Owning a private jet can be the ultimate luxury for frequent travelers. Say goodbye to waiting in long lines at the airport or dealing with surprise delays. A private jet lets you fly in style and comfort. But this convenience does not come cheap.
Private jets require substantial upfront capital to purchase and ongoing operational costs for fuel, maintenance, storage, crew salaries, and insurance. There are also many legal requirements that come with private jet ownership, which can add time and complexity to every trip. Depending on your needs, it may be more cost-effective to charter a private jet as needed.
Let’s look at these costs of owning a private jet in more detail.
Initial Aircraft Purchase
Private jets come in all shapes and sizes and can vary widely in cost depending on the model, size, and age of the aircraft. You can expect to pay anywhere from $2 million to $100 million to own a jet (before factoring in ongoing costs). Larger jets come with higher price tags since they can carry more passengers and travel farther.
Customization will also play a role in how much your private jet costs. If you want special configurations or fresh interiors, you’ll need to factor in those expenses.
You can save money by purchasing a pre-owned jet instead of a new jet. However, pre-owned jets might need refurbishment, maintenance, and upgrades. Those costs can quickly eat up any money you’ve saved by buying pre-owned. For example:
- Installing a WiFi system may cost as much as $500,000.
- Adding new upholstery to the seats can cost $200,000.
- New carpet may cost $40,000 or more.
- Replacing wood features in the cabin may cost as much as $500,000.
- Adding personal comfort elements to create the style and vibe you want will vary in cost but will likely run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Getting a pre-inspection and performing initial maintenance may cost $500,000 or more. However, these steps are critical to learning what your ongoing investments in maintenance may be.
These costs are estimates and will also vary depending on your aircraft. However, it’s good to know how you might need to budget so you can make an informed decision.
Every aircraft comes with ongoing costs, from fuel to maintenance to taxes and more. These costs will vary depending on the size and age of your aircraft. For instance, many private jet owners budget anywhere from $500,000 to $1,000,000 for maintenance each year, but older aircraft may require more repairs while smaller aircraft have lower overall costs.
Here’s a breakdown of additional costs to expect:
- Fuel: The cost of aircraft fuel can fluctuate between markets and current economic conditions. Larger jets will require more fuel, while smaller aircraft may require more frequent fill-ups. Based on a fuel price of $5.00 per gallon:
- A light jet will cost as much as $1,100 per flight hour
- A mid-size jet will cost as much as $1,500 per flight hour
- A super-midsize jet will cost $1,900 per flight hour
- A large jet can cost up to $2,700 per flight hour
- Storage: Renting hangar space will cost between $1,500 and $3,000 per month, depending on the location and the amount of space needed to store your aircraft.
- Aircraft Crew: Single-pilot aircraft will have lower crew costs than two-pilot aircraft. Salaries for aircraft crew members will vary, but you may expect to pay an average of $150,000 for a pilot and anywhere from $50,000 to $75,000 per crew member. You may also have to pay for hotels, food, and other living expenses for crew members who remain with you for the duration of your trip.
- Maintenance: Experts suggest budgeting 2% of the original aircraft purchase price for routine maintenance. You may also want to put aside more funds for unplanned maintenance, such as tire blowouts or additional inspections.
- Insurance: Private jet insurance will range in cost depending on coverage limits, age of the aircraft, average usage, and many other factors. Expect to pay between $20,000 and $500,000 per year on insurance.
- FBO Expenses: FBO costs cover groundskeeping, maintenance, upkeep, and other costs to keep the FBO operational.
There are also legal requirements that come with private jet ownership. These include pilot licensing, airspace authorization requests, and filing flight plans before each trip. These extra steps add complexity to the process of using your own aircraft and could outweigh any time or money savings compared to private jet charter or commercial air travel.
A Great Alternative to Private Jet Ownership
Owning a private jet costs more than the initial purchase price. While the ongoing expenses shouldn’t be an automatic deal breaker, it’s important for potential owners to consider the full scope of their purchase.
If the cost of owning a private jet has you rethinking your options, consider the advantages of a charter broker. Access Jet Group maintains relationships with FBOs around the world and has built a network of more than 7,000 aircraft. We connect you with aircraft options that fit your travel needs so you can fly freely without the costs and complexities of owning your own private jet.
Contact us today to get a quote for your next trip.