Despite the hike in charter costs, fixed-rate jet membership programs still offer lower prices than on-demand private jet rentals
Jet card fixed/capped rate private jet charter prices continue to go up. The lead time to book is increasing, and there are more restrictive peak days. However, an analysis by Private Jet Card Comparisons shows private jet membership programs with fixed/capped hourly rates still aren’t keeping up with higher prices for on-demand charters.
It also comes as private flying continues to soar. Over the past nine weeks, U.S. charter and fractional operators averaged 27,311 departures, according to WingX. That’s roughly equivalent to the demand seen over the Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s holidays.
An analysis of over 250 fixed/capped rate jet card and membership programs by Private Jet Card Comparisons found hourly rates at the end of March increased by 5% from December and now average over $10,000 per hour.
The average jet card hourly rate, including turboprops, is now $10,204 per hour.
Light jet and midsize jet rates increased the most since December, up 8%.
Light jet rates increased to $7,564, up from $6,978 in December 2021.
Current light jet rates are 35% higher than in December 2020, when many programs had waived the 7.5% Federal Excise Tax.
Compared to December 2019, before Covid, light jet rates are up 26% when they averaged $6,023 per hour.
Midsize jets now average $8,662 per hour compared to $7,985 at the end of last year.
They are 24% higher than December 2020 and 15% up from pre-Covid levels when midsize jets averaged $7,531 per hour.
Jet Card Hourly Rates (March 2022 compared to 2021, 2020, and 2019)
|Aircraft Type||Hourly Rate|
|Change from |
|Change from |
|Change from |
The current hourly rate for super-midsize aircraft went up 6% to $11,171, 11% higher than before the pandemic when they averaged $10,042 per hour.
Turboprop rates have seen the biggest jump – up 10% from the end of 2021 and 38% since December 2019.
Large cabin jets (up 9% since before Covid) and Ultra-long haul private jets (up 6%) have seen the least inflation.
Large cabin private jets currently average $14,173 per hour, while long-range private jets are $17,767 per hour.
Hourly prices include base costs, any fuel surcharges, and federal excise tax.
Fixed-Rate Jet Cards vs. On-Demand Charter Pricing
Still, jet cards and membership are seeing a strong flow of new customers as rate increases have yet to keep up with the on-demand charter market.
Comparing average jet card rates to hard quotes from three charter brokers shows jet membership pricing at the low end of the spectrum.
For example, a light jet from Miami to New York would be $21,305 based on the current jet card average. Quotes from brokers ranged between $18,419 and $30,242 for dates in April and May.
Jet Card vs. On-Demand Private Jet Charter Pricing
|Jet Card |
Fixed Rate Average
|OPF-TEB||Light||$ 18,419||$ 30,242||$ 21,305|
|OKC-PIT||Light||$ 18,915||$ 34,042||$ 18,280|
|BFI-PSP||Light||$ 19,177||$ 28,670||$ 19,288|
|OPF-TEB||Midsize||$ 21,534||$ 37,040||$ 24,398|
|PDK-HOU||Midsize||$ 19,921||$ 23,273||$ 17,180|
|ASE-MSY||Midsize||$ 25,685||$ 38,744||$ 25,264|
|OPF-TEB||Super Mid||$ 25,648||$ 45,563||$ 29,231|
|OKC-PIT||Super Mid||$ 29,437||$ 38,153||$ 24,576|
|BFI-PSP||Super Mid||$ 28,461||$ 45,458||$ 26,887|
|OPF-TEB||Large||$ 24,721||$ 48,725||$ 38,505|
|ASE-MSY||Large||$ 35,921||$ 69,632||$ 34,015|
|BFI-PSP||Large||$ 30,894||$ 60,303||$ 30,000|
|Average||–||$ 24,894||$ 41,654||$ 25,744|
A light jet from Oklahoma City to Pittsburgh on a light jet using a jet card would be $18,280, while brokers quoted between $18,915 and $30,042 each way.
A flight from Seattle to Palm Springs using a jet card would cost $19,288, whereas on-demand charters ranged from $19,117 to $28,670 for the same date range.
The trend continues across all aircraft categories.
Out of a dozen scenarios, jet card average pricing was lower than the lowest broker price quotes seven times for a three-week period spanning from April 27, 2022, to May 15, 2022.
While the lowest average rate based on dynamic on-demand pricing was $24,894 across the sample, fixed and capped rate jet cards averaged just $25,744, just 3.5% more.
At the same time, the high average for on-demand charter was $41,654, a premium of 61.8% over the fixed/capped rate jet membership pricing.
Private jet booking lead time
Still, jet cards are becoming harder to use.
The average lead time to book fixed or capped hourly rates increased to 62.2 hours, up 11% from the end of 2021.
More significantly, the average non-peak call-out is 168% longer than in December 2019, when the average for jet memberships was 23.2 hours.
Non-Peak Call-Out (March 2022 compared to 2021, 2020, and 2019)
|Non-Peak Day Advance Reservations Lead Time (in hours)||62.2||168%||115%||11%|
Still, that’s less than three days’ notice to book a jet at contracted fixed or capped hourly rates.
Jet Card peak days
There are also more peak days. Currently, jet card programs have an average of 49.1 peak days, high-demand dates, and blackout days, an increase of 25% since the end of last year.
Average Peak Days (March 2022 compared to 2021, 2020, and 2019)
|Peak Days Mar-22||Change from Dec-19||Change from Dec-20||Change from Dec-21|
|Average of Total Peak/High-Demand/Blackout Days (in Days)||49.1||115%||101%||25%|
That’s also 115% more than before Covid, when in December 2019, jet card programs averaged just 22.8 peak days.
It’s possible rates will continue to increase to better align with on-demand charter rates, which reflect the current market.
Argus predicts 2022 will set monthly records throughout the year, although year-over-year growth is expected to slow in the second half of the year.
A survey in February by Private Jet Card Comparisons found 92% of respondents expect to fly private more or the same amount as last year, with 51% saying they will increase the use of private jets.