The turbines roar, the resistance of the brakes release, and suddenly you feel the captivating energy of 5,900 pounds of force accelerating you further into your seat. Now, peering out of the cabin window you see the earth gliding away as you ascend away to your next destination. Few experiences compare to the exhilaration of flying in your own private jet. But at the end of the day what is the price tag on this luxury possible to only a privileged few?

To answer this question, it takes an understanding of the costs associated with private aviation and also learning some of the industry tricks many use to make this seemingly intangible lifestyle a viable possibility to more than just a few.

Aircraft Ownership

First on the list is actual ownership. In this case the owner absorbs all expenses associated with the aircraft’s purchase, operation, insurance, maintenance, and crew staffing. There are hundreds of aircraft options to choose from, from smaller 6 passenger turbo props all the way up to commercial sized airliners. For lighter turbo props you can expect to spend between 4.5 to 7 million, the lesser being a prior used aircraft. These aircraft are perfect for first time buyers and people new to aviation. If turbines are more your speed the light jet is your next tier up with prices ranging from 1 to 5 million. Their high performance and regional capabilities are perfect if you are the type of traveler consistently flying in small groups of 4 to 6. For larger options look to spend over 10 million with the largest options in excess of 250 million for a corporate airliner.

With the immense responsibility and growing costs to maintain an aircraft, ownership is not for everyone. In many cases, owners take refuge in aircraft management opportunities, allowing their aircraft to be rented out to help minimize these expenses. In any case; however, It is generally recommended that those who fly private for more than 50 hours a year to consider the proposition of in-sourcing aircraft. Nevertheless, this isn’t to say you should rule out all ownership possibilities. A growing popularity in the private aviation industry is the undertaking of shared or fractional ownership.

Fractional Ownership

With fractional ownership multiple individuals maintain a stake in a single aircraft asset. These types of relationships allow people and companies greater flexibility and reduce the overall liability that is aircraft proprietorship. It also creates a wider array of financial freedoms that traditional aircraft ownership is unable to offer. As an example, NetJets is a company that brings together multiple individuals with a similar need, and sells shares of a particular classifications of jet. The customers never maintains any ownership liabilities and also posses the freedom to travel when needed.

This method is a fantastic opportunity for those who travel often, and need a dependable source for regular travel and maintain a fixed need that only a particular aircraft can fill, but sometimes this isn’t always the case. What about when you travel often, but don’t always want a 10 passenger jet? For a short or local business trip one week, and a long extended trip the next, ownership may not always pose the best economic advantage.


For many travelers, the jet card and traditional charter offer the best price compromise relative to their schedules travel demands. With the open selection of the thousands of readily availability charters world-wide, its hard to beat the adaptability this method provides. Consider a New York to Los Angeles, where you can fly one-way for $27,000 on a midsize jet or a Miami to Baltimore for $9,000. These figures are starkly different from the millions you could spend annually financing and maintain a privately owned aircraft. No matter when and no matter where, there is always an aircraft available and with hundreds of transient flights, a qualified broker is bound to find an empty leg capable of serving your needs well below market value.

No matter the reason for your travels, there is no doubt private is a fast and convenient way to get there. With so many options and growing opportunities in executive aviation the possibilities are limitless. From sharing a charter flight to purchasing your own jet there is no best way to fly. Knowing the true costs of travel is always the best start and here at RightFlight we are committed to helping find the right option for you.