Private Jet Expenses to Consider Before Taking Flight

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Credit: Flickr, Andy Rusch

Have you ever considered owning a private jet? 

Stars such as Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford and Mark Zuckerberg all travel around the world in private jets. They’re the pinnacle of luxury travel. However, private aircraft are one of the most expensive modes of transport. Let’s take a look at jet expenses to consider before making a purchase.  

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Credit: Flickr, James Willamor


A List of Jet Expenses to Consider 

Owning a private jet might be on your bucket list, but have you researched the jet expenses involved? Of course, the expenses vary from aircraft to aircraft, depending on its size, energy efficiency, location and inclusive staff. There’s a reason not everyone travels by private jet, and that’s mainly because of money. However, it’s also one of the most powerful and quickest resources for business and pleasure. If you're seriously considering this mode of transport, remember to budget for the expenses below:

1. Renting vs. Buying a Plane

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Credit: Flickr, Roderick Eime

One of the biggest jet expenses to consider is the cost of buying vs renting. Jet prices range from $3 million to $90 million, although around 85% of customers buy second-hand to reduce costs. Most owners switch their aircraft every five years on average, although it depends on how much you use the jet.

When you own your own aircraft, you are in full control of your private-flying experience. The smallest jets usually carry around four passengers from 2-3,000 miles without refueling. Medium-sized models can carry up to eight passengers up to 7,000 miles. Large jets carry up to 12 passengers with a flying range of 4,000 miles.

There are jet expenses to consider if you choose to own rather than rent. Expect to pay around $500,000 to $1 million annually to cover operational costs. This includes: crew salaries, aircraft insurance, maintenance, insurance and parking your plane. When you own a jet, you have to pay for unplanned and routine maintenance. Consequently, you need to have sufficient finances to fund this on a regular basis.

On the other hand, when renting a private jet, you don’t have the same long-term financial commitment. You can dry lease, which refers to renting an aircraft without pilots, cabin crew, maintenance and insurance costs. However, this typically only applies to longer timeframes. If you choose to rent, your jet expenses are obviously less expensive than buying. You also have the luxury of walking away or choosing to renew your contract.

2. Maintenance Costs 

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Credit: Flickr, Andy Rusch

The first thing to consider when thinking of owning a private jet is what you’re going to use it for and how often. One of the most expensive factors of jet expenses is the maintenance costs. Generally, it will cost more to maintain a larger jet than a smaller one. When you own a private jet, you’re completely responsible for its maintenance costs. Let’s say you purchase one for $14 million. You can expect to pay around $1.6 million per year in maintenance costs.  

If you opt for a fractional ownership, you own a portion of the aircraft. Consequently, you pay a proportional amount of the plane’s maintenance costs on a monthly base. You’ll also pay an hourly flight rate whenever you use the jet. If you decide to rent a private jet, you don’t have to pay for the aircraft’s annual maintenance expenses. This might be a sensible option if you only plan to use the aircraft a handful of times a year.

3. Storage Fees

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Credit: Flickr, Matt Biddulph

Another important point about jet expenses are the storage fees. To not lose out on too much finances, you should use your private jet for at least 100 hours a year, otherwise you’d be better off renting. But, let’s say you’ve purchased a private jet. You’re going to need somewhere to store it. The first step is to request some hangar space at your local airport. On average, you’re looking at around $3000 per month to rent a hangar space. You’re charged on the size of the space you use. Therefore, the bigger you’re jet, the higher your monthly outgoings will be.

4. Fuel Expenses

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Credit: Flickr, Andy Rusch

Your jet needs fuel to fly in the air, which means you need plenty of money to fork out for fuel. The average aircraft holds 1,926 gallons of fuel. So, filling up a tank from empty to full will cost around $11,000. Bear in mind there are fuel-efficient private jets on the market, so we recommend looking at all of your options before making a purchase.

5. Hiring Pilots and Crew

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Credit: Flickr, David Brossard

If you have a license to fly your own plane, you can disregard this section. However, if this isn’t the case, you’ll need to hire a pilot, co-pilot and flight attendant. For an entire team of professional staff, you’ll need around $215,000 a year. There is the option to pilot your own aircraft, although this requires months of training and around $100,000 for a commercial pilot’s license.


Ensure you have sufficient funds to fly your plane first.

There are many areas to consider before purchasing a jet. It’s better to know far advance than later down the line, so you can plan far in advance. However, there is a popular way to reduce your jet expenses. Chartering is a service which enables you to hire your plane to others for a fee when you’re not using it. This can cover the fixed costs of owning a private jet. Ensure you properly calculate the chartering fee each time to not devalue your plane at the end of owning it.

Do you have any advice on owning a private jet? If so, let us know in the comments to share your thoughts.

Related Article: Luxury Jets: Features, Advantages, and Disadvantages of Owning One

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