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How much does it cost to fuel a private jet?

This is an important question whether you are thinking of renting or owning your own aircraft.

Fuel is a necessary part of flying. It is expensive. Therefore, fuel is one of the largest variable costs of flying. That is, the more you fly, the more fuel you use, and therefore, the more you spend. Therefore, knowing the private jet fuel cost and private jet fuel consumption is critical.

As a result, many ask the question of how much does it really cost to fuel a private jet? What are the actual fuel costs? And how much fuel do these jets use? The short answer is thousands per hour. However, as always in aviation, the actual number will vary depending on factors such as aircraft size, mission length, and atmospheric conditions.

Knowing this information is important no matter if you rent (through a private jet charter) or own your own aircraft. In any situation, if the aircraft you are flying needs more fuel, you will be paying. This is especially true during aircraft ownership and among private jet owners.

Over the past 18 months the cost to fuel a private jet has increased significantly. As a result, the average charter price of private jets has increased, along with the cost to own a private jet.

Please read this article to see the exact hourly fuel burn figures of every type of private jet.

Private jet being refuelled

Airplanes Use Special Fuel

Private jets don’t use the same type of fuel that you use to fill up your car or truck. Nor do they use the same type of fuel that a small piston aircraft would use.

Jet aircraft use the appropriately named Jet Fuel.

There are many reasons that airplanes use different fuel to regular gasoline. To start with, Jet Fuel has a lower freezing point than regular gasoline. This is important as private jets get high. Very high. Some aircraft fly as high as 51,000 feet. The higher you get, the colder the air.

Secondly, Jet Fuel has a higher flash point than gasoline. As a result, Jet Fuel is able to provide greater power and efficiency compared to regular gasoline.

Cessna citation maintenance hanger - cost to fuel a private jet

Jet Fuel also has a lower viscosity than regular gasoline. This means that Jet Fuel isn’t as thick as regular gasoline. As a result, Jet Fuel is less likely to block pipes and easily travel through the airplane.

Finally, the actual fuel costs are different. Jet Fuel is cheaper than regular gasoline. This is important as private jets require a large quantity of fuel. Even a 10% increase in the price of fuel can have a significant effect on the cost per hour to fly the aircraft. This, therefore, will impact the overall operating costs of any private jet.

What Is Jet A & Jet A-1 Fuel?

The two main types of Jet Fuel. Jet A and Jet A-1. Both types are produced to a standardized international specification.

Within the United States, Jet A is the standard fuel type available. For the rest of the world, however, Jet A-1 is the standard fuel type available.

Thankfully, as one might suspect from the names, these fuel types are very similar. Aircraft are not restricted to either Jet A or Jet A-1. The primary difference between the Jet A and Jet A-1 is the freezing point.

Jet A-1 fuel has a lower freezing point, coming in at -47°C / −53 °F. Whereas Jet A fuel has a freezing point of −40 °C (−40 °F).

Jet Fuel Price Per Gallon – How Much Does it Cost?

GlobeAir provide a convenient map that details the price of jet fuel prices per region, allowing you to compare the fuel costs. The fuel that we are interested in for Private Jets is the Jet A fuel. 100LL is the fuel that you would use for a piston aircraft, such as a Cessna 172.

Therefore, when considering the cost to fuel a private jet it is important that we look at the price of Jet A fuel only.

At the time of writing (Q2 2021), the average price of Jet A fuel in the United States is $4.77 per gallon. Alaska represents the most expensive region with an average Jet A price of $6.25 per gallon. The cheapest fuel price is in the center of the United States, with an average fuel price of $4.20 per gallon.

However, the price of jet fuel has changed dramatically since Q2 of 2021. So, let’s update the question for how much it costs to fuel a private jet in 2022.

Updated for Q4 of 2022 the average price of jet fuel from a typical FBO in the United States is currently hovering around $7.50 per gallon.

This, therefore, marks a sizeable increase in the operating cost of a private jet. You can learn all about the cost to own a private jet here.

Note that the price of Jet Fuel will vary from airport to airport. Generally speaking, large international airports will have higher prices than smaller airports.

Dassault Falcon 6X Exterior during flight

In the United Kingdom, a price of £0.6951 per Litre (excluding VAT) is the average going price (price at Oxford Airport). 1 US Gallon is equal to 3.78541. Therefore, this translates to a price of £3.16 per gallon. In USD this is $4.39 per gallon.

As you can see, prices are relatively similar in both the US and UK.

Additionally, it is important to consider that these prices do fluctuate regularly. Moreover, in some circumstances, there may be fuel surcharges that will increase the cost.

Private Jet Fuel Burn Per Hour

Different aircraft models burn different quantities of fuel per hour, with different fuel burn rates (e.g. a light jet will burn less fuel than a VIP airliner). The basic rule of thumb is that the larger the aircraft the great the fuel burn per hour. Additionally, the larger the aircraft, the heavier it will be. Therefore, aircraft weight will impact fuel consumption.

Fuel burn per hour is measured in Gallons Per Hour (GPH). Calculate the emissions produced by private jets.

While fuel burn is different for different aircraft, we can extract some averages for the class of private jet. Keep in mind that these are just averages.

Aircraft ClassAverage Fuel Burn Per Hour (GPH)
Very Light Jets110
Light Jets175
Medium Jets250
Large Jets370
Average Fuel Burn Per Hour Based On Aircraft Class
Gulfstream G800 Exterior

Private Jet Fuel Tank Capacity

In order to calculate the cost to fuel a private jet, it is critical to know the amount of fuel each aircraft can carry.

In the world of private jets, fuel is often measured by weight. Therefore, the maximum fuel capacity of aircraft is measured in pounds (lbs). Thankfully we can easily convert Jet Fuel from gallons to lbs with this chart. Additionally, you can use this simple formula to convert lbs of fuel into gallons.

In order to calculate the total fuel capacity of private jets, we will choose a selection. It is important to consider the different costs and fuel capacities of all kinds of jets. From a light jet all the way up to flagship ultra long-range aircraft.

Aircraft TypeFuel Capacity (Pounds)Fuel Capacity (Gallons)
HonaJet HA-4202,845426
Embraer Phenom 300E5,353803
Pilatus PC-246,000900
Gulfstream G650ER48,2007,230
Fuel Capacity of a Selection of Private Jets

The Total Cost to Fuel a Private Jet

So then, what is the total cost to fuel a private jet?

Now that we have all the figures we can easily calculate how much it costs just in fuel to fly by private jet, along with the total cost of fully filling up a private jet with fuel.

Therefore, the average cost per hour just in fuel is as follows. Note that prices are based off the GlobeAir US average price of Jet A fuel.

Aircraft ClassAverage Fuel Burn Per Hour (GPH)Fuel Cost Per Hour ($)
Very Light Jets110$524.70
Light Jets175$834.75
Medium Jets250$1,192.50
Large Jets370$1,764.90
Total Fuel Cost Per Hour for Different Classes of Private Jets

However, if we return to the original question of how much does it really cost to fuel a private jet – we get some eye-watering numbers.

If we look at the specific aircraft above, we can get a good idea of the total fuel cost if you fill them to the brim. Please note that it is highly unlikely that these aircraft are ever filled to the maximum on fuel. Again, we shall use the GlobeAir US average fuel price.

The prices to fill a private jet from zero to full is as follows.

Aircraft TypeFuel Capacity (Gallons)Price from Empty to Full ($)
HonaJet HA-420426$2,032.02
Embraer Phenom 300E803$3,830.31
Pilatus PC-24900$4,293.00
Gulfstream G650ER7,230$34,487.10
Cost to Fuel a Private Jet from Empty to Full

Therefore, the cost to fuel a private jet ranges from just over $500 per hour to nearly $2,000 per hour.

Additionally, the price to fill a private jet from zero to full can cost from around $2,000 to over $30,000.

The Gulfstream G650ER can fly a maximum distance of 7,500 Nautical Miles without needing to refuel. Therefore, the cost per nautical mile in fuel for a G650ER comes in at $4.60 per Nautical Miles.

Summary

So then, what can be concluded for calculating the cost to fuel a private jet?

As we have seen, there are several different factors that will impact the cost to fuel a private jet. Factors such as weight, flight time, aircraft model, number of passengers, if there are two pilots, aircraft weight, and even weather conditions.

However, the general rule of thumb is that larger planes use the most fuel. Larger aircraft carry more fuel, passengers, have bigger engines, all of which result in a great fuel burn figure.

Benedict

Benedict is a dedicated writer, specializing in in-depth discussions of private aviation ownership and its associated topics.

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