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Jet card and membership hourly prices are holding steady
The cost of flying privately by jet cards and memberships held steady during Q3 of 2023 according to the latest analysis by Private Jet Card Comparisons.

For Q3 2023, the average hourly rate for jet cards and memberships across all aircraft categories has ticked up three-tenths of a per cent to $11,055 per hour compared to Q2 2023. Excluding turboprops, the hourly rate was flat, up 0.1 per cent to $11,339 per hour. The analysis is based on the Private Jet Card Comparisons database of over 80 providers and over 900 programmes.

"While demand is off its peak of 2021/22 and more providers have jumped back into the market after stopping their jet card and membership programmes, published prices are holding steady," says founder and editor-in-chief Doug Gollan. "After prices dropped 5.2 per cent in Q1 of 2023, rates fell 1.3 per cent in Q2, and in Q3 they ticked up 0.3 per cent."

Across all aircraft categories, hourly rates were down 6.3 per cent from December 2023. However, they are still 24 per cent higher than in December 2020, when providers offered Federal Excise Tax-free discounts as part of the CARES Act.

Compared to pre-Covid pricing in Q4 2019, current jet card and membership prices are 19.9 per cent higher. That's in line with overall inflation, which is up 20 per cent since 2019.

Rates are for occupied hours and inclusive of repositioning costs for flights within the primary service area. Data represents one-way jet card and membership pricing for programmes with fixed/capped hourly rates and guaranteed availability. The prices include the base hourly rate, fuel surcharges, if applicable, and the 7.5 per cent Federal Excise Tax.

While card and membership prices remained static from Q2 to Q3 of 2023, buyers are again making their own discounts. According to the upcoming The Jet Card Report by Private Jet Card Comparisons 2023/24 Edition, 65.5 per cent of jet card buyers negotiated extra discounts and perks beyond what was offered. That's up 30 per cent year-over-year. Free hours and flight credits were the most frequent elements buyers could negotiate.

Broken down by category, the average hourly price to charter an ultra-long haul private jet via a jet card or membership was $19,195 at the end of Q3 2023. Compared to the end of 2023, hourly rates were down 6.3 per cent. However, they were still 23.9 per cent higher than December 2022 and 18.9 per cent above 2019, before COVID.

Large cabin private jet rates averaged $15,717 per hour at the end of Q3 2023, just 0.2 per cent up from the previous quarter and 2.5 per cent below Q4 2022. Large cabin jet card and membership rates are 23 per cent higher than in Q4 2020 and 17.1 per cent up compared to Q4 2019.

Super midsize jet card and membership charter rates averaged $12,102 per hour at the end of the most recent quarter. Prices increased by half a per cent from Q2 2023. They were down 4.7 per cent from their high in December 2022. Compared to 4Q20 and 4Q19, hourly prices were 24.1 and 17.1 per cent higher, respectively.

Midsize private jets were the only category to see a decrease in price from Q2 to Q3, although it was just 0.1 per cent, bringing the average hourly rate to $9,351. The hourly cost is 4.9 per cent, down from Q4 2022. Compared to December 2020, midsize jet card rates are up 25.6 per cent. Compared to pre-COVID December 2019 pricing, the cost is 19.5 per cent higher.

The cost to fly in light jets was up by 0.5 per cent since Q2 at $8,093 per hour. Compared to December 2020, light jets' hourly price dropped 4.6 per cent.

If you bought during the FET-free period, prices are currently 30.8 per cent higher than Q4 2020. For those flying pre-COVID, light jets are 25.6 per cent more expensive on an hourly basis.

Very Light Jet hourly pricing was flat in Q3 at $7,421 per hour. That's 12.9 per cent below Q4 2022 but 31.1 per cent higher than Q4 2020. Looking back to Q4 2019, the hourly cost for VLJs has increased by 23.8 per cent.

Turboprop hourly rates increased by half a point from Q2 but remain 14.3 per cent below the peak of Q4 2022. Compared to Q4 of 2020, they increased 30.7 per cent. Looking back to Q4 of 2019, the turboprop's hourly cost increased by 25.9 per cent.

The average number of peak days dropped to 50.3 in the latest period from 51.2 days in June. That's down from the end of last year (55.7 days) but still well above Q4 2019 when the average annual peak days was just 22.8 days.

On peak days, customers usually have to book farther in advance, have stricter cancellation terms, are subject to surcharges and have their departure time moved at the provider's discretion.

Non-peak callouts, the deadline to book at contracted rates, stayed essentially flat at 66.7 hours, down from 66.9 hours in Q2 2023.

Overall, daily minimums, the minimum amount charged even if the flight is shorter, is flat at 90 minutes with no significant changes across categories.

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