Today, we answer the questions, how much does fuel cost for a small plane? and how much does a private plane cost? Have you ever considered owning your own small aircraft or the small plane price list? Sure, we all have at some point. A plane represents a sense of independence, giving you the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want. And you’re not limited to just the road. But let’s face it. Having your own plane, say a Cessna, is also a status symbol. After all, only the most rich and elite own their own, personal airplanes, so if you can count yourself among them, you’re one step ahead of the game.
Aside from offering you the convenience and recreational opportunities you seek, owning a small plane does come with a lot of responsibility. Financial responsibility, that is. The costs can mount up, with the expenses ranging from the initial sale price and down payment, to repairs, storage fees, insurance, and fuel costs.
How Much Does Fuel Cost For A Small Plane
how much does a private plane cost
- The type of plane you wish to purchase radically affects the price point.
- If you finance an aircraft, it’s essential to budget for monthly payments.
- Consider establishing an escrow fund for maintenance to pay for engine, propeller, avionics, and airframe overhauls.
- You’ll also need to consider storage, insurance, and fuel costs.
One of the first things you’ll have to consider is what kind of plane you’re going to buy. The type of plane you wish to purchase radically affects the price point. Here’s the breakdown of what you’re looking at when it comes to the purchase price of a plane.
- Ultralight Aircrafts: Single-seat, single-engine recreational planes. These may be purchased new, for an up-front cost of $8,000 to $15,000.
- Single-Engine Planes: These planes which hold two or more people and are more economical to operate and maintain than multi-engine planes, typically cost between $15,000 and $100,000.
- Multi-engine Planes: If you consider a plane like this, it will cost you between $75,000 and $300,000.
If you’re really lucky, you’ll be able to pay for your plane in cash. But not everyone has that luxury. You may have to get a loan for your purchase. So don’t forget, along with the full sale price for your plane, you’ll also have to consider the interest you’ll pay on top. But don’t relax, because you’re not soaring yet. There are other considerations.
When not in use, planes must be stored at an airport either in hangars or outdoors. Outside storage is typically cheaper than hangars and other covered spaces, although this depends on the region and location of the airport. Urban airports typically charge more than comparable rural airports. Meanwhile, the average hangar cost is $275 per month, plus $100 for tiedown gear. Incidentally, residential storage is rarely available to the average small plane owner.
If you finance an aircraft, it’s essential to budget for monthly payments. Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) offer an alternative to traditional financing, but, in either case, buyers should shop for the best available. interest rate, and loan terms.
Just like a car, there are several things that are factored into the financing for your aircraft. The financing company may consider the following:
- Your down payment
- Your credit score
- The overall amount of the loan you’re requesting
- The usage of the plane and how often you intend to use it
- The condition of the plane including the year, make, and model
Financing companies look at some of the same factors lenders do for car loans including your down payment and credit score.
Maintenance and Inspections
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) recommends establishing an escrow fund for maintenance to pay for engine, propeller, avionics, and airframe overhauls.1 Contributing to this fund each time you fly helps cover unexpected expenses that can arise. Small aircraft are required to undergo annual inspections, which range in price from $600 to $1,200, while specialized planes with retractable landing gear cost more to inspect.
Aviation insurance covers aircraft damage and provides liability for anything your aircraft damages. Coverage varies by policy, and aircraft damage is categorized either as in-flight damage and from external damage. When selecting small aircraft insurance, which runs between $1,200 and $2,000 per year, it’s best to consult with a licensed aviation insurance agent.
Gas and Oil
Small aircraft should have oil changes every four months or 50 hours—whichever comes first. For the average user, this represents three oil changes per year. The average small plane fuel burn rate is five-to-10 gallons per hour. Aviation fuel is significantly more expensive than typical automotive fuel, averaging $5 dollars per gallon.
The Bottom Line
Many costs factor into the economics of small aircraft ownership. On average, a $75,000 financed Cessna winds up costing $200 per hour, if flown 100 hours per year, with $80 going toward fuel, oil and maintenance. Similar aircraft may be rented for about $125 per hour.
What are the most popular private jets?
With private aviation showing robust growth over the last few years, latest demand for exclusive flight services exceeded pre-recessionary levels over the course of 2017-2018. This is underpinned by strength across all segments of the industry including private jet rentals and used jet purchases. In this market currently, the most popular private planes are:
- Bombardier Challenger 350: According to data released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the Bombardier Challenger 350 made 60 deliveries in 2018 continuing its upward trajectory from 56 in 2017. Offering excellent range of 3,200 nautical miles (5,926 kilometres) integrated with leading-edge technology, cabin comfort and design, it is consistently the first choice of experienced flight operators around the world. Powered with an impressive range of performance attributes, the planes are designed to purvey an exclusive private jet experience.
- Cessna Citation Latitude: After entering the private jet landscape in 2015, the Cessna Citation Latitude has consistently ranked amongst the top 10 best private medium jets in a host of range and performance metrics. As the most-delivered midsize jet for the third year in a row, the Cessna can accommodate 9 passengers with a seats-full range of 2,877 nautical miles. Offering increased comfort through a lower cabin pressurization, the Latitude also offers the most spacious cross-section of any Citation built by Cessna.
- Embraer Phenom 300: From 2013 to 2016, the Phenom 300 (now 300E) was the most-delivered light private jet in the world. As the fastest and longest-range single pilot aircraft in the world, the planes are designed with gen-next avionics, impressive cabin space and a top speed of 834 kilometres per hour. Seating 11 passengers, these planes are powered to achieve peak ranges of 3,650 kilometres.
What are the best business jets?
While business travel was traditionally regarded as the primary use of private jets, latest technology advancements and increased wealth have made private flying – which is considered the most expensive form of flying – more accessible to leisure travellers as well. Nevertheless, the corporate market still represents a substantial share of the overall industry. Below are some of the planes best equipped for corporate travel:
- Embraer Legacy 600: Via the feature of a spacious cabin space, the Embraer Legacy 600 can accommodate up to 13 passengers and is segregated into three areas within the cabin plus a galley and washroom. This makes it ideal for business travel, enabling the passengers to work, relax and interact separately while the galley is large enough to house a 3-course dining menu configure option. For clients travelling in larger groups or preferring to bring more luggage aboard the plane, this aircraft offers an exclusive experience that lies at the intersection of comfort and economy.
- Airbus ACJ 319/320 NEO: While the commercial counterpart has seating for 160 passengers, the Airbus ACJ in its private jet avatar accommodates approximately 18. The space is instead taken up by conference rooms, dining tables, and a VIP suite that boasts a bedroom, en-suite shower and office. Coupled with trademark fuel efficiency and quieter engines, the Airbus ACJ 319/320 is a recurring favourite of top 10 lists, business executives and sports personalities.
- Dassault Falcon 7X/8X: While the Dassault made its name in the military and commercial aircraft space, the larger Falcon jets carved out a niche in the business space due to their impressive range (5,950 nautical miles), a digital flight control system and an ability to customize the plane’s interiors into 30+ formats depending on usage priorities. With the versatility to make both long-range and short-range trips courtesy of a tri-jet engine, the Falcon models offer speed, efficiency and improved comfort.
Best private jets for international travel
Over larger, long-haul flights, commercial travel can often be cumbersome, time-consuming and inefficient. For clients seeking to alleviate these factors when travelling internationally, the following options have consistently been recognized in media articles as the latest champions of long-range travel:
- Gulfstream G650ER: Passengers looking for comfort, range and high speeds need to look no further than the G650ER that offers a range of 14,000 kilometres with 14 hours of flying time. Coupled with best-in-class cabin altitude of 3,290 feet, and a cabin that is longer and higher than any other ultra long-range private jet, the plane has seating for 19 passengers and can carry up to 103,600 lbs. of luggage. Inside the plane, there is a flexible cabin design with the option to customize the layouts to passenger preferences, handcrafted seats, digital audio/video equipment and porcelain dinnerware for a truly high-class experience.
- Bombardier Global 6000: The closest competitor to the Gulfstream is the Bombardier Global 6000, eponymously named for its ability to fly 13 hours or 6000 nautical miles (11,000 kilometres). Powered with industry-leading technology and performance, the 6000 is designed to provide a smooth ride, complete with wider leather seats, hardwood flooring and ultra-fast digital connectivity. All cabin controls are available at a single click while a large media bay enables passengers to wirelessly watch movies, mirror live streaming or display documents onto HDTV monitors, making it the perfect option for long-haul flights.
- Boeing VIP Dreamliner: As the most expensive option on the private jet charter market, the Dreamliner was originally designed to carry up to 335 passengers and bags. In the private jet version, it can carry up to 40 passengers for a range of 15,000 kilometres (17 hours flying time). The Dreamliner is separated into a master suite with a close en-suite washroom, a spacious main lounge, a guest cabin, and kitchen.
Most luxurious private jet interiors
While private planes have certainly enjoyed the largest resurgence in recent times following the recession in 2008, there are some models that truly stand out even amongst this exclusive set of aircraft that are reputed for luxury and resplendence. Some of the latest, most expensive, and notable ones include:
- Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental BBJ: As the most expensive plane in the world, the 747-8 Intercontinental BBJ has approximately 4,800 square feet of space with a full office, bedroom and grand dining room, which can further be transformed into a corporate boardroom based on the passengers’ usage needs. As far as luxurious interiors go, the Dreamliner is headlined as the “Queen of the Skies” with a $403 million price, dazzling passengers with gorgeous interiors complete with wide, leather seating, and a breathtaking design that can be configured into the passenger’s preferences.
- Boeing 757: The plane probably holds a place in recent public memory as President Donald Trump’s personal air travel vehicle of choice after he bought it for approximately $100 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2011. Powered with Rolls-Royce RB211 turbofan engines, the plane has a silk-lined master bedroom, master bathroom with 24-karat gold features, big-screen entertainment with leather seats, dining room, private guest room, 2 bedrooms, galley and main lounge – all features that serve to exemplify the palatial aura.
Which is the best private jet to buy?
Due to the increased popularity of charter flying and an undeniable asset appeal, private planes have attracted a range of long-term investors who seek to leverage its demand from high net-worth individuals and/or other flying enthusiasts. However, private jets are multi-million dollar prospects from an up-front capital outlay perspective with that must be managed carefully. As such, a premium is placed on value retention and durability over the life of the plane.
- Cessna Citation family planes: In the private jet market, Cessna planes have a reputation for being workhorses. In a study conducted by AVBuyer in 2015, three Cessna planes (CJ3, CJ2+ and CJ1+) ranked in the top 10 private jets that had the lowest depreciation (assuming standardized policy) over 10 years. It speaks to the resilience and longevity of the planes across different versions. However, beyond their operational excellence, Citation jets also fulfill a key need for prospective private jet owners. By fulfilling a popular goal to have a private jet that is still within affordable price parameters, the Cessna family of planes the preferred choice of many corporate houses and “newly-rich” business executives.
- Gulfstream G550: A new G550 is worth approximately $61.5 million depending on configurations. In the same study mentioned above, it achieved 10-year depreciation of 35% i.e. 65% price retention after 10 years. As the most successful model in Gulfstream history, the aircraft is equipped for long-range flights, with annual costs of $2.85 million equating to a per hour cost of $7,135 (assuming 400 flight hours).
- Embraer Lineage 1000E: With a $53 million price tag, the Embraer 1000 and 1000E version pack a punch with its overall offering. In the ultra-large segment, it offers the lowest cabin altitude with a maximum range of 4,500 nautical miles that enables it to go from London to the US east coast, Riyadh from Beijing and Lima from Los Angeles. It is also for this reason that it is a popular choice amongst buyers from the Middle East.
Most luxurious & fastest private jets in the world
Users of private planes primarily value three things: comfort, convenience and time. As such, it is pertinent to explore the aircraft that provide luxury matched with speed for truly exclusive experiences tailored towards discerning travellers:
- Dassault Falcon 900B ($45 million): The fuselage of the Dassault Falcon 900 is built from a combination of materials including Kevlar, titanium and carbon fiber allowing the jet to weigh significantly lower than other in-class twinjets. This then translates into significant fuel economy and a top speed of 644 miles per hour with a range of 4,598 miles. Equally impressive on the interior, the 900B carries on the Dassault Falcon tradition of spacious cabins, leather interiors and quality craftsmanship to provide an unparalleled luxury flight that delivers passengers refreshed and on time to their destinations.
- Bombardier Global 7500 ($73 million): In December 2018, the G7000 entered the markets and consolidated its place as one of the fastest private jets in the world with a top speed of 650 miles per hour. In 2021, the aircraft’s cabin then won the Red Dot Design Award for its clean aesthetics, viewing windows and leather interiors. At an impressive range of 7,700 nautical miles, this flight coalesces luxury and speed like no other.
Best private jet trips
As private jets have proliferated in popularity, there has been a good level of interest in rentals for milestone birthdays, large celebrations and other milestone moments in people’s life. From a leisure perspective, some of the most popular private jet destinations include:
- Rome and Paris: In Europe, Rome and Paris remain tourism hotspots frequented by people from all over the world. In recent times, airport statistics have showed accelerated inbound activity from private planes in these two destinations. Offering a delectable range of historically significant attractions, natural beauty, and cultural appeal, these two cities encourage big-ticket purchases by offering excellent infrastructure to accommodate private flying and value for money over the duration of the stay.
- Las Vegas: The social scene of the American city is legendary the world over, and has been crystallized over the past few decades via media articles and Hollywood. It is no wonder then that Las Vegas ranks as amongst the go-to places – particularly amongst the younger demographic – for luxurious social gatherings and life events.