Demand for private travel is prospering due to the pandemic. However, private jet companies can’t keep up with this demand. According to VistaJet, a private aviation firm, this year’s new memberships were higher by 53 percent compared to last year.
Meanwhile, Next Vacay CEO Naveen Dittakavi said that charter travel searches have increased by 520 percent over the past year. Most people don’t fly privately, even if they can afford it. But due to the pandemic, some of them have booked private jets to avoid the crowd. And many of these people are flying on a private plane for the first time.
What to Expect During a Private Jet Flight
According to Advanced Aviation Team founder Gregg Brunson-Pitts, it’s not only the rich people using private jets. Governments are also using them. When asked who can afford private travel, he responded that it’s probably people with $5 million in net worth.
Factors that affect the cost of a private jet flight
Prices differ depending on the plane’s size, number of passengers on board, and flight duration. Private jet rental usually costs around $2,000 to $23,000 per hour. But unless you often travel, chartering a private jet is probably a wiser decision than buying one.
That way, you can avoid the annual maintenance fees that a private jet can cost you. You don’t have to pay hangar fees, interest, and crew salaries when you charter a private jet.
Thus, chartering a private jet is more cost-effective and practical than buying one. So how much does a seat cost? To determine the cost, you must know the aircraft’s hourly rate, number of seats onboard, and flight time. Apart from these variables, the inflight services, hangar fees, fuel surcharge, cleaning fees, and handling fees also affect the price.
Why do the costs differ?
The costs could be lower or higher depending on the private jet company. Commercial flyers in business or first class might be okay with the cost. But for people who prefer the economy class, the price might be too high.
Brunson-Pitts acknowledged that the pricing for private jet flights is different compared to commercial flying. Unlike commercial flights where flyers travel on the same jet, charter jets differ significantly by service and size.
Private flights are also more flexible than commercial flights when it comes to travel dates. Moreover, charter jets offer extra services such as VIP catering. This kind of flexibility affects prices as well.
What 5 Private Flyers Say About the Prices
Before you charter a jet, you have to assess the factors that affect its prices. Here’s what five first-time private flyers could say about their flying experiences during the pandemic.
1. Ahmad Sahroni
Indonesian politician and businessman Ahmad Sahroni began flying privately for comfort, safety, and privacy. He chose the Indonesian aviation firm CeoJetset to travel comfortably from Bali to Jakarta. Sahroni spent around $36,000 for this flight.
2. Jarrett Preston
Idoneus CEO Jarrett Preston said he travels privately for efficiency, safety, and security. As the flights were rerouted and reduced, the violence on planes increased, and the queues at airports became longer. That’s when he decided to fly privately. Preston spent around $10,500 for a Tampa to Miami round-trip flight with Monarch Air Group.
3. Steven Sadaka
The endless queues through security at the Miami International Airport have always been a pain point for StevenDouglas CEO Steven Sadaka. However, he couldn’t justify paying $6,000 per hour for a private jet.
The aviation company he currently travels with charges around $1,600 per hour. The company follows a fractional ownership model, which requires people to spend a one-time payment of $630,000. Purchasers also need to pay $4,500 every month for five years.
Sadaka spent $8,000 for a trip from Boca Raton in Florida to Teterboro in New Jersey and back. According to him, he is not going back to commercial flights. And that is because, with private flights, he can travel on his schedule without worrying about cancellations.
4. Derrick L. Miles
CourMed CEO and founder Derrick L. Miles switched to private travel for Covid-19 safety and time savings. He wanted to avoid airport crowds, and now, he flies with Dallas-based company JSX. Miles paid $1,200 for a Dallas to Miami round-trip flight.
According to Miles, spending a long time in queues and travel delays can negatively affect his company’s productivity. Apart from the modest prices, private flights allow Miles to save a lot of time. He doesn’t have to arrive at the private hanger half an hour before departure. And since JSX’s parking lot is only a few yards away from the hanger, he can save time and focus on his company’s growth, liquidity, and profitability.
5. Brandon Ham
Investment manager Brandon Ham owns a private plane. He’s already taking flying lessons even before the pandemic started. And in September, Ham purchased a Cirrus SR22 plane. Ham refused to say the plane’s cost but said that new jets cost millions while certified aircraft can quickly reach seven figures.
Ham said that the best part about having a plane is its flexibility, but there are downsides too. According to him, owning and flying his aircraft is more expensive than flying commercially in a first-class seat. However, chartering a private jet with a pilot is more costly.
Apart from the cost, planes don’t have a bathroom. It lacks drink and food services as well. Moreover, Ham’s plane flies slower than commercial jets. However, flying his private aircraft allows him to save time. Ham didn’t travel privately before becoming a pilot. But according to him, he’ll continue flying commercially, especially if he has to go abroad.
You can either buy or charter a private jet. The choice is yours to make. If you can afford the up-front and long-term costs of private jet ownership, then go ahead and buy one. But if you don’t want to deal with these expenses, you should consider chartering a private jet. Either way, you can enjoy the security, privacy, and convenience of a private jet flight anytime.