What are the Variables that Define the Price of a Private Flight?

Photo: Monarch Air

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Fort Lauderdale based private jet provider Monarch Air Group refers about the wide array of components that explain the costs of operating a business jet.

Private aviation is expensive and expensive for both parties involved. Popular knowledge approves that flying in a private jet is possibly the most expensive means of transportation per hour, a fact not worth breaking down from a charter provider’s standpoint.

The long list of costs confronted by these companies is usually unknown, sometimes misunderstood, therefore staying on top of things before your next flight should be on your list.

From the volatility of fuel price, the escalating airport taxes and fees to the everchanging handling costs depending on the country and city, variable expenses need to be thoroughly accounted before setting the hourly price of a certain aircraft.

With that said, every airplane has an operating cost that varies depending on the type of propulsion; piston, turboprop or jet, the range and overall efficiency.

Private charter

A standard, medium-sized private jet as the Gulfstream G150 with a 7-hour range and the capacity for eight passengers, has an average direct operating cost of roughly US$ 2,400, this without even accounting for a handful of other dozen costs. Finally, come the more long-term expenses like scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and insurance, which are incorporated in in the final price of every flight.

FBO (Fixed Base Operator) costs also need to be contemplated. Aircraft ground movement, hangarage and cleaning, flight planning and the rights to use the private lounge for passengers are all kicked in the final fee. And that’s not all. The soul of the aircraft, as Walter Raleigh once stated (The engine is the heart of an airplane, but the pilot is its soul), also demand a salary. Full time pilots have a fixed income, and part time-pilots earn depending on the number of hours flown.

Chartering over owning

And if you want to buy a new aircraft, well, you must start accounting for depreciation the second you purchase it. That’s why owning an aircraft makes no financial sense and justifies why chartering has been a worldwide trend for the past five to ten years. Just too many costs to consider, a headache if you’re new to the business aviation market.

What about the earning margins of a charter provider for a three-hour flight on a medium sized jet?

That flight can cost around 30,000 to 35,000 dollars for and eight passenger plane, leaving a margin of maybe 2 to 3% per flight for the charter company. That’s a good scenario.

Sometimes breaking even is still business, considering a flying aircraft reduces the operating costs of the plane, compared to just being grounded. Therefore, overall, there’s a good explanation behind the high costs that go with private aviation, don’t you think?

Source: Monarch Air Group