How to charter a private jet

Alasdair Whyte
By Alasdair Whyte October 31, 2011 14:29

How to charter a private jet

Private jets allow passengers to walk from car to aircraft with a minimal amount of steps. Photo: NetJets.

When you charter a private jet, you are able to walk straight from your car to the aircraft with a minimal amount of steps in a fuss-free environment.

For those who have never tried to charter a private jet, it might sound like a mysterious process. In reality, it is rather simple – find a broker, pay your money and take your choice.

Charter brokers

First and foremost, find a charter broker. Brokers source the availability and the price of your charter, and negotiate on your behalf. They have extensive lists of operators, and the majority of them also use the Avinode online market which tracks over 3000 aircraft.

You do not need a membership to charter a private jet and there is no long-term commitment. You can call a charter broker for one jet and then never call them again.

Private jets come in all sizes, from small prop aircraft for up to four people, to large airliners capable of flying 50 passengers. Your broker will be able to recommend the jet that suits your needs, so have a good idea of how many passengers you are taking and what kind of service you want on board.

Your broker will give you a ballpark figure when you submit your request. They will then negotiate with several operators and send you an email with the best options. Brokers typically charge a commission of between five per cent and ten per cent.

Business aviation airports

Typically private jets don’t use major airports. If you want to fly to or from one you can, but there are far fewer slots available, meaning you might not be able to fly when you want to. PrivateFly, one broker, estimates that there are over 3000 airports in Europe and commercial airlines only service around 300 of them – using smaller airports means you can land closer to your destination.

So if you want to charter a private jet from New York, you’re better leaving through Teterboro rather than JFK. If you’re skiing in the Alps you should look at Sion or Chambery instead of Geneva. And if you’re going to London for a meeting you should be landing at Farnborough, Northolt or Biggin Hill.

People use private aviation to save time. Small airports process far fewer flights and passengers, so you don’t have to suffer the traffic problems of major airports. You will only have to arrive 20 minutes prior to departure, and your car can drive you within yards of your aircraft. There is no queue for security, and your pilot will come to get you and introduce himself.

How much does it cost to charter a private jet?

All private jet flights are paid for in advance in full. Alex Berry of Chapman Freeborn, a leading charter broker, explains the range of prices: “For a return short hop in Europe, about 2 hours, you would expect to pay from $6,000 upwards. A longer flight of four or five hours will start from $12,500-16,000. To cross the Atlantic between London and New York you can pay over $100,000.”

Like many luxury services you can pay much more than these estimates for private jet travel, depending on the time you book, the type of jet and the services you require during your trip.

A trip from London to Tokyo, for example, will take your bill into hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is a rare charter, however, as first class services on very long routes are of a high standard and due to the length of the flight the time saved by flying privately is reduced.

Flight schedule

To give you an idea of the costs involved with private jet charter, here is a working example from PrivateFly.com, an online charter broker, of a client that wants to charter a private jet charter from London City to Frankfurt: 

1 Jan

Depart Airport London City Airport: 9am local time

Arrive Airport Frankfurt Main: 11am local  time (1hr flight)

Passengers: Five

2 Jan

Depart Airport Frankfurt Main: 12pm local time

Arrive Airport London City Airport: 12pm local time (1hr flight)

Passengers: Five

Cost calculation

Outbound  
London Biggin Hill to London City (positioning) 11(nm)
London City to Frankfurt Main Intl
334(nm)
Total distance 345(nm)
Speed 430(nmph)
Flying hours 1 Hrs 18 Min
Flying cost for one hour
£2,684
Flying charge (flying cost for one hour x flying hours) £3,495
Landing fee in London City and Frankfurt Main Intl
1600 + 273 = £1873
Number of fuel stops 0
Total fuel stop cost £0
Total cost £5,368
   
Inbound  
Frankfurt Main Intl to London City 334(nm)
London City to London Biggin Hill (positioning back to home base) 11(nm)
Total distance 345(nm)
Speed 430(nmph)
Flying hours 1 Hrs 18 Min
Flying cost for one hour
£2,684
Flying charge (flying cost for one hour x flying hours) £3,495
Landing fee in London City
£1,600
Number of fuel stops 0
Total fuel stop cost £0
Total cost £5,095

 

Alasdair Whyte
By Alasdair Whyte October 31, 2011 14:29

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