There’s a big difference between buying a private jet and owning one. Like any vehicle, the sticker price you pay for a plane is just the start of the cost of ownership. Next comes upkeep and maintenance, fuel, and repairs. To really get the most out of a private jet, there are even more costs to consider, including the cost of licensing the craft, registering it, staffing crew, and more. All told, a private jet isn’t just a big investment; it’s a big ongoing investment.
A lifetime commitment
There’s a certain undeniable romance in purchasing a private jet. The idea of having a way to travel thousands of miles from home at the drop of a hat — to explore new environments, eat new cuisine and meet exciting, new people — is alluring. Before you make the leap, however, you should be aware of the costs associated with actually owning a private plane.
Let’s put it this way. If you bought a new car — even a gorgeous, new BMW — you wouldn’t expect it to run forever without breaking down. You’d need to take your car saw a mechanic from time to time to ensure it was in good working order. That miracle of German engineering is a blast to drive, but it doesn’t run on magic. You need fuel to keep it going. A private plane is no different. In fact, there are costs associated with a private plane that you’d never see associated with a car or truck.
Private planes, by the numbers
Let’s start with the entry-level price of a reliable private jet. For a plane that seats seven, like the Cirrus Vision SF50, you can expect to spend $2 million on a plane just off the assembly line. Once the plane is in the hangar, owners can expect to spend up to $400,000 on overall fuel and maintenance costs. If you go one tier higher, those annual fees can begin to triple, to $1.2 million.
Not impressed? Maybe you need a little more room. The Gulfstream 450 seats up to 19 people and can be bought brand-new for the bargain price of $40 million (give or take). You can find it for roughly half of that price on the refurbished market. Once you’ve got your gorgeous new (or new-to-you) G450 in the hangar, the annual cost of operating is the same: about $4 million every year.
That’s not the end of your costs, however. There’s insurance ($40,000 a year), hangar fees (between $80,000 and $160,000 a year) and state-of-the-art, must-have add-ons. Plus, you’ll need a crew to operate that private jet, too. The costs keep climbing.
Ideal for the right consumer
With all the costs associated with owning a private jet, you may wonder why anyone would invest the money. The answer is simple: convenience and comfort. You’ve heard the expression, “time is money.” The people who have discovered success in their line of work understand this maxim to be undoubtedly true.
As a result, when your business consistently takes you to the far-flung corners of the country or the world, you must get there quickly and with minimal hassle. What’s more, a private jet can reach an untold number of airstrips, cities, and countries that are all-but inaccessible to commercial flights. That’s why countless companies and successful entrepreneurs rely on a stand-by private jet to ensure they’re getting where they need to go, when they need to get there — regardless of the high costs of ownership.