How a private jet flight offers more value than an airline ticket

By Staff Reporter - 06 Aug '21 16:12PM
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Private jet hire for the average American?

It might sound unbelievable, but for some Americans, flying via private jet  can be the smarter choice compared to a first-class airline ticket on a scheduled passenger service.

This doesn't mean that private jet charter is available to everyone, but for those who can afford to charter a private jet, the golden rule is usually, time is money.  

So, what's the reasoning behind choosing private jet charter over flying commercially? 

For many company CEOs and senior executives, who work to the time is money principle, private flights, make more economic sense than the commercial flight option. Usually, these business high-flyers are charged with the responsibility of making profits for their company or their shareholders. So how can charter jet prices be justified if the goal of the organization is to generate profit?

The real value proposition for private jet hire costs compared to scheduled airline flights is the time spent waiting in line at the airport, transit between connecting airports and fixed flight schedules. When a company CEO and a team of executives need to travel on important business between New York and Dubai, for example, the real savings on this trip is the total efficiency of the time spent.  

Instead of arriving three or four hours ahead of schedule, undergoing pre-flight security and documentation checks, the utilization of a private jet charter  can mean arriving at the airport and the team is ready to fly in minutes. Additionally, any delays on scheduled services could be the difference between catching or missing an interconnecting flight and result in a significant delay in reaching the final destination - for large business transactions or negotiations, this could ultimately be far more expensive than any private jet rental costs.

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The big plus of private jet charter

When it's necessary to travel with a team of executives, flying with scheduled airlines most likely means the need for overnight accommodation at either the final destination or on-route. Factor in the cost of 15 senior executives staying at a 5-star hotel for one, or even more nights and you're already on your way to major savings when you charter a private jet. However, flying routes with good commercial coverage - New York to London or San Francisco to Tokyo for example - may be the exception to the rule, where private jets for hire may be an option for company CEOs. 

Another aspect of flying by private airlines, especially for business teams, is the ability to conduct private meetings, prepare last-minute strategies together, and arrive fully briefed and rested at the final destination. Also, with the technological advances of wi-fi and internet access on private jet services, the cabin becomes an extension of the office, albeit a luxury one flying at 40,000ft. 

In times of critical negotiations, private plane costs are outweighed by the need for the CEO or a team of senior executives to arrive at the talks with clear minds, refreshed, and ready to hit the ground running.

For high net worth individuals, or big names in the world of sport or entertainment, private charter costs are negated by the on-time arrival for shows, concerts, games, and events. In the case of sports personalities, the option to fly by private jet means they arrive at their destination in comfort, with all of the specialist equipment they need, and most importantly, in peak condition. This is usually not possible when flying with scheduled commercial airlines, even when flying first class. There is also the built-in privacy and security afforded by private jet flights as opposed to commercial airlines.

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Cost-cutters are flying private jets

Another aspect of private jet charter cost is the value of the company personnel's well-being.  For example, Walmart's commitment to providing lower costs to the customer includes owning one of the largest private jet fleets in the USA. This factor may seem at odds with the company's brand mission of keeping costs low.

The headquarters of Walmart is located in Bentonville, Arkansas, a city with a population of roughly 50,000 people. Bentonville is hardly a major hub of US aviation, but regardless of its small size, the city's airport has a surprisingly high volume of flights to cities like Los Angeles and New York. Most of this extra traffic comes as a result of it being the location of Walmart's headquarters. However, the services provided by airlines serving Bentonville airport are just not enough for Walmart executives to fulfill all of their travel needs.

It's for this very reason that the company has its own fleet of 20 private jets for use by senior executives and management just 20 minutes away at the municipal airport. Operational executives at the company travel most often for store inspections, management meetings, and site visits, and with over 4,700 stores across the USA, that means lots of travel.

Another reason for having such a large private jet fleet is that Walmart has a company policy for their executives never having to spend a night away from their Bentonville homes. For example, an executive may need to visit 3 different stores in 3 different locations; one in Wyoming, one in Washington, and one in Montana.

In total, using commercial airlines, the executive's store visits would take 4 whole working days and require 3 nights away from home. Instead, using the company's private airplane, the executive could accomplish their 3 store visits and still be back home in Bentonville in approximately 12 hours. It's for this reason that Walmart decided that owning a fleet of private jets matched their specific needs.

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Is private jet charter a good fit?

The main question that many people ask about private jet hire is, how much does it cost to charter a private jet, followed closely by how much does it cost to buy a private jet? The answers, however, are not so straightforward due to specific customer needs.

Depending on the type of aircraft, the number of passengers it can accommodate, the aircraft's operating capacity - how far it can fly and other technical issues - and whether the aircraft is new or pre-owned are all factors influencing the price of private jet charter or purchase.

An experienced private jet charter company will be able to answer all of your questions and expertly address any issues that you might have regarding private jets.  They can even offer ideas for less expensive ways to charter flights, using empty leg flights where an aircraft might need to return to base empty having fulfilled the requirements of its previous clients. They can offer valuable advice on the most appropriate private jet to hire for business trips, sporting events, exhibitions, or conferences located anywhere in the world.

In short, there is no single answer to how much does it cost to charter a private jet, everyone's needs are different, and some pockets are deeper than others. However, for many, companies and high net worth individuals, where time means money, or when health and security are paramount, the value proposition for private jet charter, or even ownership, can far outweigh the cost involved.

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