Deliveries of the Gulfstream G550 began in 2003, with deliveries ending in 2021. 622 G550 aircraft are currently in active service.
The G550 can accommodate up to 19 passengers, with a maximum baggage capacity of 170 cubic feet.
When in its optimum configuration, the Gulfstream G550 can cruise non-stop for up to 6,750 nautical miles (7,768 miles / 12,501 km). However, when configured for the fastest cruise speed, the G550 can maintain a cruise speed of 488 knots.
The Gulfstream G550 can cruise at up to 51,000 feet. Additionally, the G550 has an average hourly fuel burn of 358 Gallons per Hour (GPH).
Thanks to its Rolls-Royce BR710 engines, the G550 has a total thrust output of 30,770 lbs.
In terms of cost, the G550 has an estimated hourly charter price of $7,650. Furthermore, back when deliveries of the Gulfstream G550 began, the list price for a new example was $62 million.
Gulfstream G550 Cost Overview
When it comes to operating the Gulfstream G550, there are two expense categories to consider – fixed costs and variable costs.
Fixed costs are those that you pay no matter what. Whether the aircraft flies or not has no effect on fixed costs. These costs do not change in relation to the number of hours the aircraft flies.
So, therefore, whether you fly the aircraft 50 hours per year or 500 hours, the fixed costs will remain the same.
The estimated annual fixed cost for operating the G550 is $742,000.
Variable costs, on the other hand, are directly proportional to the number of hours the aircraft flies per year.
The best example of a variable cost in this case is fuel use. One of the biggest costs when flying by private jet is fuel. See this to learn about private jet fuel costs.
Clearly, the more you fly the aircraft, the more fuel it will use. Therefore, flying 500 hours per year will result in variable costs 10 times greater than if you were to fly 50 hours per year.
Therefore, the estimated variable cost for private jets is presented as an hourly figure. This is how much extra the aircraft will cost you per flight hour.
Therefore, the estimated hourly variable rate for operating the Gulfstream G550 is $3,602.
Of course, this hourly variable cost is different to that of the estimated hourly charter price. This is because, per hour, charter flights cost more. There are further parties involved. The hourly charter price is the aircraft’s hourly variable cost, along with factoring in fixed costs and broker fees.
G550 Fixed Cost Breakdown
When it comes to fixed costs, there are six criteria that have been identified as the biggest contributors to the annual cost of operation.
These costs are crew salary, crew training, hangar, insurance, management and then the additional, miscellaneous fixed costs.
These costs are explained in further detail below the table.
The table below details the estimated cost of each fixed cost for the Gulfstream G550.
|Fixed Cost||Annual Spend|
In terms of fixed costs, the crew salary is a significant one. Additionally, it is a cost that fluctuates significantly depending on region, aircraft type and certification requirements.
Whether the aircraft is flying or not, the crew will need to be paid their salaries.
Consequently, the crew salary is just that – the amount you pay your crew.
This is a cost that will vary depending on region and aircraft type. For example, the cost of labor in certain parts of the world is lower than others. Additionally, crew for larger aircraft will typically cost more.
Additionally, larger aircraft require more crew. For example, most light jets are certified for single pilot use. Therefore, you could get away with just pilot. However, larger aircraft will require at least two crew, sometimes three for a longer flight. Additionally, a flight attendant may be required.
Having well trained crew members is important. Again, they are integral to the safe and efficient operation of your aircraft.
Keeping aircraft type ratings valid and ensuring that crew members maintain their high standards is key.
This is a cost that will keep on occurring every year, whether your aircraft flies or not.
The storage of a private jet when not in use is important to consider.
Where are you going to leave your multi-million dollar aircraft when it isn’t in the sky?
Of course, you want it to be somewhere safe, secure and convenient. Therefore, for most private jet owners a hangar is a preferable option over leaving it outside.
Naturally, there are many factors that will influence the annual cost of hangarage. Factors such as aircraft size, airport location and service amenities will all impact the cost.
As a result, the hangar cost stated is a general average for the aircraft type. However, this fee can fluctuate significantly.
In simple terms, there are two types of insurance that private jets must have.
The first is liability insurance. This provides cover against loss, damage or injury to third parties. Third parties in this case include passengers, cargo and baggage. While exact details will vary from policy to policy, cover is generally not provided for the pilot in command or the actual aircraft.
This then leads to the second part of private jet insurance – hull insurance. Hull insurance policies are agreed on a value basis. That is, the value of the aircraft. Therefore, in the event of a total loss, insurers will pay the agreed value as opposed to the current market value.
This are two essential pieces of insurance for private jets. However, owners may also wish to consider aviation hull war insurance and crew insurance.
Aviation hull war insurance provides cover for loss of the aircraft due to war, hijack, confiscation, malicious damage and other similar risks. This is typically chosen by owners who will be flying private jets into hazardous destinations.
Crew insurance allows pilots and crew members to be provided with an enhanced employee benefit package. Such as including loss of licence cover, personal accident cover and travel insurance.
Aircraft management is an essential component when owning and operating a private jet.
An aircraft management team provide all the necessary services required to fly the aircraft. For example, sourcing and managing pilots to making sure the aircraft is airworthy, are all tasks provided by your aircraft management company.
Of course, there is the option of so called self-management. This is where the management tasks are left with your pilot in command. However, this option is rarely selected. Therefore, in the ownership cost example we assume an aircraft management company is involved.
Your aircraft management team will typically perform the following tasks:
- Flight bookings
- Flight planning
- Charter marketing / sales
- Crew scheduling
- Aircraft airworthiness reviews and tasks
- Maintenance scheduling
- Invoice management
- Crew management
Additionally, your aircraft management team will likely provide many more small activities in order to ensure a smooth operation of the aircraft.
Of course, there are many factors that will affect the total price of your aircraft management fee. Primarily the difference in cost will depend on the aircraft type, use and region of operation.
Miscellaneous Fixed Costs
The miscellaneous fixed costs are made up of everything that doesn’t fit into the above categories.
Things such as the fees for charts, software and computers to manage your aircraft will be in this category.
When owning a private jet there will likely be surprise costs and upgrades that occur throughout your ownership experience.
Therefore, it is good practice to factor in additional, unexpected costs per year.
G550 Variable Cost Breakdown
Variable costs are those that change depending on the usage of the aircraft. Variable costs can be broken down into hourly chunks.
This, therefore, results in an hourly variable cost figure. This figure is the cost per hour that the aircraft is flown.
There are five factors that we have built into the hourly variable cost figure. These values are the cost of fuel, maintenance, engine overhaul, crew, landing & handling fees, along with other various costs.
All these variables are proportional to the number of hours flown. For example, the more you fly the aircraft, the more fuel it will use.
See below for a table of the estimated hourly variable costs when operating the Gulfstream G550.
Below the table you will find an explanation of each variable.
|Variable Cost||Hourly Spend|
Fuel costs are a significant hourly expense when operating a private jet. The more hours you fly, the more fuel the aircraft burns.
Of course, the amount of fuel that the aircraft burns per hour will vary greatly depending on its average hourly consumption, measure in Gallons per Hour (GPH).
Different aircraft burn different volumes of fuel per hour. However, a general rule of thumb is that the larger the aircraft, the greater the hourly fuel consumption.
Of course, depending on location, fuel prices vary dramatically. Therefore, this cost will be slightly adjusted depending on the fuel cost at the FBO.
In order to ensure that aircraft are safe to fly they require maintenance at regular intervals.
These intervals are scheduled and depend on the manufacturer’s guidelines. Moreover, maintenance is scheduled based on number of hours flown.
For example, a certain aircraft may need an inspection every 100 hours. Therefore, you can plan around when the aircraft requires maintenance.
Additionally, these maintenance events are in direct relation to the number of hours that the aircraft is flown.
Therefore, the more the aircraft flies, the more maintenance it will require.
However, this cost also takes into account any unexpected maintenance events. For example, a bird strike or blown tire will introduce an unexpected maintenance check.
Engine Overhaul Costs
An engine overhaul is a scheduled event that is essentially the maintenance and inspection of the engine.
Given the term ‘overhaul’, the event is more serious than a quick visual inspection. And, in a major engine overhaul, a complete disassembly and inspection of the engine.
Again, much like maintenance of the airframe, the more an engine is used, the more wear and tear the engine will experience. Therefore, the more hours flown, the quicker an engine overhaul will be required. Additionally, the more hours flown the more often an engine overhaul will need to be performed.
If you are interested in learning more about engine overhauls, then read this article.
Crew fees, landing fees, and handling fees are highly dependant on the route taken. Therefore, it is hard to given an accurate figure.
Crew fees are those that you need to pay the crew during an extended stay. Additionally, crew fees are highly dependant on the length of stay and the location. For example, crew overnight expenses, such as hotels and food, will cost far more in New York City than Wichita, Kansas.
Secondly, when landing at an airport, aircraft are charged a landing fee. This fee is usually based on the weight of the aircraft. Therefore, larger aircraft have greater landing fees than smaller aircraft.
Landing fees will vary from airport to airport. For example, if you were to regularly fly out of La Guardia airport, New York, the cost of landing fees would be greater than if you regularly flew from Wichita National Airport.
And finally, handling fees go hand in hand with landing fees. When on the ground you will need the aircraft to be parked securely, bags unloaded and various ground services. There are typically provided by the FBO (fixed-base operator). Of course, all these services will come at a price.
Again, the price of handling fees will vary depending on airport and aircraft size.
Miscellaneous variable costs are very similar to the miscellaneous fixed costs. No matter how well you plan and budget, there will always be some unexpected costs involved.
Therefore, this budget accounts for the unexpected.
Gulfstream G550 Total Costs
|Annual Cost||Flying 200 hours per year|
|Total Fixed Costs||$742,000|
|Crew / Landing / Handling||$80,000|
|Total Variable Costs||$720,440|
|Total Annual Costs||$1,462,440|
Gulfstream G550 Annual Budget Calculator
Use the calculator below to calculate the estimated annual budget to operate the Gulfstream G550.
Simply enter the number of hours per year and receive click “Get Annual Budget”. Below you will then see the estimated annual budget for owning and operating the G550.
The final value takes into account both fixed and variable costs. Please note that the final value is an estimate only. Additionally, note that all values are in USD.
Gulfstream G550 Annual Budget:
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