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Aviation Blog

How Much Does It Cost to Fly on a Private Jet? – AFAR Media

Private jets offer access to destinations that you might not be able to get to otherwise.
Photo by Shutterstock
Demand for private jets, which skyrocketed during the pandemic, continues to be strong as travelers look to create over-the-top vacation getaways and for alternatives to the crowds and mass cancellations of commercial flights. Last year was the busiest year on record for private flights globally, according to business aviation tracker WingX. And in March 2022, private jet charter company Wheels Up reported another record quarter of revenue growth with a 30 percent jump in members.
“We are now working to increase our capacity to serve the strong demand we are seeing,” Eric Jacobs, chief financial officer at Wheels Up, said in the company’s latest earnings statement.
That demand is expected to continue on its upward trajectory, according to Gregg Brunson-Pitts, founder and president of Arlington, Virginia–based private jet charter company Advanced Aviation Team. “As the world reopens and travel restrictions are lifted, Advanced Aviation Team expects a surge in travel to faraway destinations including increased flying to Europe,” stated Brunson-Pitts.
A January survey conducted by global luxury travel agency consortium Virtuoso found that as travel rebounds, travelers are seeking once-in-a-lifetime trips with privacy and personalization being paramount. “Whether it be an around-the-world trip by private jet, a hotel takeover in Paris, or a private guided tour of the Acropolis of Athens, ultraluxe travel is all about curating exclusive itineraries,” Virtuoso reported.
Not surprisingly, several private jet charter companies and luxury resort and villa properties have partnered to offer travelers just that: private flight service directly to a private villa or resort destination.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts recently unveiled its around-the-world private jet itineraries for 2023 (which join the existing 2022 roster), epic journeys that include a 13-day African Wonders trip with stops in Athens, Greece; Egypt; Serengeti, Tanzania; Mauritius; Rwanda; Victoria Falls, Zambia; and Johannesburg, South Africa. Flights take place on the Four Seasons private jet and guests stay at Four Seasons luxury properties globally.
Private jet charter company Paramount Business Jets has linked up with luxury vacation rental firm Exceptional Villas to allow clients to book discounted private jet charter flights to the destinations that Exceptional Villas serves, including the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Turks & Caicos, and Necker Island.
Additionally, the Resort at Paws Up partnered with private jet service XO to offer on-demand private flights to and from Missoula International Airport, 30 minutes from the luxury ranch property.
There are other positive developments in the private jet space as well. Just as the automobile industry is increasingly moving toward electric vehicles in an effort to help combat climate change, private aviation companies are starting to explore new electric flight options, too; private jets definitely have a very long way to go in lessening their impact. In March 2022, NetJets Inc., one of the largest private aviation companies in the world, signed an agreement that would give it the right to purchase up to 150 electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) jets. And there are numerous other electric flight initiatives under way in the private aviation space (more on that below).
Fly to the Four Seasons Resort Safari Lodge in Tanzania on a Four Seasons private jet.
Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

You could, of course, go all out and buy a private jet. Depending on the age, make, and model, private jets cost anywhere between several hundred thousand dollars for an older used model, to tens of millions of dollars for a state-of-the-art private jet with all the bells and whistles. Add to that how much it costs to operate and maintain the aircraft, which can be up to several million dollars per year, and we’re looking at quite the investment.
Dream quashed? Not necessarily. From private jet charter services to companies that sell individual seats on private planes, private jet travel is more accessible than you might think.
According to private jet charter company Air Charter Service, you can expect to pay between $1,300 and $3,000 per flying hour to charter a turboprop or smaller jet plane, which typically seats 4 to 6 passengers; between $4,000 and $8,000 per flying hour for a midsize jet, which typically accommodates up to 9 passengers; and between $8,600 and $13,000 per flying hour for larger private jets, which usually seat from 14 to 19 passengers. You can see how that translates into a cross-country flight below.
Beyond Air Charter Service, other companies that offer private jet charters include Air Partner, PrivateFly, and Jettly, booking platforms for on-demand private jet charters.
Pricing for private jet charters depends on the size and type of aircraft—and the distance you need to fly.
Photo by Shutterstock

A common way to access private jet service is through a private jet card membership. You pay a fee upfront—typically in the range of $100,000 to $200,000, according to Private Jet Card Comparisons, a site that allows users to compare the different programs that are available. Then, private jet flights will be deducted from your initial deposit, typically at a set cost per hour. Hourly rates range from about $2,000 to $4,000 for a turboprop or smaller private jet up to $20,000 or more for a midsize or larger private jet that can fly longer-haul journeys.

“A jet card refers to debit card-style program that typically enables you to prepay for private jet flights at a fixed hourly rate with guaranteed availability,” Private Jet Card Comparisons explains on its site.
There are dozens of companies that sell private jet cards, including Air Charter Service, Air Partner, Airshare, Airstream Jets Inc., Alliance Aviation, Charter Flight Group, Delta Private Jets, Inc., Flexjet, International Jet, JetSuite, Jettly, Magellan Jets, Netjets, PrivateFly, Prive Jets, Quantum Jets, Unity Jets, VistaJet, and Wheels Up, among numerous others.
Some companies specialize in shorter, domestic flights, while others offer access to global destinations, such as VistaJet.
If you’re new to private jet card membership and aren’t sure whether you would use the entire deposit, according to Private Jet Card Comparisons, some jet card providers will provide refunds, including Air Partner, Delta Private Jets, and PrivateFly. Also, take note that private jet card funds can have an expiration date of anywhere between one to three years from initial deposit, and cancellation policies run the gamut from requiring only several hours’ notice prior to the flight to requiring up to a week’s notice—make sure to familiarize yourself with the cancellation policy.
For a fee of $250, Private Jet Card Comparisons breaks down the options and what each card and program have to offer.
Beyond charter options, a growing number of companies are offering travelers the ability to book a single seat, similar to how you would on a commercial flight, on a public charter private jet flight or a semi-private jet.
One prominent example is JSX (formerly JetSuiteX), which launched in 2016. Current JSX routes connect several California hubs, including Burbank, Concord, Los Angeles, Monterey, Orange County, Oakland, and San Diego. The airline also flies to Reno-Tahoe, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas, Austin, and Houston and more recently added Miami and Westchester County in New York to its roster.
JSX is by far one of the most affordable options for semi-private travel with one-way fares starting as low as $119 on 30-seat planes, which includes up to two checked bags as well as snacks and drinks onboard. Kids (including infants) and pets are welcome to fly.
The waiting lounges are Wi-Fi-equipped, and the planes are outfitted with cushy leather seats and tray tables that are a respectable distance away from your knees. JSX flies the Embraer E135 aircraft, a shorter version of the exceedingly common Embraer E145 Aircraft operated by many U.S. regional airlines.
Another semi-private option is Aero. Launched in 2020, Aero offers a slightly more elevated product than JSX, at more elevated prices. One-way flights from Los Angeles to Las Vegas start at $950, one-way flights from San Francisco to Aspen start at $1,900, one-way flights from L.A. to Los Cabos (Mexico) start at $1,900, and one-way flights from London to Milan start at $1,625. Prices include one checked luggage and one carry-on, drinks and snacks onboard. Kids (including infants) and small pets are welcome onboard.
Aero flies to and from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Los Cabos, Las Vegas, Jackson Hole in Wyoming, and Aspen and Vail in Colorado. It also flies between some European hubs, including London, Milan, Nice in France, and Geneva, Switzerland. Flights take place on custom-designed black jets complete with leather seats that accommodate up to 16 passengers.
Additionally, Oxford, Connecticut–based Tradewind Aviation operates on-demand and scheduled flights to and from Westchester County in New York, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, and Stowe, Vermont, in the Northeast. Tradewind also flies between the Carribbean destinations of Anguilla, Antigua, San Juan, St. Thomas, and St. Bart’s.
Flights run anywhere from $200 to hop between Caribbean islands to an opening rate of $750 to fly to Stowe or Nantucket from Westchester. The aircraft fly out of private air terminals and flights include onboard refreshments. (As of January 1, 2022, Tradewind said it has committed to purchasing carbon offsets for all of its flights.)
Surf Air is a private jet membership service that flies between Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Lake Tahoe, and San Francisco. For $2,500 per year, you can access à la carte private jet flights starting at $500 per flight, and for $1,950 per month you can unlock an unlimited flight plan.
There are also several private jet startups that are based on a sharing economy-style model for booking private jets. One of them is XO, an app that allows passengers to book a private charter, a shared charter, or book seats on an available private flight. XO has two styles of payments, a membership fee model and a pay-as-you-go model. Memberships range from $595 per year, which allows you to skip the $395-per-flight service fee that applies to individual private flight bookings, up to a $1,000 per month Elite Access membership with a minimum $100,000 deposit that includes set hourly private charter pricing and no added fees.
Private jet app UberJets also helps users find and book charter aircraft. It doesn’t own or operate a fleet of aircraft and simply serves as a booking tool.
An empty leg is a nonrevenue repositioning private jet flight—a private jet that has dropped passengers off on a one-way leg and would otherwise return to its home base empty. Because these are noncommissioned flights, they can often be accessed at a much lower price than a standard private jet flight as operators are happy to recuperate any of the costs and sell the flight for a deal—well, a deal for an entire private jet.
Private jet services such as Jettly and XO will often list their current empty leg deals and routes online.

By flying private, you can bypass the crowds at the airport.
Photo by NadyaEugene/Shutterstock

If you fly a private jet out of a major airport, you won’t be going through the main commercial air terminals. Most private jet operators use a designated area adjacent to a major airport for check-in, security, boarding, and disembarkation. Some have converted these areas into sleek lounge spaces for more comfortable waiting environments.
But the bottom line is, you won’t be going through the same check-in procedures and security lines as everyone else at the airport—you will have a separate, more secluded area just for private fliers. (Prior to check-in, make sure to establish what the luggage restrictions are as well as those for flying with animals—they will vary depending on the size of the aircraft and by operator, though many typically have standard luggage allowances and allow pets to come along.)
Many private jet flights skip the larger, more bustling hubs opting instead to take off and land at smaller airstrips that are less congested. Those smaller airports can often get travelers even closer to their destination than a larger hub would, meaning less travel time to and from the aircraft itself. With commercial flight schedules having been massively downsized during the coronavirus pandemic, access to destinations that don’t have regular commercial service or any service at all is another huge potential bonus of flying private (just remember that all domestic and international travel restrictions apply to private flights as well).
When looking to book a private jet, travelers can customize the experience to their needs and wants (and budgets), including the size and style of the aircraft and the level of service. This can also translate into more work for the customer as it’s not as easy as simply going online and booking a flight—some back-and-forth communication is required between the private jet operator and the clients as they establish exactly which aircraft, flight routes, and service will be needed. The payoff is arguably worth it when you find the private flying experience that perfectly suits your desires.
We’re not going to sugarcoat it. Flying private does not have a good track record when it comes to the environment. In a November 2019 report, U.K.-based nonprofit group Fellow Travellers together with economic democracy advocacy organization Common Wealth estimated that on average a private jet passenger journey within Europe emits around 7 times the greenhouse gases as the same business-class flight and around 10 times as much as an economy-class flight. Consequently, the report advocates for the rapid electrification of the private jet sector, which it notes is the segment of the air industry that is most amenable to going fully electric in the very near future.
That was confirmed by writer Elissa Garay in the recent AFAR article “Electric Planes Are Coming Sooner Than You Think,” which noted that some of the biggest gains in electric air travel include smaller two- to nine-passenger private electric planes.
Investments in electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft are being made by companies that include Boeing, Airbus, NASA, and Toyota, as well as startups, such as California’s Archer Aviation and Joby Aviation, Germany’s Lilium, and the U.K.’s Vertical Aerospace, writer Garay reports.
Additionally, Israel’s Eviation has developed a nine-seat electric plane called Alice, which regional U.S. carrier Cape Air is set to fly starting next year. Alice’s electric propulsion engine was built by its sister company MagniX, based in Washington State. Canadian seaplane carrier Harbour Air is also testing the MagniX system to retrofit its fleet, with hopes of debuting commercial service on the newly electric seaplanes later this year.
While the Biden administration is making a big push to reduce air emissions by focusing on a switch to more sustainable aviation fuels, environmental organizations continue to emphasize that the biggest impact in the private aviation space will ultimately be a gradual conversion to fully electric flights.
There are several things to take into consideration when booking private jet travel during the global coronavirus pandemic.
First off, private jet travelers are not exempt from international travel restrictions. Take into consideration where you are traveling from and to because travel regulations continue to change in countries throughout the world. The International Air Transport Association has developed an interactive world map that offers travelers updated COVID-19 entry regulations by country. This can serve as a handy guide for private jet fliers.
Just as commercial airlines have done, private jet companies have implemented COVID-19 health and sanitation measures that include everything from enhanced cleaning onboard to mandatary masks for crew and passengers. You will need to check with each individual private jet company to find out what kind of policies it has developed to reduce transmission risk during check-in, boarding, in-flight, and upon arrival.
You can also expect a different level and type of service onboard. Snacks and meals might be prepackaged to reduce contamination risk, and some private jet companies may offer passengers the option to have minimal service to limit their interactions with crew. Make sure to read each company’s COVID-19 policies.
This story was originally published on August 6, 2019, and has been updated to include current information.
>> Next: How Flying Semi-Private Could Save Your Sanity (Without Breaking the Bank)
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Aviation Accidents on the Decline Per Air Safety Institute Report – FLYING Magazine – FLYING

The AOPA’s Air Safety Institute’s new Nall Report indicates that aviation accidents declined in 2020. [Courtesy: Bee Calder/Unsplash]
It’s always a good thing when the number of aviation accidents is on the decline. Aviation accidents dropped by about 10 percent between 2019 and 2020, according to the 32nd annual Joseph T. Nall report, produced by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s Air Safety Institute (ASI).
The Nall Report, which is named for former National Transportation Safety Board member Joseph Nall who was killed in an aircraft accident in 1989, covers airplanes with maximum gross takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or less, as well as helicopters of all sizes. The annual report reviews aircraft accidents that have occurred during the previous year.
Aviation-related fatalities in 2020 fell by about 13 percent, according to ASI. In 2020, there were 1,051 accidents, of which 187 were fatal – an improvement over the 1,167 accidents with 214 fatalities reported the year prior.
However, the number of accidents occurring during descent and approach rose in both overall and fatal accidents, with stall/spin accidents accounting for the largest number of fatal accidents, the report noted.
The Nall report quantifies accidents in relation to 100,000 flight hours. “Overall accident rates decreased from 4.87 per 100,000 flight hours to 4.69 and the fatal accident rate decreased from 0.89 to 0.83 from 2019 to 2020, respectively,” the study said.
Weather is still a leading contributor to fatal accidents, however the overall number of weather related accidents was down for 2020, as was the number of fatalities from maneuvering accidents, the report said.
“An area where we see some discouragement is the commercial fixed-wing total accident rate, which rose following two years of decline,” said Robert Geske, AOPA Air Safety Institute manager of aviation safety analysis. “We are also disappointed to see the number of fatal fuel-related accidents, which has remained steady at an average of eight per year for several years.”
In addition, non-commercial fixed-wing accidents decreased slightly with the fatal accident rate declining to 0.92 and the total accident rate decreasing to 5.27. Helicopter accidents—both commercial and non-commercial—saw relatively flat fatal accident rates from 2019 to 2020, but overall accident rates decreased.
Accidents during landing continue to be the most common, but they produce the fewest fatalities, Geske noted.
The report is issued annually, and also has a digital platform that updates on a rolling 30-day cycle. In addition to looking at the number of events, the report looks at trends, such as the increase or decrease in accidents during certain phases of flight, such as maneuvering, takeoffs and landings.
Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. Flying may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site.
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Chinese and Russian aircraft penetrated air defense zone – The Munich Eye

Image by Steve RichardsonTwo Chinese and six Russian fighter jets entered South Korea’s airspace surveillance zone Wednesday, according to Seoul. South Korea then sent up its own fighter jets, the military staff in Seoul said. South Korea’s actual airspace was not violated, it said.
The Defense Ministry in Moscow said Russian and Chinese fighter jets held joint patrol flights over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. At times, the aircraft, including long-range Tupolev 95 bombers, were escorted by fighters from “foreign states,” it said. However, the Russian and Chinese aircraft had strictly adhered to international law requirements and had not violated any foreign airspace.
According to the South Korean military, Chinese H-6 bombers first repeatedly penetrated the KADIZ air defense zone, which supplements South Korea’s airspace as a kind of buffer zone, in the early morning. A few hours later, they were then escorted by Russian fighters, including SU-35 fighters in addition to TU-95 bombers, he said. The aircraft group had left the KADIZ after 18 minutes.
Russia does not recognize South Korea’s air defense zone. China, in turn, has stated that the KADIZ is not South Korea’s territorial airspace and therefore freedom of movement should apply there for all countries. China and Russia say they regularly hold joint training maneuvers of their fighter aircraft.

Image by Steve Richardson
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Future Aviation Forum 2022 Day Two: It's a Wrap! – Airways Magazine

RIYADH – After two days of sessions, talks, interviews, and expert speakers, HE Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Transport and Logistics Services and Chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), has closed the Future Aviation Forum 2022.
The event saw leaders from public and business sectors mix with foreign airline and airport CEOs and regulators in times when the air travel industry aims to overcome the post-COVID-19 pandemic issues while shaping the future of air travel.
“We have set the theme for a golden era for global aviation. We have established a clear vision for the future to gain passenger confidence, tackle current industry challenges, enable growth, champion innovation, build a more sustainable global industry, and maximize aviation’s contribution to global well-being, sustainability, and prosperity,” concluded Al Jasser.
The forum hosted by GACA featured more than 120 speakers and welcomed 2,000 attendees from 60 countries.
The Future Aviation Forum 2022 showcased the progress of Saudi Arabia in developing a solid aviation ecosystem. According to Raid Ismael, co-head of the Middle East and North Africa direct investment and the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), such an ecosystem aligns with the nation’s Vision 2030 framework.
“From a commercial aviation perspective, a solid ecosystem will cause a multiplier effect, driving us into a leading hub within the region,” said Ismael. 
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said that a low-carbon fuel for aviation could emerge as the transitionary fuel for the future. The minister highlighted that sustainability could not be achieved by relying on biofuels. 
To attract more logistics and cargo sector companies, Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, head of the Saudi General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA), announced the development of a special economic zone in Riyadh. Al-Duailej said that the plans include economic and legislative packages intended to enhance the country’s attractiveness as a global logistics platform. 
Saudi Arabia aims to reach 330 million passengers from 250 destinations and five million tonnes of freight by 2030.
Featured image: 2022 Future Aviation Forum. Photo: Roberto Leiro/Airways
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