H. Lee Rohde III

Breaking Down Private Jet Operating Costs

H. Lee Rohde III
H. Lee Rohde III President & CEO
Breaking Down Private Jet Operating Costs

For those with the means to afford operating a private jet, the experience is unparalleled: Fly almost anywhere in the world in total comfort and style without any of the hassle, all according to your own schedule. As those who’ve enjoyed the luxury of private aviation can attest, the experience of flying commercial — even in first class — can’t even begin to compare.

All of that said, private jet operating costs are steep, leading prospective buyers to explore different opportunities such as charter, fractional ownership or membership programs, which may enable them to enjoy all the benefits of flying private at a lower cost than outright acquisition.

Are you trying to decide whether private aircraft ownership or an alternative private aviation service is right for your budget? Let’s get a better picture by breaking down private jet operating costs.

Snapshot: Private Jet Operating Costs

Owning and operating a private jet is a long-term investment, one that requires considerable resources to maintain. Beyond the initial purchase price — which can range anywhere between $7 million to $75 million for a brand-new aircraft — there are a number of other expenses to consider, such as customization or refurbishment, insurance premiums, hangar fees, ongoing maintenance and repairs, fuel, crewmember salaries and so on. Before purchasing a private jet, be sure to work with an aviation consultant to calculate the variable and fixed costs, as well as the market depreciation and estimated flight hours, to get a clear understanding of the annual cost of owning a private aircraft.

Breaking Down Private Jet Operating Costs by Model

Private jet operating costs vary widely based on the type of aircraft and estimated usage.

Light jets, such as Embraer’s Phenom 100 or the Citation M2, are intended for short-to-medium range trips, can comfortably seat between two and four passengers and fall on the lower range of the cost spectrum. On the opposite end of that spectrum are long range private aircraft that offer as many as four separate cabin zones and a range of over 7,000 miles. Ultimately, your private jet operating costs will depend on your unique travel needs and requirements.

Let’s take a look at the average hourly operating costs for a few popular aircraft models.


Light Jet

Manufacturer Model Category Seats Range Cost per Hour Purchase Price (New)
Embraer Phenom 100 Light Up to 5 passengers 915 nm $1,523 $2.5M
Cessna Citation M2 Light Up to 6 passengers 694 nm $1,502 $5M
Embraer Phenom 300 Light Up to 7 passengers 1,811 nm $1,978 $8M
Cessna Citation CJ4 Light Up to 7 passengers 1,667 nm $1,952 $9.6M



Manufacturer Model Category Seats Range Cost per Hour Purchase Price (New)
Embraer Praetor 500 Midsize Up to 9 passengers 3,340 nm $3,403 $17M
Cessna Citation Latitude Midsize Up to 9 passengers 2,455 nm $3,206 $17.3M
Bombardier Challenger 350 Midsize Up to 8 passengers 3,277 nm $3,800 $27M


Long Range

Manufacturer Model Category Seats Range Cost per Hour Purchase Price (New)
Embraer Praetor 600 Long Range Up to 12 passengers 4,018 nm $3,248 $21M
Gulfstream G280 Long Range Up to 8 passengers 3,420 nm $3,838 $24.5M
Dassault Falcon 2000LXS Long Range Up to 10 passengers 3,803 nm $3,732 $35.1M
Dassault Falcon 7X Long Range Up to 12 passengers 5,466 nm $4,891 $53.8M


Ultra-Long Range

Manufacturer Model Category Seats Range Cost per Hour Purchase Price (New)
Bombardier Global 6500 Ultra-Long Range Up to 16 passengers 6,600 nm $3,339 $56M
Dassault Falcon 8X Ultra-Long Range Up to 12 passengers 6,290 nm $4,811 $59.3M
Bombardier Global 7500 Ultra-Long Range Up to 19 passengers 7,700 nm $3,523 $72M
Gulfstream G650ER Ultra-Long Range Up to 18 passengers 6,520 nm $5,591 $72.5M

Find the Right Aircraft Type and Service Option With Essex

Essex Aviation brings years of aviation experience to the table — experience that we leverage to advise and represent our client in a wide range of services, through each and every stage of the decision process and transaction. Whether you fly domestically or internationally, or for business or personal reasons, if private aviation is your goal, we can help you identify the option that best aligns with your lifestyle and budget. Contact us today to get started.

Ask These Questions Before Making Your Next Aviation Decision

Private aviation offers numerous benefits, but each service option comes with its pros and cons. Find out whether a membership/card program, charter, fractional or dedicated aircraft model is right for you — and how a private aviation consultant can help you make an informed decision — in this free eBook.