Prestige of a Chartered Flight + Luxuries of a Private Jet

Bombardier Global 6000

With Covid-19 throwing a spanner in the works of the international aviation industry, the well-heeled traveller is looking to engage private jets and chartered flights even more regularly.

A chartered flight is an unscheduled flight that is not part of a regular airline’s routing. A chartered flight is any aircraft, whether an 8-seater private jet or a 180-seater airliner, exclusively rented for an itinerary.  They are usually classified into group charters or individual client flights. 

With a group charter flight, the flying experience is determined by whomever is chartering the plane, whether it be for a special tour, or group travel or a specific sports event or occasion, according to Conde Nast Traveller. Charter flights are often part of the package, and in these instances the organisers use both private and commercial aircraft, and they will determine the times and locations. 

A private jet charter, however, is totally controlled by the individual client or company wanting to fly. They have the choice of many private aircraft depending on their requirements, and they have full control over their schedule and departure and arrival points, CN Traveller says. Private jets are usually 4 to 18-seater aircraft and may be owned or chartered.

Across various aviation companies, there is a wide variety of aircraft on offer. These include everything from single engine turbo-props to light jets, mid-size jets, heavy jets and airliners. The seating capacity of these aircraft ranges from 6 seats to 180 seats. The choice of aircraft is dependent on the itinerary, the range of the aircraft, the amenities required on-board and the number of passengers travelling, says CN Traveller.

Models include Pilatus PC12, Cessna Citation Cj2+, Cessna Citation XL, Beechcraft Hawker 850XP, Beechcraft Hawker 900XP, Gulfstream 150, Dassault Falcon 2000 & Bombardier Global 6000.

It’s easier and quicker if you’re all Indian nationals on the flight. For instance, flights to civil and defense airports for Indian nationals can be activated in as little as two to three hours. But in case there are foreign nationals flying, necessary permissions can take anything from one working day to up to seven working days, in case the airport in question is a defense airport like Goa, according to information provided by CN Traveller.

Obviously, it’s considerably more expensive than a standard commercial flight. Owning a private jet comes with a minimum price tag of $3 million for a pre-owned light jet, to more than $50 million for a heavy jet like a Global 6000 or Gulfstream 650ER. However, chartering a private jet can be as low as Rs 1.5 lakh per hour in an aircraft like Cessna Citation II to as high as Rs 3.5 lakh for a Dassault Falcon 2000, says CN Traveller. Turboprops are comparatively cheaper, with a price ranging from Rs 85,000 per hour to Rs 1.25 lakh per hour. Roughly, a return flight from Delhi to Mumbai in Business Class on a commercial plane normally costs Rs 1 lakh, whereas, on a private jet, it would be a minimum of Rs 10 lakh.

But, if you are travelling as a group of people (a family/ friends / a company/ delegation etc) who normally fly Business or First Class anyway, private jet charters can be very competitive and—sometimes—comparable to commercial First Class fares, with the added bonus of extra convenience, less time and of course, loads of luxury. In certain circumstances, you can fly privately for cheaper: if you sign up for a membership, for instance, says CN Traveller.

Private jets have no check-in baggage limit. No hassles or queues at the airport and sometimes the airports or terminals are entirely separate for private jets. In fact, Delhi is about to unveil a new terminal for private jets. Plus, pets are allowed. Here are some of the other advantages according to CN Traveller:

  • Unrestricted Itinerary: Fly non-stop from anywhere to anywhere; fly to multiple locations on the same day at your own time
  • Flexible and time-saving: Your jet can wait for you, or fly earlier depending on your schedule. You need to reach the airport only 30-45 minutes before take-off.
  • Comfort and Higher On-Board Productivity: Aircraft are designed with larger, more comfortable seats facing each other to allow passengers on a business trip to make the most of their time on-board
  • Customisation: Your choice of meals and entertainment on-board
  • Land closer to your destination: Private jets operate to many more airports in India as compared to commercial airlines.
  • As per DGCA guidelines, alcohol cannot be served on domestic flights, even if you’re flying private. However, food can be an elaborate affair.