- Food & Drink
- Design & Culture
- Cars, Jets & Yachts
From initial purchase through to maintenance, the cost of owning a private jet can quickly creep up.
By Kim Ayling | November 24 2020
Private jet travel is one of the biggest indicators of a luxury lifestyle, with owning your own plane being among the most coveted ways to jet set. Owning, as opposed to chartering, a business jet is associated with a host of benefits including dedicated usage, added convenience and an unlimited number of flying hours. However, the benefits of owning a private jet will naturally come at a cost.
To help understand the true price of flying business, we’ve broken down how much it actually costs to own a private jet after the initial purchase cost.
The initial cost of buying a private jet will vary greatly depending on the aircraft model and make, size, range and capacity. For example, a light jet such as the Embraer Phenom 100, which depending on configuration can seat up to nine passengers, can be bought for less than $2m.
At the other end of the spectrum larger, more powerful private jets can reach into the hundreds of millions. For example, the super long-range BBJ 777x that can seat up to 75 guests will set you back upwards of $400m.
While the initial purchase fee may seem steep, many owners find that the real cost of owning a private jet comes later on. Unlike when chartering a jet, owning leaves you responsible for the ongoing expenses associated with regularly flying a jet. These include:
When buying a new jet, as the owner, you will be able to design the interiors as you please. While a jet can be left as configured, many buyers will choose to redesign, be it just adding a personal touch to the décor or completely altering the layout. Of course, customization will come at a cost, with some private jet owners spending upwards of $100m on bespoke plane interiors.
Advanced as they may be business jets can’t yet fly themselves. A private jet owner will need to hire an on-board crew, including a pilot if they are not qualified to fly themselves. The cost will vary depending on the crew and number of flying hours, but jet owners should anticipate paying anything from $200,000 per year.
Regularly flying through the sky at over 500 miles an hour will inevitably leave your business jet open to some wear and tear. General maintenance should be performed regularly, while unexpected repairs should also be budgeted for. The cost will vary depending on the model as well as the nature of the repair, but even seemingly small issues such as a cracked window can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Fuel is one of the biggest expenditures when it comes to the cost of owning a private jet, with jet fuel currently priced at around $2.25 – $5.50 per gallon. Although fuel consumption will vary depending on on-board weight and flying speed, larger planes such as the Gulfstream G700 can burn through 380 gallons an hour, putting your minimum hourly fuel costs at over $850. This means that if you’re flying for 300 hours a year you should expect to pay upwards of $256,000 in jet fuel.
When you’re paying this much for the privilege of owning a jet, it needs to be stored carefully when not in use. Unless you have space in the garage, you’ll have to rent or buy a space in an airport hangar. Depending on the hangar location, renting a private hangar will be around $3,000 per month.
Considering all the extra fees on top of the initial purchase, it costs an impressive amount to own a private jet, with yearly maintenance and operation costs heading into the hundreds of thousands. In order to make the price worth it, a jet owner should anticipate flying at least 100 hours a year over the course of four-five years.
If you don’t plan to fly this frequently, fractional ownership, in which you buy shares of an aircraft, is likely to be a more cost-effective way to enjoy private aviation.