. Experts estimate operating costs, including maintenance and repairs, to be at least $500,000 per year. Here at Southern Air Customs, we offer annual maintenance at an affordable price — contact us today to request a quote.
  • Salaries for pilot and flight crew if applicable: The average private jet pilot makes about $86,000 per year. 
  • Interiors and exteriors: Interiors and exteriors encompass the seats, interior layout and design, exterior paint, and overall aesthetic throughout the plane. Here at Southern Air Customs, we specialize in airplane interiors and offer competitive pricing — contact us today to request a quote.
  • Hangar fees: When you’re not using your jet, it has to stay somewhere. Now, most people don’t have entire hangars or the equivalent in their backyards. So, private jet owners must rent or purchase space in an airport hangar to store the plane. Costs vary widely for hangar spaces, ranging anywhere from $500 – $3,000 per month. 

How to finance a private jet? 

If your head is spinning from all these expenses, don’t worry. Most people don’t come up with the money needed to purchase a jet all in one go. Here are some of your private jet financing options:

Leasing: If you can’t afford to purchase a jet outright, you might consider a finance lease. Many financial bodies specializing in aircraft investments offer a service in which the aspiring jet owner puts a down payment for the plane, and the company covers the rest. Your finance lease is active for 5-12 years, for example, and upon completion of the payment term, you’ll acquire the plane.  

Personal loan: If you or your company has good credit, you might consider a personal loan to finance your private jet. Many lenders likely won’t lend the cost of an entire plane to one person. You might need to go in on the investment with a few partners. 

Private jet membership: A private jet membership, or a charter flight membership, entails paying for just one seat of a jet instead of the entire plane. Yearly costs vary, but $150,000 for a 25-hour private jet card isn’t uncommon. 

How Much Does It Cost to Charter a Private Jet?

Charter aircraft costs vary depending on a few factors, like the size of the plane and fuel needs. Overall, you can expect to pay between $1,300 to $3,000 per flight hour for smaller jets (4-6 passengers). Midsize jet charters will cost more, between $4,000 to $8,000 per flight hour (up to 9 passengers). If you have a large group of between 14-19 passengers, you can expect to pay up to $13,000 per flight hour. Of course, some models are faster than others, which might cost you a premium at first but save money in the long run due to the shorter flight times. 

How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Private Jet?

As mentioned earlier, a private jet costs anywhere between $2 million to $100 million. That’s a wide range, but it encompasses both new and used jets. For example, the new Gulfstream G800 will cost you upwards of $71 million, while a used Embraer legacy could be more affordable, at around $15 million. 

How much do these private jets cost?

If you’re thinking about booking a private flight charter or purchasing a jet, there are many options. After all, there are tons of aircraft models out there from which to choose. 

Curious about specific private jet costs for your favorite aircraft models? Check out our list below for some of the private jet costs, including leasing, ownership, and chartering, for various Gulfstream, Bombardier, and Cessna models/ 

How much does a Gulfstream Aerospace cost?

  • Cost to lease: $8,000 per hour
  • Cost to own: $38 – 43 million
  • Cost to charter a private jet: $15,000 per hour

How much does a Gulfstream G650/g700/g800 cost?

  • Cost to lease: Starts at $11,000 every flight hour
  • Cost to own: $60-71 million (new)
  • Cost to charter a private jet: Starts at $15,000 per flight hour

How much does a Gulfstream G550 cost?

  • Cost to lease: Minimum $8,000 every flight hour
  • Cost to own: 16 million (used); $62 million (new)
  • Cost to charter a private jet: Minimum $10,000 per flight hour

How much does a Bombardier Global Express cost?

  • Cost to lease: Beginning at $8,000 for each flight hour
  • Cost to own: Between $11 – 14 million (used, older models); $70 million  (newest model, brand new)
  • Cost to charter a private jet: Starting at $10,000 per flight hour

How much does a Cessna 162 cost?

  • Cost to lease: Varies
  • Cost to own: $70,000 – $100,000 (used); $369,000 to $438,000 (new)
  • Cost to charter a private jet: Starting at $2,500 per hour

If you’re uncertain about your financing options, you can always use a cost calculator available on many aircraft websites, like Controller.com

Conclusion

The cost of a private plane can undoubtedly take a toll on your wallet, whether you’re looking at a Gulfstream Aerospace or Bombardier Global Express. But the freedom that a private jet offers is often worth it for jet owners, whether they’re flying to Los Angeles or Paris. Luckily, cost-effective leasing and financing options are always available.

When you invest in business jets, you want to make sure you’re maintaining your investment. That’s where Southern Air Custom Interiors can help. 

Our specialized staff has a combined 100 years of experience in aircraft maintenance, repair, and overall aviation industry experience. We offer custom interiors to help the inside of your jet look tip-top and annual maintenance, repair, and avionics to keep your plane running smoothly. 

Interested in exploring some of the most exceptional aircraft interior options? Contact us today for a consultation. 

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