Private Jet Charter Price Increases Since Q4 2020

Hourly flight cost for jet card memberships with fixed/capped prices is 21% higher since Q4 2020; More hikes are likely, says Private Jet Card Comparisons

(MIAMI, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, April 25, 2022) - Count private jet charter prices among the products and services that are contributing to record inflation.

An analysis by buyer’s guide Private Jet Card Comparisons of over 250 jet card programs offering fixed or capped hourly rates found that Q1 2022 one-way prices are 21% more than Q4 2020, and that includes a 5% increase since Q4 2021.

“Dozens of fixed/capped rate programs, which before Covid typically raised rates by $100 per year if at all, have increased prices multiple times since last summer. The average jet card charter price increased by $1,799 per hour since the end of 2020. Our analysis shows the rates are still lagging behind dynamic pricing options,” said Doug Gollan, Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Private Jet Card Comparisons. “It’s a perfect storm of record demand, supply constraints, and rising costs, including pilot salaries, general payroll, fuel, incentives to aircraft owners, maintenance, and parts. Since dynamic pricing reflects the current market, it likely means more price hikes are coming unless there is an event that dramatically impacts demand "

The average one-way hourly jet card charter rate across all aircraft categories broke into five figures in Q1 2022, increasing to $10,204 per hour, up from $8,405 at the end of 2020, a 21% hike.

Comparing fixed/capped jet card pricing to one-way on-demand charter quotes for 12 different scenarios, in seven instances, the fixed-rate jet cards offered lower prices for a three-week span between the end of April and the middle of May.

While on-demand charter costs – trips priced on a per-flight basis using market-based dynamic pricing - ranged on average between $24,894 and $41,654 per flight, the fixed/capped rate jet cards, which give members a contracted price when they sign up, averaged just $25,744.

Since the expiration of the CARES Act tax holiday in December 2020, which saved flyers the 7.5% Federal Excise Tax, fixed/capped hourly jet card membership rates for over 250 programs tracked by Private Jet Card Comparisons have increased:

  • Light Jets (typically seating 6 passengers for flights under 2.5 hours) are 35% more expensive, from $5,600 per hour to $7,564 per hour
  • Midsize Jets (typically seating 7 passengers) are 24% more expensive, from $6,961 per hour to $8,662 per hour
  • Super Midsize Jets (typically seating 8 passengers with a coast-to-coast range) are 22% more expensive, from $9,190 per hour to $11,171 per hour
  • Large Cabin Jets (typically seating 10-to-14 passengers, popular with large groups and families) are 17% more expensive, from $12,109 per hour to $14,173
  • Ultra-Long-Haul Jets (typically seating 13 to 16 passengers with intercontinental range) are 16% more expensive, from $15,136 per hour to 17,767
  • Turboprops (typically seating 6-to-8 passengers) are 47% more expensive, up from $4,454 per hour to $6,564

While fixed/capped rate jet card pricing may still be a relative bargain compared to booking flights on-demand – trip-by-trip - the jet card programs are becoming more restrictive compared to before the Covid-19 pandemic, Gollan noted.

In its analysis of fixed/rate capped programs, the reservations deadline to book flights at contracted rates increased from an average of 23.2 hours in Q4 2019 to 62.2 hours at the end of Q1 2022.

At the same time, the average number of annual peak days, where the lead time for booking is longer, and programs often have surcharges, increased from 22.8 to 49.1 days.

“Peak days used to be mainly around major holidays and the Super Bowl. Now they are more extensive. The number of programs with over 70 peak days increased by 350% since the end of last year,” Gollan said.

Private aviation flying dropped by more than 80% at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 but quickly rebounded. 2021 was a record year, and demand continues to increase.

“There were many new flyers, at the beginning of Covid, before the vaccine, who chose to fly privately to avoid crowds and reduce contact with other people. Then there was a second wave of new private flyers who started because reduced airline schedules didn’t fit their needs. Now, those flyers are saying they will continue to fly privately. In the U.S., private flights can access over 5,000 airports compared to under 500 with scheduled airline service. You also avoid security and check-in lines, and you never have lost baggage. Despite the increased pricing, there are no signs demand is letting up,” Gollan said.

A survey of Private Jet Card Comparisons subscribers in February found 92% will fly the same or more this year than last year, with 51% saying their private flights will increase in 2022.