Does a Local Plane Make a Difference in Private Jet Travel Costs?

by Hangar 7 Aviation

While private jet travel costs are a step up from commercial first class or business class tickets, the personalized service and flexibility are frequently appreciated by families and professionals outside the C-suite — and they’re worth the investment.

Still, new flyers may be wondering how many ways there are to control costs and make chartered flights as convenient as possible on regular trips. 

We’re often asked, for instance, whether booking a local plane makes a difference in the final private jet travel costs. Here’s a breakdown to help you understand the impact of a local aircraft.

That Faraway Plane May Be Local… When You Fly

Individuals and companies often book private flights through a charter company. These companies sometimes own their own aircraft. Others rent. The biggest difference, though, will be whether the aircraft you use is personally owned or floating.

  • Personally owned but managed by an operator: Many managed aircraft are tied to a specific airport (typically one that’s convenient for the owner). They’ll fly out of that location and back, opening up for “empty leg” return flights as necessary when booked for one-way charter flights. This keeps the jet available for the local owner when the need arises. Under Part 135, most jets are actually individually owned.
  • Owned by the operator and part of a “floating fleet”: Operator-owned aircraft, by contrast, often float around from airport to airport. Operators often own multiple jets of the same model, positioned throughout the U.S. They’ll pick up and drop off customers wherever there’s business to be had, and only return to base for maintenance. Pilots and crew simply change out wherever needed. Some private owners will even allow their jets to float while they’re not using them, to maximize their ROI.

Your charter broker will keep an eye on the pool of available aircraft for the dates and times you have in mind. This list is likely to include both managed and floating private jets that are in town for one reason or another at the time you want to fly. You’ll decide what model of aircraft you want to book, and the actual airplane that you step onto may not even be assigned until shortly before the trip.

All of this is to say that, in a sense, all private charter jets are local jets… at the time you will actually fly. Private jet travel costs, therefore, are not significantly different for jets that have a home base in one location or another.

Local Planes Offer Convenience and Last-Second Timing

The one major benefit offered by a local plane is snap availability for last minute flights or tours. 

If you want to take a look at your aircraft before the flight (the actual jet, not just an example of the same model), it needs to be in town. A locally owned plane can give you the opportunity to step onboard, meet the crew, and see for yourself what the aircraft is all about.

Local planes can also often be booked for same-day travel, perhaps even within the hour. This limits your selection to unbooked private jets right in your area, but instant access to a private flight might be all you’re looking for. When you have your heart set on booking a jet that isn’t local (or at least, won’t have floated into town that day), more flexibility may be necessary. 

Travelers who are open to leaving over a span of days and times will be able to find the most cost-effective options from their provider. It can potentially cost more to book same-day flights with specific aircraft model and accommodation requirements.

Hangar 7 Is Ready to make a Difference

Get in touch with Hangar 7 to learn more about managed and floating jet options for the trip dates and aircraft models you have in mind. Our team is ready to help you arrange your next private charter flight with flexibility, reliability, and responsive customer service.


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