Just imagine that you’re socialising amongst a group of friends or business acquaintances when one of them asks a question. “Just thinking out loud here guys, but I’m not sure whether I should buy a private jet or charter one. What do you think?”

It probably won’t happen too often in your life (at least not for most of us), but wouldn’t it be nice to have your answers prepared in advance?

What you can expect with a private jet charter

Vilius Radziukas, the Head of Sales at Skyllence, a leading private air charter broker, is exactly the right person you want in your corner if ever such a question comes up.

According to Radziukas, “Even for the seriously wealthy, buying a private plane usually means getting your hands on a previously-owned model. Even then, the costs involved, not just in the purchase price but in other operational spending put the question beyond most people’s budgets. Private jet charters offer almost all of the same benefits of ownership, but without the financial headache that goes with it.”

To put his comments in perspective, sure, if you have a little spare change lying around, let’s say, somewhere between €2.5 million and €30 million to spend on purchasing a new private jet, and that’s not to mention the additional hundreds of thousands that will be needed for ongoing operational costs, go ahead, make that purchase. For everyone else, there’s always the better option of chartering an aircraft whenever you need it.

Charter beats ownership hands down

The bottom line is that owning a private jet isn’t a great financial decision for anyone to make. Unless of course if you happen to own a couple of thousand hugely productive oil wells, a diamond mine that won’t stop spewing diamonds, or you regularly fly rockets into space just for the heck of it, then why not?

Owing a luxury private jet might be great for your self-esteem, you might even have space for a private cinema or stables for your favourite camels on board, but there’s very little else that a private jet charter can’t give you.

Here’s what you get for your money with a private jet charter:

When it comes to flexibility, commercial airlines and scheduled flights are limited in what they can offer.

Their fixed timetables are written in stone – when they’re not delayed because of late-arriving flights, industrial action, or bad weather – this means your travel plans are dictated to by their rules. Being so limited can often mean multiple airport layovers (and the wasted hours that go with them), overnight hotel stays, overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, and little or no flexibility – unless you choose to pay through the nose. Oh, and don’t forget those extra baggage charges.

A private jet charter is just like owning your own aircraft, because?

  • You choose where you take off and land – in fact, unlike scheduled airlines you get to choose your take off time and your itinerary
  • Choose from thousands of airports, private airfields, and landing strips
  • You can choose the aircraft to suit your needs and the number of people flying
  • Forget about flight delays – with a private jet charter you don’t have to worry about whether your flight will be on-time or not
  • The whole aircraft is just for you and your guests
  • With a private jet charter, you have access to the airport apron with your vehicle
  • What do you want to eat and drink? That’s up to you
  • Fly in privacy, comfort, security – no more overcrowded airport terminals
  • You can even bring your pets with you – what’s not to love
  • And, when was the last time you were able to speak to a commercial airline representative person to person with a question or suggestion?

When you charter a private jet, you get to choose your schedule and your airport of choice (remember the golden rule of business, location, location, location?). You get to choose your point of departure, and your final destination from thousands of airports, airfields, and landing strips right around the world.

Did you know - there are over 3,000 airports available for private jet charters in Europe versus just 300 for commercial airline flights – and that’s not including private airfields and landing strips.

OK, maybe you won’t have golden taps in your bathtub, or parking space for both of your bullet-proof limousines on board, but most of us can survive without them on a three- or four-hour flight between meetings.

Arrive in style and comfort

If you’re a top executive, a business delegation, an official government party, or an elite athlete or sports team, whatever your reason for private jet travel, you can be sure that you’ll arrive rested, relaxed, stress-free, and ready to do the business.

And here’s another huge benefit of private jet charters, no matter how many people travel with you – and depending on the aircraft needed to fit them all – the price will be the same. When that’s broken down and compared to the cost of first- or business-class travel on a scheduled airline, that’s where real savings are made. And when it comes to savings, especially for super busy corporate leaders and business executives, there’s probably nothing as precious as time. After all, for these people, time really is money.

So, how much does a private jet charter cost?

Well, that depends on a lot of things. The type of aircraft you’ll need, from a single-engine turbo-prop to get you to an important meeting in the next city to a 100-seater jet for a corporate event, the limits are up to you. However, the price will match the type of aircraft you want to charter. A really good charter will be able to give you the best advice, and maybe even save you money into the bargain.

And don’t forget, private jet charter companies often offer empty leg flights, where aircraft need to return to base or another airport and can be great value saving up to 70% on normal charter prices.

Demand for private jet charters grew by over 50% in 2021

Again, according to Radziukas – a man who knows a thing or two about the private jet business – “Owning a private jet means huge prestige, but then again, so does arriving at a meeting, a trade show, or a corporate event in any private jet, whether you own it not. In the past couple of years, private jet rentals have literally hit the sky. There has never been a greater demand for private air travel, now that people who can afford it have finally realised that their time, their state of mind, and their safety, are the most important assets in their armoury.”

And while you enjoying the freedom of private air travel, spare a thought for those poor guys with a €30 million luxury jet sitting idle on the ground. Or the pilots playing patience in the crew rooms waiting for a call. And don’t forget all those busy maintenance people keeping the aircraft ready to fly at a moment’s notice. And last but not least, take a moment to think of that poor overworked aircraft insurance broker wondering whether to spend her bonus on a new sports car, a condo in Florida, or a luxury holiday in the Maldives.