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Owning A Private Jet: Costs & Considerations

June 1st, 2017

Owning A Private Jet - Cost To Own

If you’re contemplating buying a private jet, you should probably ask yourself a few questions, beginning with, “How much does it cost to own a jet?” You should follow up that question by asking, “How much does private jet fuel cost?”

And those are just the starting points because you’ll also need to investigate a number of other things, such as private jet maintenance costs.

Before you even begin to research how much private jet maintenance is going to cost in the short- and long-terms or how much buying a jet will cost, however, you need to ask yourself what you’re going to use a private jet for. This will help you determine whether you should buy a jet or rent one, and it will help you identify what you need your aircraft to do.

Buying a Private Jet - How Much Does it Cost?

How much is a private jet? If you’re going to use a private aircraft often and it makes financial sense for you to buy one, you have two purchasing options. You can buy a jet and own it in its entirety or you can purchase part of a plane through fractional ownership:
  1. Full Ownership & Maintenance Costs
  2. Fractional Ownership & Private Jet Maintenance Costs

1. Full Ownership & Maintenance Costs of a Private Jet

The cost of buying a private jet outright varies by plane model, age and condition, among other factors. As a general rule, it will cost more to purchase and maintain a plane the larger the jet is. For example, you may be able to buy a 30 year-old Learjet for less than $1 million, but a brand-new, large plane such as a Gulfstream can run well over $70 million. If you want a custom Airbus, you should expect to pay more than $100 million.

When you own a private jet, you are solely responsible for its maintenance costs, which include crew salaries, hangar costs, insurance, training, fuel and mechanical maintenance, just to name a few. If you purchase a new Gulfstream G450 for $40 million or you buy a pre-owned one for around $14 million, you should anticipate having to pay variable private jet maintenance costs of around $1.6 million per year as well as fixed costs of about $880,000 per year.

If you decide to get a new Embraer Phenom 300, it will probably cost just under $9 million, while a previously owned one will cost one or two million dollars less. Just as this jet’s purchase price is less than the cost of buying a Gulfstream G450, its yearly variable and fixed maintenance costs are also lower. You will typically have to pay about $800,000 per year for the plane’s variable costs and around $343,000 for the aircraft’s fixed expenses.

2. Fractional Ownership & Private Jet Maintenance Costs

If full ownership doesn’t make sense for you, fractional ownership may be an option instead. With fractional ownership, you own a share of an aircraft and pay a proportional amount of the plane’s maintenance costs, typically on a monthly schedule. You’ll also have to pay an hourly flight rate when you use the plane.

Looking at the Embraer Phenom 300 example provided above, a 1/16 share of the aircraft purchased through Executive AirShare will run around $624,500. Your share of the plane’s monthly expenses will be $5,900, and you’ll have to pay $2,085 per hour when you use the private jet.

Renting a Private Jet

If you fly more than 50 hours per year and your flights are generally at least one hour in length, fractional ownership may be the right move for you if you want to own a private jet. However, fractional plans normally operate on flight hours, which means you might end up paying twice as much for a 30-minute flight as a fractional owner than you would if you rented a private jet. If your trips are ordinarily under an hour, renting a private aircraft might be more appropriate for you than owning part of one through a fractional ownership program.

If you decide you want to rent a private jet instead of owning one, you have two options: jet cards and charters. No matter which option you choose, you don’t have to pay for the aircraft’s annual maintenance expenses:

1. Jet Cards

Jet cards work like fractional ownership in the sense that you’ll be allotted a designated number of flight hours on a specific kind of plane. When you use your card, it will be debited for the number of hours you fly. Jet cards are great options for people who fly by private jet less than 50 hours per year.

The cost of a jet card depends on several factors, including the number of hours you purchase and the carrier you use. For example, the price of cards issued by Delta Private Jets starts at $100,000, while the cost of a 25-hour card from Sentient can cost less than $125,000.

2. Charters

If you only fly a few times a year or you want to use a private plane for an upcoming special occasion, chartering a jet might be the best option for you. When you charter a plane, you only pay the expenses that are directly related to the flight you take.

You can also choose the kind of plane you fly in every time you charter a flight. The cost of chartering a plane varies widely, but it can cost a minimum of $1,500 per flight hour to charter a turboprop and $8,000 per flight hour to charter a bigger or heavier aircraft.

Are you thinking about getting a private jet? Take these components into consideration to be sure you get the most cost effective option. Contact Quintessentially people if you need a crew for your private plane.

Page Updated October 5, 2017