If you’re a frequent flier but normally fly like most people do, on large aircraft from busy airports with lots of people, chances are that you haven't contemplated the ‘how much does a charter flight cost’ question. 

But if you enjoy flying first or business class, you might be pleasantly surprised, especially as there are limitless choices and ways of fitting into most budgets.

Charter flight costs vary for any number of reasons, the biggest one being the cost of the private jet itself, which can range from $2 million to a hundred million dollars. Other variables that affect costs include repairs, hangar rentals, aircraft insurance, and the cost of booking the crew and pilot, both normally booked for the duration of the itinerary. 

The alternate approach is to book a charter flight through private jet membership such as a Jet Card program, or travel ‘empty legs’. 

Here, at SOAR when customers ask how much it costs to charter a flight, we explain the process and detail the factors they may need to consider including VAS (*Value Added Services), type of aircraft, flight duration and time of travel.

This post doubles down on everything you need to know about charter flight cost, savings, and possible workarounds to make flying a delightful customer experience at SOAR

Let’s get started.

1. Distance and Flight Duration

The distance to be traveled and the duration of the flight are major factors in determining the cost. Longer flights require more fuel, which can increase the overall cost.

2. Aircraft Type 

The type and size of the aircraft will also influence the cost. Larger aircraft with more amenities and seating capacity tend to be more expensive to charter than smaller aircraft.

3. Number of Passengers 

The number of passengers traveling affects the cost since larger aircraft can accommodate more passengers. 

If you're traveling alone or with a small group, you might consider chartering a smaller aircraft or a seat on a shared flight, which could be more cost-effective.

4. Season and Demand 

Like commercial flights, charter flight prices can be influenced by seasonal demand. Prices may be higher during popular travel periods, holidays, or peak seasons due to increased demand.

5. Additional Services and Amenities

Some charter companies offer additional services and amenities, such as catering, onboard Wi-Fi, luxury interiors, or personalized customer service. These extras can increase the overall cost of the charter.

Given these variables, it's challenging to provide an exact cost for a charter flight. A single trip can cost anything from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars or even more. 

Short-haul flights on smaller aircraft can start from around $5,000 to $10,000 USD, while longer international flights on larger, more luxurious aircraft can range from $20,000 to $100,000 USD or more.

It's essential to reach out to charter flight providers directly to get accurate pricing for your specific needs. They can provide you with quotes based on your desired itinerary, aircraft type, passenger count, and any additional services you may require. 

Comparing quotes from multiple providers and considering the value offered in terms of safety, reliability, and customer service can help you make an informed decision.

How To Estimate The Cost of Your Upcoming Charter Flight?

As mentioned above, charter flight costs are variable and dependent on multiple factors. 

However, a side-by-side cost comparison using two popular aircraft types, a light jet, and a midsize jet, similar to the Bombardier Learjet 45XR and the Cessna Citation XLS, respectively can give you a general idea of what it might cost to charter a flight and some of the extra costs you should keep in mind. 

Please note that these prices are approximate and subject to change.

Base Charter Cost:

  • Light Jet (e.g., Learjet 45XR): The base charter cost for a light jet could range from $3,500 to $6,000 per hour of flight time.
  • Midsize Jet (e.g., Citation XLS): The base charter cost for a midsize jet might range from $4,500 to $7,500 per hour of flight time.

Fuel Surcharge:

  • Light Jet: Depending on the flight distance and fuel prices, an estimated fuel surcharge of around 10% to 15% of the base charter cost may apply.
  • Midsize Jet: Similarly, a fuel surcharge of approximately 10% to 15% of the base charter cost might be applicable.

Airport Fees:

  • Light Jet: Airport fees, such as landing fees, parking fees, and handling charges, can amount to around $500 to $1,000 per flight.
  • Midsize Jet: For a midsize jet, airport fees may range from $800 to $1,500 per flight.

Crew Expenses:

  • Light Jet: Crew expenses, including the pilot(s) and flight attendant (if applicable), are typically included in the base charter cost.
  • Midsize Jet: Crew expenses are also usually covered in the base charter cost for a midsize jet.

Additional Costs:

  • Light Jet: Additional costs may include catering (if requested), de-icing fees (if applicable), and overnight expenses for the crew, which can vary based on the specific requirements of the trip.
  • Midsize Jet: as above, additional costs for catering, de-icing, and crew overnight expenses may apply.

Please note that the above is a general overview of the various cost components of a charter flight quote. It's essential to contact charter operators or brokers to get accurate and up-to-date pricing information based on your specific travel needs and preferences.

Given the costs of chartering a jet, could it make more sense to simply buy or lease one?  Could that be more cost-effective? Read our article on the pros and cons of owning or leasing your own jet versus chartering on demand to help you decide. 

Book your charter flight with SOAR

Whether you’re planning a solo trip or looking to join a special event with friends and family, flying with SOAR is a unique experience.

The flexibility, customization, and personal services that come with private chartered flights are part of the enhanced services that we strive to offer our valued clients.

Are you ready to change your air travel experience?

Get in touch with the dedicated private air charter team at SOAR and we’ll be more than happy to walk you through anything concerning private charter jet flights, how to book a private charter flight, and much more

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nothing is impossible.