Why are business jets so expensive

Private Jet Hire 2021: Your Guide to Charter a Private Jet

Can you guess how many people travel by private jet?

In Europe alone, over 70,000 private jets take off every month, would you have thought that?

When you think of private jets, you associate them with the super-rich and famous of the world. In reality, however, private jets are a powerful tool used by a much larger audience than expected - this is due to the very interesting and varied charter options available.

But what does it actually mean to charter or rent an aircraft?

A private jet charter is the rental of an aircraft from a third party for the purpose of air travel from A to B.

In this guide we have summarized the 10 most important points for you and go into all aspects that must be considered when renting a private aircraft:

  1. What does the flight with a private jet cost?
  2. What is an empty leg?
  3. Aircraft operator
  4. Aircraft broker
  5. Traveling with pets on board
  6. The private jet experience
  7. Private jets: buying economy versus renting
  8. Medical evacuation flights
  9. Group charter
  10. How to book a flight in a private jet
  11. Conclusion

Please click through the relevant sections!

What does the flight with a private jet cost?

The prices for renting a private jet depend solely on the requirements of a particular trip. As a rule of thumb, rental costs for most aircraft with a jet engine start at around € 2,500 per flight hour.

For less luxurious, short flights from A to B, smaller propeller planes can also be rented for only € 1,500 per flight hour.

Airplane category Example airplaneRangeprice per hour
PistonDiamond DA42Up to 4 hours€ 1.500
Turbo propKing Air 200Up to 4.5 hours€ 2.000
Entry level jetCitation MustangUp to 2.5 hours€ 3.000
Light jetCitation CJ2Up to 3.5 hours€ 3.500
Super light jetCitation XLSUp to 4 hours€ 4.000
Midsize jetHawker 800XPUp to 5 hours€ 4.500
Super midsize jetCitation SovereignUp to 6 hours€ 5.000
Heavy jetChallenger 604Up to 7 hours€ 6.000
Ultra long rangeGlobal 6000Up to 10.5 hours€ 7.000
AirlinerAirbus A320Up to 7 hours€ 15.000

When you receive a charter offer, it usually includes the following components:

  • The positioning of the aircraft in relation to your place of departure
  • All direct fuel and maintenance costs
  • The costs for the crew (pilots and flight attendants), possibly including hotel accommodation for the crew
  • Catering (the type of catering available depends on the size of the aircraft)
  • Landing, handling and parking fees for the aircraft
The following costs, however, are not included in a charter offer:
  • Additional ground transport costs (taxis, limousines, etc.)
  • Special catering requirements that are beyond the scope of a typical catering budget
  • De-icing costs (usually only necessary in winter)

What is an empty flight or an empty leg?

An empty leg is a positioning flight by a private aircraft that is required to bring the aircraft to its contracted starting point.

Example: if you rent a private jet from Berlin but the aircraft is in Rome, an empty flight from Rome to Berlin will be created.

The myth that empty legs flights can be booked for less than a plane ticket - as is often claimed in the media - is just that, a myth.

In reality, empty flights are considerably cheaper than conventional charter flights - the discount is around 50-60% of the normal charter price - but there are a number of conditions attached to them.

The decision to sell empty legs rests with the aircraft operator - unless the charter customer expressly requests that the empty leg flight be included in his charter contract (usually at an additional cost).

Empty-leg flights require a lot of flexibility as they are always subject to the primary charter. If the empty leg flight is canceled for any reason, the empty leg will no longer be available at the discounted price.

For this reason, we recommend, even if it is always worthwhile to keep an eye on empty-leg bargains, for important appointments that cannot be postponed, rent a conventional flight.

Aircraft operator

In business aviation, there are two main actors: the aircraft owner / operator and the private jet broker.

The river aircraft operators receive an operating license and an aircraft operator certificate (AOC) with which they are allowed to carry passengers commercially. Compared to aircraft that are used exclusively for non-commercial private flights, private aircraft that are used commercially are subject to a number of additional regulatory requirements. Put simply, regulators are making sure that paying passengers have higher security requirements.

I saw that Jet X just from Airport Y has departed. Why can't my charter plane take off from there?

The jet you saw was most likely a private rather than a commercial flight. The stricter security requirements required for charter aircraft could not be guaranteed at this airport.

It is not unknown that some private aircraft owners are trying to carry commercial passengers without the required certification and to declare these as "private" flights. Although these flights are cheaper, it is a highly illegal practice - similar to a private individual running a taxi company with their private car: the required standards are lower, the insurance requirements are not met and there is very little consumer protection if anything goes wrong or an accident occurs.

For this reason, AlbaJet only brokers and books aircraft from reputable, certified aircraft operators who have not only demonstrated compliance with regulatory requirements, but also have a proven and flawless safety record.

Tip: if you rent an aircraft, ask for a copy of the aircraft license and aircraft insurance.

Private jet broker

Private jet brokers have always been the point of contact for customers who want to rent a private jet, but also for private jet operators who want to rent out their aircraft. In this traditional sense, AlbaJet works as a "broker" - we do not own any jets ourselves.

The broker's added value is the ability to find the most suitable aircraft for a given mission and meet the client's requirements at the best possible price.

I have booked directly with X for many years. Why should I book with AlbaJet?

In contrast to the world of airlines, in which planes always fly certain routes at certain times, business jets constantly “float” around in a seemingly random manner.

Let's imagine the following scenario: a customer lives in Berlin and wants to fly to London on a private jet. His / her first instinct might be to contact local aircraft operators in the area directly as they would probably always be the cheapest - right?

Not correct. Often there is an operator with an aircraft that is already near Berlin and that has to fly back to London - or at least in that direction. The operator on site would have to fly the aircraft back to Berlin as an empty leg after its arrival in London, which increases the price considerably.

As a private jet broker, AlbaJet plays an important role here: we don't just book any local operator for you, but instead compare all aircraft available on the market with the help of proprietary bidding technology and then select the options that are most suitable for you.

Pets on board

Flying with pets in an airliner can be a stressful ordeal for both the pet and its owner: the holds of aircraft can be cold, very noisy and insufficiently pressurized, and your four-legged friend is helpless in this traumatic situation.

Fortunately, many private aircraft operators are very welcome pets - they can even travel in the cabin so they never have to leave their owner's side.

The private jet experience

When booking a trip with a private jet for the first time, you naturally have many questions, such as: when do I have to be at the airport? Do I have to go to the main terminal? Will I get something to eat on the flight? Let's look at some of these questions one by one:

When do I have to be at the airport?

At most airports it is sufficient to arrive 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time. However, we recommend that you always allow some time for the unforeseen - for example, for traffic jams on the way to the airport.

Where do I have to go?

The meeting point varies from airport to airport. AlbaJet customers will be given precise directions, including a Google Maps navigation link. This link is included in your flight information sheet. Private jets usually start from a special terminal, the so-called FBO ("Fixed Base Operator" - in Southern Europe, however, there are some exceptions). In the FBO you will be greeted by your flight crew and accompanied to the aircraft.

What about the catering on board a private jet?

Short answer: Yes, there is food on most flights! The amount of catering depends on the length of the flight and the size of the aircraft.

As a rule of thumb: small propeller planes usually have no catering, turboprops and light jets offer snacks and drinks, medium-sized jets have cold catering, i.e. cold food and heavy jets offer hot catering / warm food.

Tip: Make sure you let us know your nutritional needs well in advance of your flight!

What if I'm late for my flight?

We strongly recommend being on time: Aircraft operators must depart at the agreed time - most can wait up to 30 minutes for delays, but this is not guaranteed!

How do I pay for my private jet flight?

The most convenient and affordable way to pay for a private jet flight is by wire transfer.
Alternatively, it is possible to pay with all major credit cards.
AlbaJet also accepts Bitcoin payments.

Which documents do I need?

As with traveling by airliner, you also need a valid passport for your flight with a private jet. An identity card may be sufficient within the Schengen area.
However, please contact our Albajet team and ask us before you start your journey. Visa and entry requirements are the same as for commercial flights.

Are the prices per seat or for the entire aircraft?

The charter prices are usually for the entire aircraft.
There are seat-sharing options (e.g. JetSmarter), which can be considerably cheaper, but the flexibility is very limited: the aircraft takes off on a fixed schedule and you have to share the aircraft cabin with others.

Buy or rent a plane?

Buying an airplane is a big decision that needs to be considered carefully. Many factors decide when it makes financial sense to buy your own aircraft compared to renting it. Most private jets cost anywhere from $ 3 million to $ 40 million, depending on their size and age. For example: A new Learjet 75 costs around $ 13.8 million.

Our recommendation: Buying an aircraft can make sense if a) you can use it economically, b) you regularly fly the same routes and c) you travel hundreds of hours a year by plane.

In most cases, renting an aircraft is significantly cheaper and gives you the flexibility to fly the most suitable aircraft for the mission at hand.

Medical evacuation flights

A medical evacuation flight, or air ambulance flight, is a flight operated to transport a critically ill patient to a medical facility by air.

If a person cannot take a scheduled flight for health reasons, a medical evacuation flight (also called a Medevac flight or an ambulance flight) may be required.

Medevac flights are operated by specially equipped aircraft and typically involve two pilots, a doctor and a nurse. These aircraft can be equipped with a single bed or with a double bed.

Before an ambulance flight can be carried out, it is important that all available medical documents are made available to the flight doctor in charge. The doctor always has the final say as to whether a patient can be transported or not.

Ambulance flights can be carried out worldwide and tailored to individual requirements.

Please call us for a free consultation: +43 463 265202

Group charter

Are you traveling with more than 15 passengers? To do this, you will most likely need an aircraft that is larger than most private jets.

For larger groups, a charter aircraft can often be considerably cheaper than a commercial flight - and of course you can also choose the departure and destination airports at the times that are most convenient for you. Group charters are ideal for sports teams, musicians traveling with technicians / bands, festival / conference attendees, pilgrimages and trips / vacation flights organized by travel agencies.

Some examples of aircraft suitable for group charters:

  • 0-50 passengers: Fokker 50 or BAe 146
  • 50-100 passengers: Fokker 100 or Embraer 190
  • 100-180 passengers: Airbus A320 or Boeing 737
  • Over 180 passengers: Airbus A330, A340, Boeing 747, 757

Please use our AlbaJet price calculator if you want to determine the prices for a group charter trip.

How do I book a flight?

Booking a private jet is a simple process. There are 5 key steps that may be new to first-time aircraft rental:

  • Step 1
    Get a cost overview with the help of our online AlbaJet price calculator and contact us.
  • step 2
    We will then obtain specific offers for you and you will receive various, detailed options from us for the most suitable aircraft.
  • step 3
    Select the option you would like to book and please provide your billing address.
  • Step 4
    Sign your charter contract and make the payment (see "How do I pay for my jet?")
  • Step 5
    Provide the passport details of all passengers traveling (this is required for the passenger manifest)

Be sure to notify us of any special requirements (e.g. catering, time restrictions, ground transfers, aircraft size) as early as possible. This ensures that these are met.


Renting a plane for the first time can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be!

Not sure what to do next? Test our free online AlbaJet price calculator and request a non-binding offer for your trip - we will take care of the rest!