How much does it cost to hire a private jet in the UK?

Gert Svaiko

Are you looking to hire a private jet in the UK? Chartering a private jet can help you save a lot of time if – when that’s a commodity that you’re short on. Or, maybe you’re just looking for some privacy and comfort. Flying first class is nice, but with a private jet, you get to skip the occasionally overwhelming flight terminals.

Let’s look at the costs of hiring a private jet in the UK and how the fees are calculated. We also outline how to charter a private jet and what to look out for when choosing a provider. Let’s jump right in.

Also, if you’re jetting off abroad, the money services provider Wise can help you save on costly currency exchange fees. The Wise account lets you securely send and spend in over 40 currencies, converting your pounds using the fair mid-market exchange rate without a mark-up and only adding a small, transparent currency conversion fee.

Considering the costs of chartering a private jet and travelling abroad, managing your money with Wise could save you a bundle, especially on large amount transfers.


Table of contents

How much does it cost to hire a private jet in the UK?

With so many variables that go into the cost of chartering a private jet (which we’ll cover in a little more detail in a minute), there’s no way to give a good estimate for an average expected cost. It all depends! First, let’s look at the main fees you should understand.

One of the main costs to consider is the hourly fee. Let’s look at a few different providers' hourly rates to get a sense of the average price.

Here are a few UK providers and their private jet hire starting fees:

  • Air Partner private jet charter starts from £4,000¹ per hour
  • Vistajet prices start from £11,000² per hour
  • PrivateFly hourly rate starts from £1,300³

As you can see, there are options for different budgets. The most important thing is to do your own comparison and make an informed decision based on the features that are most important to you.

To give you a few more examples of how much different flights might cost you, Prestige Jets lists the following prices: ⁴

  • Short distance flights – London to Paris – start at £3,000
  • Medium distance flights – London to New York – start at £45,000
  • Long distance flights – London to Sydney – start at £150,000

Coming back to the hourly rates, they will vary by the size of the jet you’re chartering. Broadly speaking, there are small, medium and large private jets.

Small private jet

Small private jets usually seat around 4-6 people. These smaller planes also have a shorter flying range, about 1,000-1,800 miles. For context – Paris, a popular destination for private flights, is about 200 miles from London.

PrivateFly’s private jet hire cost is a minimum of £1,300 per hour for their small jets. Most providers don’t publish their fees online, but their starting fees seem to be one of the cheaper ones we found.

Medium-sized private jet

Medium-sized private jets usually seat around 8-12 people and can fly somewhere around 2,000-3,000 miles on average before needing to refuel.

PrivateFly charges a minimum of £1,350 – £2,989 per hour for their medium-sized private jets.

Large or long-range private jet

Large private jets can usually seat up to 20 people and can take longer flights. Long-range jets are perfect for direct flights between continents, because they don’t need to make refuelling stops.

PrivateFly charges a minimum of £4,504 per hour for their long-range private jet. Their ultra long range jets hourly rate is £5,641.

Membership programmes

One way to cut costs on private jet hire is to join a membership programme if you’re planning to fly privately frequently. Many providers offer these, though the programmes will vary across different service providers, of course.

So, choose one that matches your needs the best.

For example, Air Partners⁵ and PrivateFly’s⁶ jet card programmes let you pay a fixed hourly rate instead of a live market price. The memberships also come with other perks like a personal account manager, better booking and cancellation terms, and priority access to your chosen private jet.


What are the private jet charter empty leg flights?

There’s one more way to get a huge discount on private flights. And that’s to fly on an empty-leg flight. Depending on the provider as well as the specific conditions for the flight (like seasonality), you can get these flights up to 75% cheaper.⁹

As you might guess from the word ‘empty’, these are the private charter flights that do not have passengers onboard. Sometimes flights like these are necessary for the jets to reposition from one airport to another or return for a charter.

Remember the membership programmes from earlier? Some of them can give access to empty leg flights for free.

Empty leg flights can make travelling in private very reasonable, if you’re getting the flight for several people. Usually, you will get the whole jet for yourself for a fixed price and you can fill all the seats, if you’d like. Depending on the conditions, this means you might be paying the same as you would when travelling in business or first class.

You can find empty leg flights by browsing Google or jet charter operators websites. For example, Fly Victor lets you sign up for alerts for empty leg flights. Or, you can download the Catch a Jet app, which will send you push notifications when an empty leg flight is available on your route.

It’s good to keep in mind that these flights sometimes get cancelled. And because it’s not a commercial flight, the charter company does not have the responsibility to find a replacement flight.

One more thing to consider is the fact that you’ll only be able to fly one way with an empty leg.

How is the price of a private jet charter calculated?

There are a few different things that make up the private jet hire cost. As we already saw, private jets are priced by the hour. In general, that means the further you’re flying, the more you’ll be paying.

The main factors that decide the price are the size of the jet, the number of people on the flight, and the length of the flight.

But there’s more. Prices will also change depending on the season and the route. For example, if the plane has to fly empty to pick you up or after completing your flight.

Also, remember to check out the Wise account in case you need to charter a jet from abroad or want to save on currency conversion costs when shopping overseas. It’s not a bank account but offers many similar features.

You can also get a Wise card for spending like a local in over 150 countries. It automatically converts your pounds into local currency using the mid-market exchange rate, and you’ll only pay a small currency conversion fee that you can see upfront.

Learn more about the Wise account 💰

How to charter a private jet?

Chartering a private jet isn’t much more complicated than booking a commercial flight. To make things smoother, we’ve outlined the general steps to follow and things to look out for.

Without further ado, here’s how to charter a private jet.

Compare providers

You can charter your private jet through a broker or directly with an operator. You can contact a provider by phone, email, or through their website.

When you’re choosing your operator or broker you can check for their safety ratings. Look for ARGUS, Wyvern, International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO), and European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) accreditations and certifications.

For example, you might see an ARGUS ‘Gold’ or ‘Platinum’ and Wivern ‘Wingman’ or ‘Wingman PRO’ certifications.⁷ ⁸

While it’s usually the operator that needs to have the certifications, ARGUS for example also offers a Certified Charter Broker rating.


Decide which type of private jet you need

Choose the right type of jet depending on how many people are flying, how much luggage you’re carrying, the length of the flight, and the destination airport.

Private jets come in many different sizes. If you’re not sure which size is right for you, the broker or operator will be able to advise you.

Some private jets can carry more fuel than others, so the length of the flight also matters when it comes to choosing the right plane. Smaller aircrafts will need to refuel for long flights.

The airport you’re headed to needs to be considered as well. Smaller airports in remote areas may have shorter runways and that can limit your choices to smaller private jets.

Whatever your needs may be, the operator or broker will help you in choosing the right jet, so you don’t need to worry about it too much.

Seal the deal

The broker or operator will prepare the contract. You can usually pay via card or bank transfer, depending on which options you’re given.


Take your flight

One of the nicest perks is that you get to skip the long check in and security queues because private jets have their own terminals even at commercial airports.

You typically need to check in about 30 min before taking off, but it can also be less, depending on the airport.

There it is, not complicated at all. In most things, you can simply rely on your chosen service provider. So the most important action that you can take, is to pick the right one. With so much information available online, you can easily do your research and decide on the best choice.

Here are a few providers to get you started on your search:

Whether you need the flexibility and privacy of a private jet or are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, we hope this guide has been helpful.

Sources used:

  1. Air Partner - Private Jet Charter FAQs
  2. VistaJet - Main Page
  3. PrivateFly - Private Jet Hourly Prices
  4. Prestige Jets - What Does A Private Jet Charter Cost?
  5. Air Partner - JetCard Membership Programme
  6. PrivateFly - PrivateFly Private Jet Card
  7. ARGUS International - Auditing Services
  8. WYVERN - Wingman Certification
  9. Air Partner - On demand

Sources last checked on date: 18-Mar-2024

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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