The cost of renting a private jet.

BY MARK FINLAY | Simply Flying

Have you ever wondered how much renting your own private jet would cost? If so, you are not alone, especially given all the chaos, and canceled flights we are seeing this summer. The demand to hire private jets during the COVID-19 pandemic skyrocketed, and it appears there is still no let-up as people look for alternative ways to get to their vacation destinations. According to Hamburg-based private jet tracker and data company WingX, 2021 was the busiest ever year for private jet hire.

Buy your own private jet

Unless you are Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, you may think twice about going out and purchasing your own private jet. Depending on the age and model, you could pick up a used private jet for under $1 million. If you are in the market for a new private plane, the least expensive on the market is the single-engine Cirrus SF50 VisionJet that you can purchase new for $3.2 million. You could buy a larger Gulfstream G700 for US$78 million at the other end of the scale.

Purchasing the jet is only the beginning, as you need to find a place to store it and pay for maintenance costs and fuel. Also, if you are not a pilot certified to fly the plane, you will have to pay someone who can.

If the reality of having your own private jet now seems out of reach, there are other alternatives to having access to a private plane without having the burden of all the costs.

How much does it cost to charter a private plane?

Calculating the costs per hour, you can expect to pay between $1,300 to $3,000 for a small private plane that can seat between four and six passengers. On a midsize aircraft able to accommodate nine passengers, expect to pay between $4,000 and $8,000 per hour. For a larger private jet with room for between 14 and 19 passengers, the price jumps to between $8,600 and $13,000 per flying hour.

Private jet card membership

A popular way for people to use private jets is through a private jet card membership program. Typically, you ante up a fee of between $100,000 to $200,000, and as you use the private jets for trips, the cost is deducted from your initial deposit. Hourly rates vary depending on the size of the aircraft you want to use for your trip.

Whether you want to use a private jet for short-haul or long-haul flights, some companies specialize in both. A good example would be Wheels Up, a company specializing in major sports and cultural events for its VIP members throughout the year. Meanwhile, Malta-headquartered VistaJet uses its fleet of Bombardier business jets to fly people worldwide. Before choosing which private jet card membership is right for you, do your research and read the small print.

Booking a seat on a private jet

Rather than forcing individuals or companies to charter an entire aircraft, many operators are selling seats on private flights. Similar to how you would book a seat with a commercial airline, the private jet operators fly regular routes like Los Angeles to Las Vegas. A flight from Hawthorne Municipal Airport (HHR) in Los Angeles to North Las Vegas Airport (VGT) costs $419 each way.

Los Angeles-based Surf Air has come up with a unique scheme that, for $199 a month, allows members to book flights for between $99 and $199 each way on its flights between LA and Santa Barbara, Lake Tahoe, and San Francisco. For $2,999 per month, you can fly anytime you want on the entire Surf Air network for no additional charge.

One of the significant advantages of flying on private charters is that you leave and arrive from smaller airports and escape all the lines while traveling like a VIP. Traveling internationally with pets on commercial airliners means your beloved animal is in a dark cargo hold alone. If you take a private charter, your pet proving all its papers are in order, can fly with you in the cabin, alleviating stress and worry.

This article originally appeared on SimplyFlying :

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